About Brookdale History
Our journey into the wine industry began in the vineyard. Mike Seitz, originally from New Jersey, was lured to Napa Valley by the ‘romance’ of farming grapes. Being a viticulturalist, he had the distinct pleasure of tending to some of Napa’s finest vineyard sites. He truly loved working in the vineyard. This love turned into a dream come true in 2000 when Mike founded Brookdale Vineyard Management.
For myself, my love for Napa Valley began as a child. It took many years for me to realize the beauty of being “born and raised” in Napa. As a teenager, you can’t wait to leave; as an adult, you can’t wait to return. I realized as a young adult the beauty of Napa Valley and ventured back to my hometown in 1996. Soon after, I met Mike Seitz and we married in 2000. Together, with our shared ‘love’ for Napa, we turned dreams into reality by finding success in the wine industry.
Our love for Napa Valley, Mike’s love of farming, and the opportunity to purchase premium grapes inspired us to establish our own winery, Brookdale Vineyards. While operating Brookdale Vineyard Management, Mike had the good fortune to farm grapes for several well-known growers in Napa Valley. These relationships immediately turned to opportunity! We were given the privilege to cherry-pick premium fruit from prestigious Napa Valley vineyards for our own winery. We were thrilled and leaped into the world of ‘vintners’ with full-force. Our two newly developed companies enjoyed immediate success. The connections we made in the vineyard management business proved to be prosperous for our own wine brand.
The year 2003, as we enjoyed the success of our two companies, brought both joy and sorrow to our family. In March, we rejoiced in the birth of our son, Charlie. Tragically, six months after our son was born Mike died in a farming accident in the vineyard. The challenges have been many, and the support from family and friends has been tremendous. Charlie has, and will always be my life-saver! I recall Mike saying, “Someday, my wish is for Charlie to take full control of the winery so we can sit back and relax.” His wish inspires me to guide Charlie to the best of my ability in teaching him the wine industry and hope that he will share his family’s love of Napa Valley. Charlie will be starting college in 2021 to earn a degree in viticulture. His current dream is to eventually return to Napa and learn the industry and eventually restart Brookdale Vineyard Management.
In 2017 I remarried to Brian Banducci. Together we are living a full and beautiful life raising Charlie and enjoying the wine business - while keeping Mike's memory alive. Charlie has become a mini version of his dad, which brings me great joy. Brian and Charlie are my full-time support and the backbone of my driving force to pursue the dream originally set out for Brookdale Vineyards.
In driving the winery forward to greater acclaim and prominence, I have sustained the dream along with Mike’s indomitable spirit for myself and our son Charlie. Please celebrate with me, our dedication and my ultimate commitment to keep the dream alive.