…In the Santa Ynez Valley, winemaker Andrew Murray will lease the former Curtis Winery estate vineyard, production facility and tasting room from the Firestone family for his label, Andrew Murray Vineyards.

There, Murray will produce his syrahs and Rhone-based, as well as take the lead as winemaker of both the Curtis and Jarhead labels, he noted.

Murray, who began his winemaking career before he was 21, has made his wines from a facility known locally as Area 51. The site is the former Firestone Walker brewery and is located in the canyon behind Firestone Vineyard on Zaca Station Road.

The partnership calls for the Firestone family to continue farming the estate’s 200 vineyard acres. Murray will remain focused on Rhone varieties, with an emphasis on syrah, mourvèdre, viognier, grenache blanc and roussanne, according to a news release. Other estate varieties will be used for making wines for the Jarhead and Curtis brands.

Murray replaces Ernst Storm as the Curtis winemaker, who, moving forward, will continue to produce his own Storm Wines via either Area 51 or a facility on the Curtis property formerly used by Doug Margerum, Storm noted.

– excerpted from and article on www.syvnews.com