About Brooks & Sean Darrah
Sean was raised in San Jose where he grew up fishing the California Delta and the Gold Country lakes of the Sierras. Having moved to Los Angeles in 2001, a longtime career in Medical IT Sales brought him to Lodi often with several customers in the area. Sean soon discovered the beautiful Wine and Roses Hotel as a perfect respite from the rigors of work travel. As his appreciation for Lodi wines grew, he spoke often to his friends about the area and its many smaller family-owned wineries.
One of those friends was Brooks, who moved to California in the late 80’s from Dallas to pursue her education close to the entertainment industry. When they met, Brooks had been a film executive brokering deals for and developing the stories of many acclaimed Hollywood movies, including Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and James Cameron’s Titanic. After earning a PhD, her career took her into business consulting for executives and large corporations.
Sean and Brooks discovered their mutual love of Lodi wines over a bottle of Michael David’s Lust and their relationship—and shortly after, their marriage—grew from there. In the summer of 2012, they went on an impromptu vacation. They would start at Mammoth, visit Yosemite, and end up in Lodi at the Wine & Roses. Brooks fell in love with Lodi, the wineries, and the people who ran them. Culture shock, in a good way. On day two of their Lodi trip while riding bikes among the vineyards, they knew this would be where they would retire. Both Sean and Brooks shared a natural curiosity for how wine is made, what makes wines taste good, and a desire to learn what makes a great producer and winery. Within a few weeks of returning to Los Angeles, they had decided to start their own winery together and make that the next chapter in their journey. Lodi’s warm and unpretentious winemaking community welcomed them with open arms and quickly helped them get started. Within a short period, they contracted for fruit, hired a winemaker, purchased a beautiful home in Lodi on several acres, and were off and running with Darrah Wines’ first vintage of Old Vine Zinfandel.
Back in Los Angeles where they were still living and working part-time, they realized something was missing: Lodi wine. They could host a get together and request everyone bring a varietal from anywhere in the world, and yet with the hundreds of wine shops, restaurants, and hotels in L.A., they had a surprisingly difficult time putting together a tasting with a variety of Lodi wines.
It has become Brooks and Sean’s mission to introduce Lodi wines to places like Southern California and beyond where they find Lodi’s many wonderful wines are underrepresented. Their first vintage of 2012 Old Vine Zinfandels is their shot across the bow at doing just that. Their labels may be a little bold, their approach unorthodox, but they feel Lodi has everything and more that its ‘wine country cousins’ to the West have and more. They want to see more smiles on faces when they open a bottle of a little-known wine and introduce wine lovers to a region they’ve never heard of or dismissed altogether. The Darrahs have had the pleasure of doing this many times and will continue their journey to learning more about winemaking and the tastes of the wine-drinking community. They look forward to expanding into different varietals, seeing their wine on shelves of respected wine shops throughout California and beyond, and sharing their love of Lodi wine with old and new friends.