1 2 3 4 5


Please join our mailing list

Twitter  Facebook



About Us

After years of experience working in fine restaurants, the partners at Dept. C Wines discovered they had one thing in common: a passion for old world wines. Founded in 2005 by Ian Bunje, Stephen Silva and Jonathan Smiga, Dept. C is inspired by Burgundy's fabled "Golden Slope" or "Département de la Côte d'Or," the origin of some of the world's most profound Pinot Noir.

As winemakers, we do everything start to finish. No shortcuts. No excuses. We're the ones doing the work, because we believe being hands-on is the only way to make great wine. From harvest to crush through barreling and bottling, our hands are literally red at the end of the day.

Dept. C is proud to create wines that have a unity of component structure, a complexity of flavors and aromas, and a lasting intensity. That elusive remembrance of place—something unique, personal, and delicious.

Dept. C wines are currently available at fine restaurants and retailers throughout the country.

About Us

Ian Bunje
Ian was introduced to the wine business through his grandfather, a founding manager of the California Association of Winegrape Growers, and one of its long time consultants. Without knowing wine would one day be an integral part of his life, Ian had the opportunity to learn from many early California wine makers. After Graduating from Willamette University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in History, Ian turned his eye to a career in the hotel and restaurant industry and graduated from the California Culinary Academy in 1994 with a degree in Culinary Arts.

Ian has held management positions with the Kimpton Group, Hyatt Corporation, Out of the Blue Inc, and Independent Exchange Services, Inc, as well as several standalone restaurants. His operational experience, along with a strong food and wine knowledge base, makes Ian a perfect fit at Dept C.

Back

About Us

Stephen Silva
Stephen has enjoyed a lifelong passion for food, wine, and the arts. Growing up, he studied jazz and classical music but ultimately decided to pursue a career in cooking. From the Culinary Institute in New York’s Hyde Park to stints at several Michelin starred restaurants in France, Spain and Italy, his work with the world’s best helped enrich his knowledge of great food and wine.

As Executive Chef of Tourelle, a Northern California destination restaurant, Stephen earned "Best of the East Bay" accolades each of the 13 years he was at the helm. During his tenure, he created and managed a 3000 bottle wine list that won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for 10 consecutive years and featured extensive selections of Europe’s legendary wines. Names like Jayer, Meo, Groffier, Chevillon, Chave, Jasmin, and Rayas were major influences in his continuing wine education.

Extending his pursuit and love of Pinot Noir, Stephen began to study winemaking in 1995 with Dr. Terrance Leighton at Kalin Cellars in Sonoma. He worked the harvest in California in 1995 and 1996, and in 1997 he traveled to Burgundy to make wine in Beaune for Dr. Leighton. Stephen produced the 1997 and 1998 vintages of Kalin’s Cote du Beaune and Beaune Premier Cru wines and, in the process, became hooked on the wines of the Cote D’Or. The elegance and refinement of these wines are the inspiration for Dept. C.

Back

About Us

Jonathan Smiga
Jonathan grew up surrounded by great cuisine and fine wines, starting a restaurant career at an early age. After working his way through both front and back of the house leadership roles at celebrated restaurants across the country, he co-founded The Wine Restaurant, a new American cuisine restaurant with over 500 wines.

On the corporate side, Smiga has held senior positions with such market leaders as Illy Espresso, Darden Restaurants, Williams-Sonoma, Robert Mondavi and The Culinary Institute of America. In addition, Smiga has gleaned insights from expansive work in consumer research, private equity, and entrepreneurial ventures that drive his perspective on innovation, market leadership, and enterprise growth.

Smiga has written a thesis at New College on the Aesthetics of Food and Wine. He went on to earn a master’s degree from the prestigious Cornell Hotel School and an MBA with honors from New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business.

Back

Philosophy

As winemakers, we do everything start to finish. No shortcuts. No excuses. We’re the ones doing the work, because we believe being hands-on is the only way to make great wine. From harvest to crush through barreling and bottling, our hands are literally red at the end of the day.

As winemaker, Stephen allows this dedication to reveal itself with delicacy and transparency. Dept C is proud to create wines that have a unity of component structure, a complexity of flavors and aromas, and a lasting intensity. That elusive remembrance of place—something unique, personal, and delicious.
Shop

Current Release     |      Future Release     |      Sold Out


Shop

Current Release     |      Future Release     |      Sold Out


Shop

Current Release     |      Future Release     |      Sold Out




Thank you for signing up for our mailing list.
Contact

Ian Bunje, Winery Manager & West Coast Sales
email: ian@deptcwines.com
tel: 415.987.1031

Stephen Silva, Winemaker
email: stephen@deptcwines.com
tel: 925.864.8345

Jonathan Smiga, East Coast Sales & Marketing
email: jonathan@deptcwines.com
tel: 949.500.5858