Winemaker/Owner Bio: Bret Engelman is a fourth generation grape grower on the family vineyards located on the west side of Fresno. After working on the family farm for most of his youth Bret attended CSU Fresno where he received his BS in Business Management in 1996. Longing to get back to the vineyards Bret went back to CSU Fresno to earn another BS in Enology in 1999, and was part of the first class to ever produce bottle and sell Fresno State wines. After graduation he quickly landed a job as Assistant Winemaker for The Wine Group where he was in charge of making 25 million gallons of wine in just two years. With the desire to have more control over the finished product he started Engelmann Cellars back at the family vineyards. Today he is in charge of all aspects of the winery functions, and also volunteers on boards such as Creative Fresno, and the Fresno State Alumni Association, and is President of the Twin Rivers Vintners of Fresno County.
In the wineries first six years of sale Bret has helped Engelmann Cellars rack up an impressive 68 medals and 3 outstanding winery awards, plus had 3 wines rated in the Wine Enthusiast magazine.
Through hard work in both the vineyards and the cellar Bret Engelmann and Engelmann Cellars are proving that California’s largest wine region can also be one of its best wine regions, at a price that is a great value to its consumers.
"Over 60% of the wine grapes grown in California are grown in the Central Valley. Many of these grapes are being bought by the more prestigious wineries to the North, and Coastal areas, many of these are the same wineries that say we cannot make good wine in the Valley. By compensating the farmers to grow quality instead of quantity, finding the varietals that grow well in the warm Central Valley, and paying attention to the details that many of the larger Valley wineries neglect, we will show that we can and are making great wines here in Fresno. Fresno State's Enology department was first to show this commitment to quality with its "Double Gold", " Best of State" 1998 Shiraz. Engelmann Cellars is the second premium winery in Fresno, and hopefully through these two examples of quality we can attract more skilled and educated winemakers to locate in the Fresno area, to open small premium wineries, much like the movement in Paso Robles several years ago. It may take some time, but with the commitment to quality of growers and winemakers, and the support of their local community, the Valley can and will be recognized as a player in the premium wine market."
Bret Engelmann – Winemaker