Beekeeper Cellars was created as part of my life study of fine wine, my study as a Student in the Master of Wine program and as a collaboration with one of my great friends and top winemaking professionals Clay Mauritson.
The goals are many, but when friends try Beekeeper, I want to reset what people think about Zinfandel. I want to improve the Zinfandel marketplace and be part of the future for this world class grape varietal… the rest of my goals will come forward in our email correspondence and evolve as we evolve as a wine brand and grow in the coming years.
We are committed to making great wine and only great wine. We will work the best in the business and source fruit from top vineyard sites. We aim to make great wine that will produce a following and we would love to have you as an ambassador of our brand.
Beekeeper, Madrone Spring Vineyard, Rockpile, Sonoma County
The Mauritson Family planted Madrone Spring in 1998, the western facing slope is approximately 1100-1400 feet in elevation and pretty steep. There are both Zinfandel and Petite Sirah planted on Madrone Spring.
The stoney composition of the soil, the extreme conditions, wind, light, air… and temperature have proven ideal for Zinfandel production – look for this vineyard to garner further accolades as time goes by and these vines continue to add wisdom.
About the Winemakers
Clay Mauritson, Winegrower
Born into the business, seventh-generation grape grower Clay Mauritson was the first Mauritson to establish a namesake winery. Clay has been a great friend since we first met in 1997, just prior to Clay’s first vintage. It has been a privilege to watch Clay rise to the top of his craft and to see his Mauritson Winery become a favorite stop in Dry Creek Valley.
Clay oversaw all aspects of this wine, from the growth of the fruit in his family’s Rockpile Vineyard to sharing his philosophies, techniques and talents that have lead him to be recognized as one of the region’s top winegrowers. Clay then worked with me on the blend, and together we created something very special and unique. We created Beekeeper as a team, setting out to produce a flagship Zinfandel.
The goal is to improve the Zinfandel marketplace, reset what quality Zinfandel means to the wine enthusiast and increase awareness of some of the great Zinfandel growing regions such as Rockpile Appellation. We hope you enjoy the results.
Ian Blackburn, Lifetime Student of Wine and Founder of Beekeeper Cellars.
I have worked my way up through the ranks: from bar back to dishwasher; from Sommelier to floor manager and all the way to Food and Beverage Director and Owner. I entered the wine industry as a sale representative for a Distributor, then worked for a family owner wine brand in Sonoma, and finally was hirer to run Key Accounts on the West Coast for Kobrand Corporation. Along the way, I started a hobby level wine education business called LearnAboutWine.com and in 2005 that hobby pulled me away from being an employee and turned me into an employer… we host wine events, classes, regional wine trade shows and corporate events in Southern California. Beekeeper was started with my first harvest in 2009, and the future is very bright… as my Master of Wine study and Winemaking study converge, I hope to someday add another chapter to my resume and own a vineyard, a tasting room and live in wine country with the fresh air and by my wife a horse… but we will have to wait and see. Until then, I will be working hard spreading the good news about Beekeeper and would love to hear from you if you. Email me at Zin@Beekeepercellars.com