Tales from the Cellar

“Tales from the Cellar” is a series of stories, musings and observations by the Blanchard Brothers, that we would like to share with our fans. We have built our company, our success and our continued dream on such stories. Whether it be guests that come visit our tasting room, or new fans that we meet while out on the road, people always seem drawn in by our stories of how we began, where we are from, how we interested in wine. These are not intended to be a chronological account of the history of Blanchard Family Wines, as much a look into our background, our journey, and our shared passion for this life we have found in wine. Enjoy!


This is a story that I wish I wasn’t writing about. It’s a story that I feel like I’ve already shared, but unfortunately, it’s a story that I had to live through a second time. In 2017 Sonoma County was devastated by fires that burned countless homes and businesses and ended with the heartbreaking loss…


How We Brushed Off the Ashes

I woke up to the sounds of heavy winds pounding against my bedroom window.  I woke up to a cell phone with no service, yet dozens of missed calls and texts from my wife, still at the hospital where she works midnight shifts as a nurse.  The messages simply read, “Are you OK!?” I woke…


The Story of our J Cole Blend

The Story of our J Cole Blend And the One Named Celebrity of Healdsburg James and I are often asked why we didn’t name our company Blanchard Brothers Wines, instead of Blanchard Family Wines. After all, we are the sole founders and owners. However, we know in our hearts that from the beginning there has…


How the Air Force Helped Start a Winery

It’s quite frequent when I host a tasting somewhere, that someone asks how we started a winery while I was still in the Air Force. I tell them, “We didn’t start a winery despite me being in the Air Force, we started a winery because I was in the Air Force.” It’s a story with…


My Humble Beginnings in the Wine Industry

(And How I Learned the Difference between Merlot and Chardonnay) James and I weren’t fortunate enough to be born into a wine legacy, or into wealth, or even into a family from California. So I suppose from birth we already started with a disadvantage in the wine industry. In fact, our parents weren’t even wine…