"There was no TV, no pool, bugs everywhere—it was like camping," Coral says now. "No, it was like work camp!" Deneen interjects, citing the chores that would await their arrival: painting and renovating, mulching and weeding, and tending to 10 acres of newly planted grapevines, whose fruit was sold to neighboring wineries. Eventually, though, the three fell in love with the property. "We realized what a special place it was," David says, "and what it symbolized: the opportunity to live off our own land and create our own destiny." The siblings shifted into making their own wines in 1996; today, they produce 5,000 cases a year, garnering high marks from industry critics.
As the meal continues, citrus zest and mineral-rich fleur de sel cut through the rich lobster and crème fraîche salad
, served on oversize herbed croutons. The Browns picked their full-bodied 2006 Chardonnay to go with the lobster salad because the wine's natural acidity cuts through the richness of the shellfish.