The Story Of WATERSTONE
It was apparent Philip Zorn would some day become a winemaker when,
as a child, he tried to ferment plums from his lunchbox. Raised is
Germany, Phil eventually attended the classic German Wine School
Technische Hochschule fuer Weinbau und Kellerwirtschaft and
apprenticed at Weingut Pieroth und Sohn. After emigrating
to America in 1984, he become winemaker for Sunny St. Helena,
followed by Gauer Estate, Paraiso Springs and Tria, gaining valuable
experience with Napa, Sonoma and Monterey grapes.
As a research biochemist in his colleage years, Brent Shirtridge
planned to go on to medical school. But a summer job at Buena Vista
Winery in Sonoma, working with legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff,
would prove to be the undoing of his medical career. Brent stayed at
Buena Vista, learning about the wine business, and was eventually named
vice president of marketing. It's been a love affair with wine ever
Brent subsequently met Phil through a mutual acquaintance. Both
had yearned to develop wines that met their mutual philosophical approach.
With Phil's strong background in winemaking, and Brent's marketing
skills, it seemed like a perfect match.
They turned to Napa Valley, where established relationships with
growers and vintners gave Phil and Brent access to some of the valley's
finest vineyards. Creating a long-term future with growers from Carneros
to Calistoga was key to their objectives - making high quality wines
at affordable prices. "The pleasure derived from the wine should not
be compromised by the price paid for it," says Brent. "From the beginning
we set out to make wines we want to drink and can afford to drink."
The two had sourced their grapes and began creating the wines and
designing the labels, but still needed a name for this new effort.
Then one day, relaxing in a garden with the soft flow of running
water in the background, "Waterstone" bubbled to the surface. With
their new brand secured, Phil and Brent immediately turned to their
other passion : lunch.