Delmas is the realization of the Robertson family’s dream, 35+ years strong, to honor a particular place; a particular taste. Born of distinctive geology found within The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater as well as the climatic eccentricities of the Walla Walla Valley, Delmas is dedicated to producing exceptional wines of enduring value. Elegance is preferred to power and exoticism at Delmas; restraint, nuance, and those impossible-to-define, (pleasurable), qualities that elevate all great wines.
The name “Delmas” comes from Mary Delmas Robertson’s side of the family. In a tradition dating back many generations, the French family name “Delmas” is passed from one daughter to the next as a middle name. This legacy lives on through Steve and Mary’s daughter, Brooke Delmas Robertson.
Brooke has expanded the family's wine industry partnerships. She has spent the last four years in Napa Valley gaining viticultural, winemaking, and development experience.
World-class positioning is assured via fresh perspecitves regarding farming practices and winemaking at Delmas.
Where It All Started
The family’s love of wine began in 1982 on a trip Steve and Mary took to Napa Valley.
In 1983, they returned to Napa Valley, purchasing a home between St. Helena and Calistoga on 10 acres without ever stepping foot inside the home and without the benefit of jobs at that time. They were smitten and ready for an adventure. Their eldest child, Brooke, was born three years later in 1986.
While in Napa Valley, Mary worked for Wilson-Daniels, an international wine brokerage firm with exclusive U.S. distribution rights to some of the world's most sought after wines – Domaine de la Romanee-Conti and Biondi-Santi as well as many highly regarded Napa Valley wineries.
During this time, the couple’s exposure to the wine industry and winemaking skyrocketed. They were able to get to know many of today’s well-respected leaders who were just getting started at that time and who remain pals today.
Brooke Delmas Robertson | Director of Viticulture
Brooke has gained world-class, hands-on experience in Napa Valley, tending to the high expectations of iconic vineyards and wineries. Additionally, Brooke has worked in Australia for Torbreck, focusing on small lots of highly sought after Rhone-style wines. Her last work assignment was for The Napa Valley Reserve, as viticulturist.
Working as a viticulturist, administering and delivering “best practices” in vineyards such as Hundred Acre, Barbour, Hayne, and Seven Stones, fueled Brooke’s desire to further her education. In this regard, and in preparation for her eventual oversight role at Delmas/SJR Vineyard, Brooke is pursuing her Masters degree in Viticulture.
As of 2017, Brooke has moved back to Walla Walla Valley to assist in all Delmas/SJR operations. Additionally, she is working for North Slope Management as viticulturist.
Chris Banek & Ramon Esparza | Vineyard Management
Banek Winegrower Management brings more than 30 years of Walla Walla Valley vineyard management experience to SJR Vineyard. Principals, Chris Banek and Ramon Esparza, promote cutting-edge viticulture practices, including organic and bio-dynamic farming practices. Chris and Ramon’s capabilities are extended by their highly trained farming crews. They support the Delmas winegrowing philosophy, building on their long-standing knowledge of the soils and climatic conditions within the Walla Walla Valley AVA; and, specifically, in The Rocks District.
Billo Naravane | Consulting Winemaker
Delmas relies on the extraordinary talents of Billo Naravane as a valued member of the team. While Billo’s background in the computer industry prepared him well for the scientific aspects of winemaking, it is his artistic talents and passion for wine that intrigued the Robertson’s. In addition to being an accomplished musician, he received his B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from MIT and his M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
Billo finished his M.S. in Viticulture and Enology at U.C. Davis in June 2008. He is winemaker and owner, along with his brother Pinto, of Rasa Vineyards. He makes critically acclaimed wines for Rasa Vineyards. Billo is also mentoring Brooke on winemaking and working with our viticulture team.