Bringing Local Wine To Brentwood
When the 633 First Street location opened up downtown, Dafne Swisher made sure that her friend Becky Bloomfield was the first to know.
The two had been seriously discussing the idea of opening up a wine bar in Brentwood, and the charm of downtown had the perfect appeal. “This was a completely new venture for both of us,” Becky said. “Neither of us had worked in hospitality before.” As a local farmer and winemaker, Becky knew that there weren’t any establishments that featured East County products. “There wasn’t anywhere in this county where people like Bloomfield, Tamayo, Hannah Nicole, and other small boutique winemakers could showcase their wines.” So, she and Dafne decided to do something about it.
Co. Co. County Wine Company opened their doors on February 15, 2008. They chose their name due to federal grant requirements for the Brentwood Grown program. “We sold local product, and I happened to be the farmer and winemaker, so Bloomfield basically took care of all of the federal grant expectations with one person,” said Becky. “It was crazy but cool that it worked out that way.” The popular wine bar exudes an industrial wine country feel with an exposed ceiling duct and wine barrels for tables that don’t take away from the charm of the 1937 building. The room also showcases available bottles in barrels that have been cut in half and displayed on the wall behind the bar (complete with little pillows so that bottles don’t slide out). “We wanted to create a comfortable place to come in and have a glass of wine or grab a bottle to go,” said Becky. “It was exciting making these changes to the interior because there was a real community behind it.”
Becky and Dafne go out of their way to try and bring patrons boutique wines that they may have never heard of before and cannot be found in any other retail store. They only feature California wines with the exception of their imported sparkling wines and champagne. Their goal is to emphasize the local agricultural community. “We are farmers, so it’s really important that we support other California farmers. It just seems right and respectful.”
In addition to offering the public a delicious selection of wine, Co. Co. County Wine Company also has live music on the weekends, bringing exposure to mostly local artists. “Almost everyone that plays here is from the surrounding area with the exception of a couple from San Jose,” said Becky. “They love us so they keep coming back.” Becky and Dafne pride themselves on providing an inviting and safe atmosphere. “People always comment that there aren’t any shenanigans going on that they have to worry about that might make them feel uncomfortable.” The wine bar does not serve hard liquor, and they close at a decent time. While the crowd can often be a bit mature, there really is a range of age groups that spend time there. Pint night, which showcases local breweries on the third Thursday of every month, tends to draw a younger crowd. Those nights also include tacos, live music, and free raffles, all with no cover charge. February’s pint night will feature a brewery out of Martinez.
The ladies behind Co. Co. County Wine Company are planning on expanding their offerings in 2019. “We are seriously considering putting in a kitchen in the back to do some more food,” said Becky. “Right now, we are limited to only charcuterie items and popcorn because we don’t have a system in the back that is county approved.” Regardless of any upgrades or changes, the two are excited to continue to serve the public and provide them with an enjoyable, unique experience. “We look forward to being part of this community for as long as they support us.”
Business: Co. Co. County Wine Company
Address: 633 First Street, Brentwood, CA 94513
Tel: (925) 634-9463
Photos by: Ron Essex Photography