Winemaker Norm Yost is the “OG” (Old Goat) of bubbles in Santa Barbara County. In 2005, he launched the first sparkling wine program with Goat Bubbles Rosé. As the program grew, Yost launched a bubbles wine club (Club Celebrate) and a bubbles tasting flight. His family of méthode champenoise sparklers now includes Crémant, Rosé, Brut Cuvée, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs (2 expressions) and Pinot Meunier. His 2015 Goat Bubbles Blanc de Noirs Bien Nacido Vineyard illustrates the ageability of Yost’s sparklers, which is typical of fine Champagne. Yost’s most recent expression, Pinot Meunier (2021 vintage), was recently released to wine club members and was quickly dubbed “Barbie Bubbles” due to the timely pink label and wax top.
Yost graduated from the University of California, Davis with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies in 1981. When his college roommate graduated from the winemaking program with a job and Norm didn’t have employment, he morphed from a beer drinking football player into a winemaking craftsman. During his 45+ vintages in the industry, Norm has worked for diverse wineries in Napa Valley, Russian River in Sonoma County, Margaret River in Western Australia and Oregon’s Willamette Valley. He refined his cool weather winemaking techniques in Santa Barbara County, where he has spent over half of his career. He attributes his vast experience in the industry to the success of Flying Goat Cellars, which he launched in 2000. As the proprietor of his own business, Norm enjoys the freedom to focus on his passion for making award winning vineyard designated Pinot Noir and méthode champenoise sparkling wine.
Yost is currently an advisory board member for World of Pinot Noir and Allan Hancock College Viticulture and Oenology Program. He was formerly a board director for World of Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara Vintners and Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance, as well as a winemaking instructor at Allan Hancock College.