The 16-acre Gemstone vineyard is truly a study in terroir. Situated on a gradual, west-facing slope along the Silverado Trail near the town of Yountville in the Napa Valley, the vineyard has gravelly alluvial soil over sandstone bedrock, avoiding the vigor of deep, rich soil. 18 different blocks within the vineyard are planted to ten Cabernet Sauvignon clones, two Merlot clones, two Cabernet Franc clones and two Petit Verdot clones. All the vines are densely planted on a variety of rootstocks carefully matched to the soil; each clonal block is farmed separately. The blocks are fermented individually as well, yielding a distinctive palette of fruit and flavors from which Gemstone wines are born. Gemstone produces and Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and an Estate Red Blend.
Meticulous farming of our exceptional vineyard gives us the potential to make great wines. Under the direction of winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, grapes are hand picked and placed in small bins in the vineyard. Once they reach the winery, the grapes are hand sorted to make sure that only the best grapes get pressed. The juice is fermented in many small lots using native yeasts, which best preserves the unique character of each vineyard block. The wines are then aged for a minimum of 20 months in French oak barrels from some of the finest coopers in France including: Ermitage, Taransaud, Francois Freres, and Baron. During the aging process, Thomas constantly evaluates the wines, ultimately selecting only the lots that best reflect the character of vineyard.
Winemaker: Thomas Rivers Brown
We are fortunate to partner with winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, one of the most extraordinary talents in winemaking today. His non-interventionist approach aligns with our commitment to terroir, allowing our vineyard's character to guide the style of our wines. Originally from South Carolina, Thomas made his way to Napa Valley in the mid-1990s after graduating from the University of Virginia. His education in wine began while working as a cellar hand and lab enologist for winemaker Ehren Jordan at Turley Wine Cellars in 1997. Since that time, Brown’s wines have garnered spectacular critical and public acclaim, and he currently works with some of the most renowned wineries in Napa Valley.