Norm 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 one, he morphed from a beer drinking football player into a winemaking craftsman. During his 30+ vintages in the industry, Norm worked for diverse wineries in cool climate regions, from Oregon’s Willamette Valley to the Russian River in Sonoma County and finally Santa Barbara County. 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 vineyard designated Pinot Noir and sparkling wine. Half of Norm’s winemaking career has now been in Santa Barbara County, where he celebrates working with Central Coast fruit. He is currently president of World of Pinot Noir; formerly a board member of Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance and Santa Barbara County Vintners Association and winemaking instructor at Allan Hancock College.
Two pygmy goats, Never and Epernay, inspired Norm to name his winery Flying Goat Cellars.
The goats were his pets and lawnmowers and came to be a source of entertainment and enjoyment, with their unrestrained spiral loops, flipper turns and straight-legged leaps. When pondering a name for his new wines and brand, Norm wanted to project fun, enjoyment, and happiness. While many people put their own name or their children’s name on their label or vineyard, Norm’s playful spirit opted to name it after his kids. His kids, of course, were those two pygmy goat pets, who had always inspired him and made him laugh.
The winery was “launched” with this same spirit of enthusiasm and Flying Goat Cellars was born.
Cool Climate, California Central Coast Vineyards
Pinot Noir is all about “place.” When grown with care (and patience!) and treated well at the winery, this grape will express a vineyard and region like no other varietal. We are fortunate to work with very dedicated and passionate vineyard owners and growers who farm Pinot Noir to showcase “place.”