Passion Fueled

Home to some of the most prestigious wineries in the world, the Napa Valley offers terroir-driven wine portfolios showcasing the region’s eminence. For Founders, Cam Ward, Tim Gleason, and Jason Earnest,  dedication  and passion have built the foundation for Vineyard 36.

Introduced to wine during their professional careers in the National Hockey League, Cam Ward and Tim Gleason developed their palates through travel, experiences, and friendships.

“I credit Ray Whitney for introducing me to fine wine during my rookie season,” said Cam Ward. “By the second half of my career, I was that guy who ordered wine off the wine list for the table.”

Through shared interest and camaraderie, Ward and Gleason found a partner in Jason Earnest. Jason’s expertise and experience with the wine industry led to an incredible opportunity.

tim gleeson

“Over dinner, we decided to join forces,” said Jason Earnest. “As collectors, we wanted our brand to be on that level. Working with the finest terroirs to craft premium Napa Valley wines.”

Together, Ward, Gleason, and Earnest launched Vineyard 36 in 2009. With  a focus on Cabernet Sauvignon, the boutique winery pays homage to the incredible careers of Ward and Gleason. Their label Vineyard 36 is derived from an amalgamation of their jersey numbers Ward (30), and Gleason (6), and the branding of their wine portfolio embodies the strength and vitality behind the National Hockey League. Their Black Aces Cabernet and Foundation Red Blend’s labels are designed with a hockey ring-shape and skate marks, and their signature Cabernet Sauvignon, Five Bands, is embellished with five bands of gold, a salute to the five tiers on the bottom of the Stanley Cup.

With just under 1000 cases produced, grapes are sourced from the Panek Vineyard in Saint Helena, Candlestick Ridge Vineyard on Howell Mountain, Georges III in Rutherford, Orchard Avenue in the Oak Knoll District, and True Dog Knoll in Oakville.

v36 bottles

“From the beginning,  we  took  all  of  the proper steps. We selected the best vineyard sites and did everything we could to make the best wines possible,” expressed Founder, Tim Gleason.

Working in collaboration with Winemaker Keith Emerson, Vineyard 36’s wines embody elegance and strength. From vine to bottle, Emerson’s guiding hands have elevated the premium wine brand. Receiving accolades from esteemed wine critics, Vineyard 36 is making its mark.

“Cam, Tim, and Jason strive to be the best of the best and shoot for the stars,” said Emerson. “They are all in and have given me all of the resources I need to make great wines.”

With the motto, “Passion Becomes Contagious When Shared,” Vineyard 36 offers a glimpse into a vision inspired by three fervent connoisseurs.

“What started as a passion has turned into the adventure of a lifetime,” expressed Ward.



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Article By: Valerie Owens