A Warm Hello From Napa Valley,
Where does one begin? Probably the year 2002 when I went back to Rookie League – a new uniform, new hat, new boots and a new dream.
It seems like only yesterday I was bush whacking my way around this little piece of heaven here on Diamond Mountain and stumbled onto an area that tuned out to be three acres south and east facing slope and saying, ”Gee, this might work“. Finding the site was a result of my wife Nancy not wanting trucks and traffic to access a potential area east of our house, but that is a story for another time.
Let the journey begin, the learning curve started literally at ground zero, adding to my vocabulary words like rootstock, clones, spur position, shatter, Pierce’s disease, wings, and verasion.
Luckily finding the perfect vineyard site was step one. Step two was putting together a team. (Sound familiar?) My lead dog has been the highly regarded vineyard manager here in Napa Valley, Jim Barbour. Jim and his lieutenants have patiently answered every entry level question I have asked, and continue to tutor me in the care and maintenance of a vineyard. And it was Jim who introduced me to the very talented winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, who had been my professor on the winemaking side of the venture.
The third cornerstone of the GTS team is Frank Dotzler, who along with his wife Kathy, own and operate Outpost Winery in the Howell Mountain district. Outpost also serves as the home base for Thomas. Right after harvest, our grapes are delivered across the valley to Outpost to go through the winemaking process, aging in French oak barrels until bottling.
This undertaking is not like going to the World Series for the first time, but it’s not far behind. Please enjoy our efforts and thanks for your patience and support.
Tom and Nancy Seaver
With 2005 being the inaugural vintage for GTS Vineyards, we weren’t exactly sure how this was going to work. The vineyard consists of two exposures planted to two clones of Cabernet on each hill. The big hill consists of clones 191 and 7 while the little hill contains 337 and 7. The two exposures ripened about 10 days apart. When the wines first went to barrel, it became obvious we had two very different wines on our hands. Blending in January of 2007 only confirmed this. The big hill wine, later to be called GTS, had a much blacker hue and more completeness to the palate. Now in the bottle, the GTS Vineyards wine is a much deeper, more brooding wine then the GTS Nancy’s Fancy. The fruit profile begins with black and purple fruits of dark cherry, plum, pomegranate, and cassis. The wine’s structure reflects its Diamond Mountain origins with additional notes of smoke and graphite helping to prolong the finish. The GTS Nancy’s Fancy, from clones 337 and 7, runs toward the redder side of the Cabernet spectrum. The clone 337 contributes a brighter cherry, stone fruit character that runs throughout the wine. The wine overall lacks the depth and complexity of the GTS bottling but more than makes up for it with its drinkability and fruit forward character. We weren’t necessarily setting out to bottle two different wines but we believe two wines to be the best expression of the vineyard for this particular vintage.
Thomas Rivers Brown