The story of Boscoe Wine Co. starts in 1979 with the Haskell family’s first trip to Santa Ynez Valley. It was on this trip that David Haskell, then only a child, was introduced to the region. What began as family forays to the wine country developed into an enduring passion for the vineyards of Santa Barbara County. David soon decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life there – a vision he would later realize through Boscoe Wine Co.
Both father and son share an infatuation with wine, and it was this shared love that led John and David Haskell to found Boscoe Wine Co. Having already started an award-winning restaurant together in West Hollywood, California, the team set out to build on their individual strengths: John bringing the business acumen to provide the company with a solid foundation, and David bringing a palate refined by more than 20 years as a sommelier, as well as his passion for wine science.
David had a vision: to make wine in a truly transparent way that was as honest as possible, capturing the full essence of the fruit. Many winemakers make natural wine. But there’s still a tendency to control and manipulate the process, making it all far from ‘natural’: “at Boscoe, we always let the grapes speak for themselves, using temperature, minimal sulfur and our trained palates to shape and preserve what’s already there”.
As Boscoe’s winemaker, David uses science to aid and inform his decisions. The trick is letting the grapes be at their best then avoiding over meddling. That’s why he doesn’t add yeasts to his wines, letting the wild yeast from the field and the cellar flourish and impart its unique character. It’s also why he’s so focused on keeping it local: his entire winemaking process, from vineyard to cellar, occurs in only 10-square-miles of the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s that special relationship between the fruit and the land that brings “terroir” to life in the glass. And because nothing extra is introduced, Boscoe is able to give the drinker the ability to experience the unique environmental conditions from vintage to vintage.
The winery is named after David’s childhood cat Boscoe, “the best cat who ever existed”. Haskell was only four or five years old when Boscoe came into his life. The Haskell family cat for sixteen years, Boscoe was more than just a cherished member of the household – he was the epitome of loyalty. Even after his passing, Boscoe was the code word among the Haskells for safety. Answering that things were “Boscoe” was a way of saying, “Everything is okay.” So when it came time to find a representative for the wine that would be a family product – a true collaboration between father and son, John came up with Boscoe which David instantly loved.