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 initially introduced to the region. But 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 here – 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 providing the business acumen to provide the company with a solid foundation, and David bringing his refined palate from more than 20 years as a sommelier and 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.
We’re about reacting rather than controlling. We’re about giving voice to the fruit by guiding and encouraging, not forcing or manipulating. And we’re about letting you know exactly what’s in the barrel, the tank, and the bottle because we’re proud of our grapes and the road we took to shape them into the wine that you’re drinking. It’s what we love and what we believe in, and we hope you enjoy it.
David Haskell, winemaker, Boscoe Wine Co.
Everything that David does is guided by honesty – and his palate.
A sommelier for over 20 years, David began developing his love of wine at an early age. His mother was mentored by renowned chef Michel Richard and his father holds a lifelong passion for wine. Growing up in that environment shaped David, and he quickly found his own obsession: the restaurant industry. Training at Johnson & Wales University’s prestigious restaurant and hotel management program, David rapidly moved up, working at multiple culinary landmarks including Manhattan’s Aquavit and Le Cirque as well as Paris’ Guy Savoy.
At the age of only 30-years-old, the young restaurateur opened West Hollywood’s BIN 8945 Wine Bar & Bistro with his father’s assistance in Southern California in 2006. That year, he went on to win “Sommelier of the Year” from Angeleno magazine and to receive numerous industry accolades for his restaurant’s inventive food and wine pairings.
But David wasn’t done yet. Still early in his career, he sold his restaurant in 2008 and worked with other restaurateurs to build their wine programs. This led to a decision to become a full-time winemaker. In 2013, he enrolled in Fresno State University’s graduate enology/viticulture program and got serious about the science of winemaking – so serious that he hired a PhD in theoretical chemistry and Fresno State’s former head winemaker to tutor him privately for more than a year to fine-tune his understanding of the science and production of winemaking.
Combining his trained palate with his new found love of the science behind enology and viticulture, David had found a match – and a way to execute his vision of a truly transparent bottle of wine. Telling you exactly what he does to the grapes every step of the way is a big part of Boscoe Wine Co. And it’s this passion for transparency and excitement for honest winemaking – and more than a bit of David’s geekiness, too – that drives everything he does today.
John Haskell, president, Boscoe Wine Co.
It all started with a book.
John’s passion for wine began while he was in college. While at Brown University, he came across a book about wine at the college bookstore. Intrigued, he purchased the book and immediately began tasting different wines. A life-long love affair had started.
After earning a degree in English Literature at Brown University, John went on to complete an MBA in Marketing at Kellogg/Northwestern University. He then started his career at the family business, Haskell of Pittsburgh, manufacturing steel office furniture. In 1974 he created The Professional Marketing Group, a mid-size consulting and advertising firm in Los Angeles. John also started the business consulting firm, Dr. Revenue®, where he helps small and mid-size businesses achieve exceptional sales and profit growth.
Being a wine lover and foodie, John has been fortunate to taste some of the world’s finest wines at the best restaurants. By developing relationships within the food and beverage industry, John became an avid wine collector, enabling him to enjoy many of these wines at home. His cellar contains 1,500 bottles, each cared for at the perfect temperature and humidity. He looks forward to drinking every bottle with his wife Elisabeth.
Given his love of wine and of working with family – as well as consulting for other family businesses his whole life – it made perfect sense to him when his son David approached him about starting a wine company. John has always believed that David’s palate is outstanding, as well as his ability to pair wine and food. It seemed that everything had perfectly aligned for John, and he became the company’s first investor. When asked about a company name, John came up with Boscoe which David instantly loved. While David’s talents drive the company, John is responsible for the business side of Boscoe, as well helping to build relationships with vendors and sommeliers.
Boscoe, 1980 to 1996
David 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 – Boscoe was the natural choice.
As David says simply, “Boscoe was the best cat who ever existed.”