Brengman Brothers portrait

Sharing a Sustainable Vision With the Brengman Brothers

September 28, 2023 |

In this month’s Corporate Sponsor feature, Robert Brengman, of Brengman Brothers Winery at Crain Hill Vineyard, shares thoughts about the value of sustainable local ways of doing business, and how that’s best for people and planet.

What’s your Groundwork story?
Our introduction to Groundwork was through the Taste the Local Difference guide to local foods. We have been a part of this publication for a long time and believe fully in the concept. We are very proud to be listed in the directory. Through this, we found that the core structure of Groundwork’s purpose aligns well with the way we run our winery, distillery and eatery.

How does Groundwork align with what is important in your work?
Our core belief is that sustainable farming practices, clean energy investment, and carefully made and sourced local beverages and foods ensures we produce the highest quality in our work. We even use the local wild yeasts from our vineyard to ferment our wines and breads. It really doesn’t get any more local than that. These are just some of the actions that align with the Groundwork structure, we believe.

Brengman Brothers is hosting
its “Big Red Release” this weekend. Dinner 9/28, more tastings 9/29-10/1, 2023.
Stop by to sip the latest creations from the casks! See webite for details.

Why do you choose to support Groundwork?
It’s a solid organization that has an agenda parallel to ours. We need an organization that is looking out for our interests with focus, legacy, and human skills responding to negative forces and ideas harmful to the community and environment. If we don’t have this source of information, then individuals, concepts, and developments that are a threat would just happen without conversation and debate.

What is something you are currently excited about in your work and something on the horizon?
Farming and hospitality is in our blood, and we’re always looking to improve ways to farm that are better for the environment and human health. We believe that one of the most challenging acts in farming grapes is to control weeds in the vineyard. We’d always said that if there was somehow money in weeds we’d be wealthy. Our goal to eliminate weed control chemicals is on the horizon with our testing through finding a compatible ground cover that takes control of the space under the vines. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em is our motto here. Another exciting direction is the discovery of our very own wild yeast strain that is now proudly used in all of our wine and bread ferments. Following the example of many industry leaders in the Old World gave us the education we needed to get to this point. One more bit of excitement … we’ll be changing our identity from Brengman Brothers to Brengman Family Wines. Why? Because we wanted to include the complete team in the new name, plus becoming “godparents” of a new historic Wild American yeast stain had a bit of influence.  

What’s something that you love about your local and sustainable community?
We live in a very special place on this planet, a place full of resources that support quality life in all forms, including creativity. We love the idea that the core value of the community is about sustainability and local economy. Having organizations like Groundwork in the neighborhood is important to keep the needle in the healthy and thriving section of the gauge.                         

What is your niche in the community and your market?
Besides the best oyster / seafood / wine pairing experience on the planet, other niches would be the family atmosphere that comes from our legacy, creative fine art labels based on amazing stories, and the tireless commitment to doing things the right way. Our motto drives us: “Big in Handwork / Small in Footprint.”

What does community mean to you?
It means that when I spend the annual spring morning pruning vines that flank the entry signs near the road, I can expect a vehicle or two to stop, and the neighbor wants to have a chat (or rant) about some family or local news. Community is about being approachable and being involved with its health and civics. Who knows, that person who stops to talk could be new to the local scene and likes what you’re doing at the winery and grounds and may have dozens of old bottles of fine wine to gift to you as a testimony to being a bright spo