Brennan Firth is a unique blend of entrepreneur, doer, and dreamer. He is the youngest American winemaker to make a name for himself in Argentina, trying to move the country’s winemaking away from overly technocratic practices. Through Cepas Elegidas, Brennan is presenting wines that are among the most authentic in the world: using native yeasts, free of added enzymes, and bottled without filtering or clarifying.
Brennan’s approach to winemaking is comparable to the ‘Vin de Garage’ or “Garagiste" group of innovative winemakers in the Bordeaux region. The focus is on excellent quality, extremely limited production, and a healthy disregard for traditional technical practices.
Arizona born and raised, Brennan first visited Argentina at the age of 23. A year later he made Mendoza his home, beginning a journey that would be wrought with many challenges as he sought to create a style of winemaking with minimal intervention and go against what mainstream Argentine wineries were producing. Now in his mid 30’s, and more than a dozen vintages wiser, Brennan is creating wines that are widely acclaimed and highly sought after throughout Argentina.
Prior to Cepas Elegidas, Brennan gained very valuable experience while working at other wineries including Paul Hobbs, Sebastopol/Dutton Estate, Paul Mathew, Bodega Furlotti, Viña Cobos, and Paul Lato.
Brennan Firth created Cepas Elegidas (SEH-Pas, El-Eh-HE-Das), meaning 'Chosen Vines', to shine a spotlight on ‘true’ and authentic wines in Mendoza, Argentina.
Cepas Elegidas believes deeply that each year, each vintage, is a completely unique wine, and thus each chosen wine has a unique name and label, to be made only once, and only if they meet certain requirements.
Beginning in 2009, Brennan Firth has been focused on making wines with the utmost character and integrity, with a deep desire to preserve the soulfulness of the structure, texture, and aromatic complexity found naturally in each vineyard. This means utilizing high quality, hand-harvested, low yield, sustainable fruit, and making the wine with indigenous yeasts, not adding enzymes, being patient with barrel aging on lees, and not filtering or fining the wines.
Unique winemaking philosophies have earned Cepas Elegidas positive publicity with sommeliers, restaurant owners, wine reviewers, and tourists from the world over.
In the last six years Cepas Elegidas has purchased over 200 tons of high quality fruit from a variety of vineyards, and produced 70,000+ bottles of distinctive and unique authentic wines. Most Cepas Elegidas wines are available in very limited quantities, with annual production in the last 5 years ranging from a mere 250 cases to 2,500 cases, depending solely upon quality in the vineyards.
Cepas Elegidas has been exploring the unique microclimates of Valle de Uco, Tunuyan, La Consulta, Vista Flores, Agrelo, Tupungato, Lujan de Cuyo, Pedriel, Coquimbito, Lunlunta, Cruz de Piedra, Russel, La Rioja, and Salta, becoming very knowledgeable of the best growers and their agronomic practices.
To date Cepas Elegidas has made wine with Pinot Noir, Syrah, Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Bonarda, Tempranillo, Tannat, Lambrusco, Graciano, Chardonnay, Torrontes and Viogner.