Story By: Fran Miller // Cover Photo By: Maria Calderon Photography
Authentic, Approachable, Affordable
While many popular wine brands claim a romantic or charming backstory, the reality is often quite the opposite. Sold and traded on Wall Street, many admired labels have fabricated a history to create consumer appeal. But one new Napa Valley wine brand finds no need to exaggerate or embellish its origin story. Authentic and artfully crafted, The Mill Keeper honors Napa Valley’s agrarian past while providing wine drinkers with high-quality, timeless, and approachable wines.
Tom Gamble is the founder of The Mill Keeper. A third-generation Napa Valley farmer with an unwavering commitment to quality and a passion for the environment, he is known for creating high-end, limited-production wines under the Gamble Family Vineyards name, which are made from high-caliber, exclusively estate-grown grapes. Named in homage to Napa’s first settlers who long stewarded the land responsibly, his newest brand, The Mill Keeper, fits nicely into his portfolio. Gamble has taken an innovative approach with The Mill Keeper – a multi-vintage approach.
Vintage is often considered a sacred construct in the world of wine – an international barometer for vinous characteristics and quality. But as the changing climate presents varied farming and grape growing challenges, the concept of vintage becomes increasingly fragile. Add to this a younger wine audience for whom vintage holds little importance, and the stage is well set for The Mill Keeper, the flagships of which are a crisp Chardonnay and a fruit-forward Cabernet Sauvignon, both ready-to-drink representations of the Napa Valley. The eye-catching labels are illustrated by artist Mark Summers whose classic, hand-hewn, scratchboard technique echoes the handcrafted nature of the wines. Summers’ artwork commemorates the artisans who crafted some of the earliest wine in the Napa Valley.
“The hard work of these men and women and their dedication to the land transformed the Napa Valley into a thriving, prosperous community,” said Gamble. “The Mill Keeper brand embodies that pioneering spirit and the Gamble Family’s desire to bring the virtues of their dedication and the resulting agrarian bounty of California’s wine country to consumers in the United States and globally.”
The brand is further inspired by Napa’s Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park, for which it is a sponsor. Built in 1946, the mill and its 36-foot, partially restored water wheel were once the center of social activity for Napa settlers. The site is protected as a state historical landmark and will serve as the location for The Mill Keeper-sponsored Napa Valley State Parks Association Historic Bale Grist Mill Harvest Dinner on September 24 from 5:30 – 9:30pm. Purchase tickets at nvspa.betterworld.org.
The Mill Keeper wines are available for purchase at www.themillkeeper.com and are distributed throughout the country in select markets.
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