The Montebruno name comes from Joe's grandmother, Angela Montebruno, who showed him how to make wine. She and Joe's extended family were Italian immigrants living in New Jersey. Growing up in a house with several generations together, Joe got to watch and help make sausage, can tomatoes, and eventually make wine under the tutelage of his grandmother, who was the family winemaker. Joe started making beer using some of the carboys in their cellar, and moved to Oregon after getting a job at Deschutes Brewery. After seeing and tasting the Pinot Noir there, he pivoted to wine. Joe used the same techniques he was taught by Angela. Though she never used additives or any sulfur, Joe says she was able to produce "very beautiful, expressive wines." The Montebruno wines Joe now makes use little or no sulfur, with similar results, but using fruit from organic and Biodynamic vineyards in Oregon.