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Brisa Del Mar Vineyards’ owners Gary and Maxine Kreitzer were exposed to wines at an early age. Gary was born in Germany and as the son of a French mother spent several summers growing up in France in the French wine region of Champagne and played in his uncle’s cafe and bar. Maxine’s father was from Switzerland and maintained a collection of German wines at their San Diego home which the family enjoyed for holidays and special occasions.
Both having been exposed to wine at an early age, they developed an appreciation for the fruits of the vine. Living on eight acres in San Diego, they planted a “test vineyard” of 51 vines and then doubled it the following year to 102 vines consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay.
Happy with the results, they planted a 500-vine Sauvignon Blanc vineyard on the property they owned in Julian, California. Pleased with their winemaking success in Julian, in 2009, with further expansion in 2015, they developed their primary vineyards in the Santa Fe Valley area of San Diego. Their vineyards are now comprised of over 4,000 vines in four distinct areas. They produce annually about 500 cases of wine.
Maxine and Gary share an equal passion for farming and winemaking. In 2006 they established Julian Organic Farms, a certified organic farm where they grow fruits and vegetables free from pesticides and non-organic fertilizers. They grow non-GMO apples, pears, and peaches sold to organic specialty markets. They also farm heirloom organically raised produce such as corn, tomatoes, squash, watermelon, and pumpkins, all grown in San Diego County.
When not working in the vineyard or farm, Gary is professionally involved in life science real estate. Maxine is involved with philanthropic organizations. They have three grown children who enjoy participating in the farming and winemaking activities.