About Us

About Us

 Since the days of original owner, Durant Brice’s first stage stop, Brice Station has been a must see destination for travelers from all around the world. And nothing has changed! With the addition of the tasting room to the property in 2003 the old stage stop added wine tasting to the already impressive list of things to see and do including: Pottery, Fine Art, Blacksmithing, Mechanical Printing, Livestock, Organic Gardens and Impressive Vistas.

 

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Ranch History


Originally part of a homestead deed signed by President McKinley in 1900 the land was sold to Mr. Durant Brice in 1915.

Times were tough, and making a living was nearly impossible for the people in the gold country; Brice, an industrious fellow, gathered California Spanish moss for pillow and mattress stuffing, built little cabins from salvaged doors, collected manzanita mushrooms to dry and sell, planted apple and pear orchards, built his home, a stage stop, a sawmill, and a roadhouse known as Brice Station.

In 1943 Paul (senior) and Kitty Quyle purchased the land with the reward he was given for apprehending one of the F.B.I.’s 10 most-wanted criminals (a very bad man who killed 26 people in the course of his bank-robbing career), but they also gave Mr. Brice a life-time estate on the land.

In 1954 Paul (junior) and Joyce Quyle moved to the parents’ ranch and built Quyle Kilns clay and pottery business, now the second oldest manufacturing business in Calaveras County.

In 1976 Dolores Quyle, middle daughter of Paul and Joyce, married Stuart Mast, a 5th generation farmer from Yolo County.  Stuart and Dolores helped operate the clay and pottery business, started a family of their own, and in 1993 planted the first acre of wine grapes.

Vineyard History


The site chosen for the vines was first cleared of pine trees in 1900 by original owner Fenton Davis, and had grown abundant hay crops for 90 years.

After a devastating forest fire in the summer of 1992 destroyed most of the timber on the ranch, we replanted 22,000 little pine trees. We were convinced we could  grow wine grapes at this elevation. so friends and neighbors helped plant 600 Cabernet Sauvignon -1993.

In 1994 we added another acre of Cabernet Franc and our first planting of Merlot 1998 We added another 4 acres Cabernet Sauvignon and another acre of Merlot. Those first years we sold the grapes to local wineries and 2 wineries in the Napa Valley.  After winning a number of top awards for our homemade wine we decided in 2001 to take the leap into commercial wine making.

Remembering Robert

Remembering Robert

ROBERT LOWELL MAST


December 6, 1990 – May 13, 2016

Born in San Andreas, California and growing up in the foothills, Robbie loved to explore the outdoors. Whether roaming the family ranch, ski instructing at Bear Valley, or intrepidly hiking the Utica flume his sense of adventure was never quenched.

Robbie was an accomplished student, attending Avery Middle School, Bret Harte Union High School and Sonoma State University. While at Avery, Robbie’s natural leadership skills shone brightly as an honor roll student, as the first sixth grade student to be elected to student council and as the school’s chosen representative at the Junior National Young Leaders’ Conference in Washington D.C. In 2008, he represented Bret Harte at The American Legion California Golden Boys’ State. He was an imaginative visual artist and instinctive theatrical performer as evident from his local fair ribbons and countless playbills. He honed his artistic skills with aplomb in graphic design and in numerous building projects.

Robbie spent memorable summers as a camper and counselor at Hidden Valley Camp in Maine where he fostered deep connections. Family travel to Hong Kong and Europe were modest beginnings to Robbie’s continuous explorations, most notably, his twenty-two month bicycle trip, which began in New Zealand and wound through Thailand, Singapore, Istanbul, Bulgaria, Italy, and France before culminating in England at Embercombe, a self-sustaining farm and spiritual center. During his travels, he volunteered, worked on vineyards, and made countless friends.

When Robbie returned home in 2014, he became instrumental in the expansion of the businesses at Brice Station with visionary plans for their future. Working with his family and friends, he took a major leadership role in expanding the performance venue for concerts and Shakespeare productions, heading design and marketing developments, implementing sustainable farming practices, building a variety of inventive structures and involving himself in all aspects of winemaking. Life on the property will never be the same without Robbie’s physical presence, though his spirit can be recognized throughout his family home.

Robbie will be remembered as a skilled woodsman, a creative chef, gifted artist, actor, and designer, accomplished farmer, fervent builder, and an enthusiastic adventurer. He was an ever-loyal son to Stuart and Dolores, Leda’s cherished brother, Brittany’s loving partner, a treasured grandson, nephew, and cousin, a life-long friend to an expansive circle of friends. He made an incomparable impact on the world around him. His ecstatic pursuit of his passions, disarming personality, and quiet gentleness will live on in the innumerable lives he touched.