Our Story


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Bart and Barb O'Brien in the Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard

 



The romantic journey between Bart and Barb O’Brien began over 20 years ago. Early in their relationship Bart told Barb that he was an entrepreneur. Her response was, “I am going to have to marry you, because all my sisters are married to Irish entrepreneurs."

Little did Barb realize that she had signed up for an unpredictable adventure when she chose Bart as her life partner.  After seven long years of living in rental properties that were constantly sold from underneath them, Bart's first software startup, RSA Data Security, was acquired by Security Dynamics for $250 million. Bart had sold most of the stock to finance their wedding, honeymoon, and to purchase their first house.

They bought a house together in Piedmont when she became pregnant with their first child, Emily. The house was sold after Emily was born in order to finance their temporary Halloween theme park venture called “Scaregrounds.” After Scaregrounds fell short, Bart went back to his passion for high tech and founded Calico Commerce, a software company that configured computers for the new sales channel of the time, the internet.

Meanwhile, Barb was pregnant with her second child, and welcomed their son, Mason, into their lives. Calico Commerce eventually went public in 1999 at a valuation of $1.8 billion. Bart only sold a small portion of his stock, leaving enough for the down payment to purchase the 33 acre Costello Vineyard to make Barb's dream of owning land in Napa Valley come true.

Bart and Barb live on their estate with their four cats Motor, Hobbes, Chicharrón, and Malcolm XX.  Emily has graduated from Evergreen State College (Olympia WA) and started a granola bar business. Their son, Mason, is graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Bart is now on the Board of Directors of BioIncept, a new biotech company pursuing a new approach to treating immune disorders based on the discovery of how an embryo controls its mother's immune system. Bart has raised over $5 million for the company from angel investors, most of whom he has met at the vineyard.

Nestled within the ethereal surroundings of Napa Valley, O’Brien Estate is the direct expression of Bart and Barb’s dream. Their wines tell a story about an ever-growing, romantic relationship between two people, and are fashioned to fascinate and seduce with every sip. Each bottle is also marked on the back label with poetry from the heart of Bart O’Brien. It is the ultimate Napa Valley destination filled with love, creativity, and most importantly, irresistible Bordeaux style wines.