What’s It All About?

Norm and Kate at the La Purisima Mission fountain garden for their annual Winemaker Dinner.

Norm Yost has been making wine for over 37 vintages and has a particular passion for Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. He launched Flying Goat Cellars specializing in vineyard designated Pinots from Santa Barbara County in 2000. Later Norm courted Kate Griffith with his first release of Goat Bubbles (2005 Rosé). We don’t know if it was the bubbles or the winemaker’s charm but it culminated in a marriage and a family of wines.

Now Flying Goat Cellars produces about 2,500 cases a year and includes three labels: Flying Goat, Goat Bubbles and YNOT. Flying Goat focuses on vineyard designated Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris from Sta. Rita Hills AVA and Santa Maria Valley AVA. Goat Bubbles offers four vineyard designated sparkling wines Rosé, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs and Crémant and a blend called Brut Cuvée, all made in the traditional méthode champenoise with the secondary fermentation in the bottle.  YNOT is Pinot Noir blended from the finest of Santa Barbara County vineyards.

Flying Goat Cellars is a study in contrasts. A humorous name and a serious lineup of wines. A startup “garagista” mode and 36+ years of winemaking experience. A caricature of a leaping goat on a heavy and premium wine bottle.  A mission of merriment and a dedicated commitment to professionalism.

While we are serious about making wine, we think that the trendy wine “experience” can be too formal. The rituals of swirling, sniffing and sipping can be sensory satisfying but solemnly proclaiming “a hint of anise, with undertones of wet stone and quickly toasted cardamom from the east end of Sumatra” can be a bit pretentious. We refuse to get into the snobbishness of wine.

We believe that wine is really all about enjoyment with food, friends and family. We want to have fun making and selling the wine and invite you to join us in our “Mission of Merriment!”

Norm Yost, Winemaker/Proprietor
Kate Griffith,
Chief Philosopher/Proprietor