An up-and-coming artisan winemaker focused on vineyard-designate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

With grapes sourced from the best vineyards he can get his hands on, Ryan Cochrane produces extremely limited quantities of vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County on California’s Central Coast. Although relatively new to the wine business, Ryan Cochrane has already established himself as an award-winning winemaker with a loyal following of his Burgundian-style wines.

After earning a degree in marketing from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Ryan Cochrane moved to San Francisco where he launched a successful career in marketing and advertising. Over the years, Ryan worked as an art director, a freelance copywriter, and a creative director for a number of marketing communications companies. Today, he still maintains his ‘day job’ in advertising, but escapes to the Central Coast every chance he gets to work on his name sake winery, Ryan Cochrane Wines.

Ryan had always dreamed about making wine, and one foggy morning in July 2009, he decided to stop dreaming about it and actually do it. The advertising agency he was working at had just imploded and he had started freelancing, but it was a bad time for work in San Francisco. Ryan decided that now was the perfect time to experiment with winemaking. He contacted Roger Nichols at RN Estate in Paso Robles and asked to be an intern. Ryan was impressed, not only with Roger Nichols’ beautiful wines, but with his ‘DEY’ (do everything yourself ) approach to his business. That year, Ryan helped in all phases of RN Estate’s harvest, from vineyard work in the spring to pressing and barreling in the fall.

In 2010, Ryan came back to RN Estate and made one barrel of his inaugural Ryan Cochrane Pinot Noir on the side. The following year, he made three barrels and was promoted to Roger’s assistant winemaker. He made two different Pinots in 2012 and introduced his first Chardonnay in 2013. All of the fruit was sourced from among the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County, including Fiddlestix Vineyard in Santa Rita Hills and Solomon Hills Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley.

Ryan proudly designed the ‘Ryan Cochrane’ wine labels himself, incorporating artwork from the Ryan family coat of arms (Ryan is his first name and also his mother’s maiden name) and the family motto from the Cochrane side, Virtute et Labore (With Valor and Exertion).