Cleavage Creek’s Owner Robert H. “Budge” Brown is Missing

TODAY’S UPDATE: Saying Goodbye to Robert “Budge” Brown ~ RIP ~ May 18, 2011 ~ Story is above this one on Wine-blog.


SATURDAY’S UPDATE from KGO: “LAKE TAHOE (KGO) — In the search for a missing Northern California winery owner, the wreckage of his private plane was found late Friday afternoon in the Sierra. ABC7 heard his family had been notified that there was a body in the wreckage..”


As reported in the San Jose Mercury News last evening… Carson Valley winery owner and plane missing

To view the video of Budge Brown talking about Cleavage Creek, that goes with the image above, Click Here.

As I write this, Budge Brown, owner of Cleavage Creek and Tulip Hill wineries, and long time member of PS I Love You, is currently missing. On Wednesday, he left the Minden-Tahoe Airport at 4:00 p.m., traveling in his Lancair Legacy aircraft, headed for Tracy, California. He was going to be picking up a friend to go fishing, according to The Associated Press.

At this point in time, the efforts to find Budge are in the search and recovery mode, as I find nothing new to report on this story this morning.

Family attorney J.D. Sullivan said the plane is believed to have gone down in the Sierra. He told the Record-Courier of Gardnerville that Robert H. “Budge” Brown left Minden-Tahoe Airport at 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday, in a single-engine aircraft, bound for Tracy.

From the San Jose Mercury News:

The Civil Air Patrol says a search was concentrating on northeast Amador County after radar traces last showed the aircraft southwest of Lake Tahoe. Sullivan says the radar indicated it made a rough, rapid descent.

Budge’s wife Arlene, died in 2005 of breast cancer, after 48 years of marriage. Budge named his Cleavage Creek brand in honor of his wife.

I’ve written about Cleavage Creek in the past: Sweetheart Winery ~ Cleavage Creek ~ During this Valentine’s Day Week. Budge became a huge supporter of breast cancer research, after losing Arlene. The women who grace the labels of Cleavage Creek are all breast cancer survivors. Brown has also been a big supporting of the Douglas County’s Relay for Life.


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6 Responses to “Cleavage Creek’s Owner Robert H. “Budge” Brown is Missing”

  1. Roger Paige says:


    I was first introduced to Budge when I discovered Tulip Hill Winery’s tasting room in Rancho Mirage/Palm Springs. Budge and Arlene would frequently vacation there so they decided to open a the tasting room. He’s truly a wonderful human being. My wife is a 2x breast cancer survivor, so we connected instantly.

    My prayers are out there for him.

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    It’s so sad for all of us who know Budge. Your story is very important in know both Budge and Arlene. I’m praying, too.

  3. Martin says:

    I received a call today from the winery with the news that Budge was missing and they were looking for his plane. And I, like the winery, hope they find him in the valley cursing the rescuers as to why it took so long to get to him.

    I had the absolute thrill and pleasure of meeting Budge when we featured his wine and shot the below film. It’s not difficult to see or hear his passion. A terrific individual to say the very least.
    God’s speed.


    Martin A. Cody
    Cellar Angels

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Martin, I so want him to be found cursing the CAP! Thanks for sharing.

  5. RedWineExp says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am with you in the spirit for Budge. Hope to find him soon.

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    Dear Red wine,

    Sadly, Budge plane and his body have been found. Our thoughts are now with his family at the very sad time. — jo

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