As a California native that grew up drinking some of the finest wines produced in the state, Brad Lowman developed a love of big, bold wines. Bud, his father and gourmet cook, always had a bottle of zinfandel or cabernet on the table. After a brief flirtation with brewing, Brad's passion for wine resurfaced in 1994 when his now business partner, Ben Croy introduced him to a new varietal. This first pinot noir from the central coast region of California began a new chapter in the winemaker's life.

Why name it Waltzing Bear Wines?

Because the waltz is the most elegant dance,
and pinot is the most elegant wine,
and Brad is as clumsy as a bear on the dance floor,
but still enjoys the elegant things in life!

Brad was befriended by the late, great Bob Senn, a 30-year veteran of the wine industry. It was Bob who introduced him to the outstanding winemakers and growers of the central coast wine community. It was Bob's encouragement that got Brad to make his first wine in 2002 under the aegis of Brian Loring of the Loring Wine Company. Deeming his first vintage a success, the new winemaker launched the Waltzing Bear Wines in 2003, and found willing hosts and valuable mentors in Jeff Fink and Bill Cates of Tantara Winery in Santa Maria. It is here that Brad has made his wines since 2003.
Starting with a mere 100 cases in 2002, Brad has gradually ramped up production to 1,200 cases in 2008. "This level is just about perfect given that I still maintain a day job in Los Angeles most of the year," Brad says. "I work full time at the winery during harvest and just weekends the rest of the year. I'm very lucky to be able to do what I really love."
While his passion is for pinot noir from the highly distinctive vineyards of the Central Coast, Brad has also found a place in his heart for two unique and under-appreciated varietals: petite sirah and viognier. The petite sirah, fondly named "Bud" after his father was added to the line-up in 2004. The viogniers, each uniquely named after a waltz, were added in 2006.
Brad's wines have met with great critical success. In addition to amazing growers and beautiful vineyards, he credits his achievements to the love and support from his family and friends who volunteer countless hours helping to produce the wines.