The GRADE Cellars | 1236 LINCOLN AVE | CALISTOGA, CA 94515 | (707) 967-8200
© 2018 The GRADE Cellars ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Thomas, a native of Sumter, SC, pursued his interest in wine to Napa Valley after college in 1997. Since the beginning of his winemaking career at Turley Wine Cellars in 2001, he’s received innumerable accolades from the press and is probably best known for the Cabernet Sauvignons he crafted for Schrader Cellars.
Wine Spectator featured Thomas on the cover of its November 2018 issue as Napa Valleys “Top Gun”. Food & Wine Magazine named him Winemaker of the Year in 2010. Both Wine Spectator and The Wine Advocate have bestowed multiple 100 point scores on Cabernets made by Thomas over the past decade.
Thomas made his debut at THE GRADE Cellars with our 2012 “Kingly Project” Cabernet Sauvignon which received 99 Pts from Robert Parker and our 2012 Winfield Estate Cabernet Sauvignon with 97 Pts. Since that impressive start we’ve continued our focus on making the best wines possible from our site - and the acclaim has continued as well.
Thomas’ atheleticism sustains him through the stress of harvest. And his Aston Martin Rapide allows him to materialize, never late, at vineyard meetings.
Napa Valley is home to many exceptional winemakers. Then there’s Thomas Rivers Brown.
Thomas joined THE GRADE Cellars at the end of the 2011 harvest and has brought an exciting new palate and keen vineyard perception to our wine program.
Thomas makes our wines at Sundance Ranch in Calistoga along side his own project, Rivers-Marie. When asked what differentiates his many brands, he responds, “I can’t really define it, but I know it when I taste it.” He takes pride in there not being a recognizable trait in his wines - spoken like a true artist - and calls himself a non-interventionist. His talent exceeds those terms.
Thomas spoke about our site in 2017:
“Cabernetwise, I’m involved with maybe 80 vineyards, and I’d say y’all’s site is at least in the top ten.
“Just based on wine quality, every year we taste your wines after fermentation and are amazed how good they are.
“Winfield has a bit of a mini To-Kalon feel in that the different clones taste different, the different blocks taste different, and I can put your three wines in front of ten people and there might be #1’s for all three blocks among those ten people.
“The quality is incredibly high.”
Thomas Rivers Brown