The Mill Keeper is a new brand by a third-generation farmer, Tom Gamble. Tom Gamble is a Napa Valley native, and he will tell you that he is a farmer first. He produces small boutique wines in the heart of the valley. His mission is to continue the heritage of quality farming that his ancestors sowed when they first came to Napa in 1916.
Today Gamble Family Vineyards farms encompass 175 acres of prime land around the Napa Valley – Oakville, Yountville, Mt. Veeder, and Rutherford. A farmer at heart, Tom Gamble focuses on a holistic approach to farming. He chooses to farm sustainably, as he believes it proves a return that reinvests in the land. His vineyards are certified Napa Green.
The Mill Keeper
Even with its humble roots, Napa Valley wine prices in recent years have gone from affordable to sky-high. Tom Gamble created The Mill Keeper to honor that California heritage. Gamble, a leading voice in sustainable viticulture in California, has used his experience farming high-quality fruit in the Napa Valley over the last three decades to create a portfolio of wines that delivers quality at competitive price points.
Tom Gamble leverages his relationships with local farmers and growers to obtain fruit from smaller, overlooked vineyard sites in producing The Mill Keeper’s wines. This strategy supports and preserves family-owned farms to create high-quality, affordable and environmentally conscious wines.
Like the first settlers of Napa, The Mill Keeper strives to be a steward of the land and pledges to safeguard its health and surrounding ecosystems for future generations through strategic partnerships with sustainable agencies and is a partner with The National Parks Association.
“The hard work of these men and women and their dedication to the land transformed the Napa Valley into a thriving, prosperous community,” says 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 Mill Keeper – Multi-Vintage Approach
The two flagship wines are the Multi-Vintage Chardonnay and the Multi-Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon. Both wines are approachable, affordable, and of great quality. The Chardonnay is fresh and lively with balanced acidity. Notes of citrus, pineapple, and honeysuckle follow with hints of vanilla and spice on the palate. The Mill Keeper Chardonnay is the perfect choice for holiday parties, date nights and fireside chats.
The Multi-Vintage Cabernet Sauvignon is bright and balanced with soft tannins. The wine is elegant, complex and affordable. At $35 it is an incredible value for a Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine pairs with chilly nights by the fire and hearty family dinners.
There is no vintage on these labels. What makes these two wines unique is that they are made with a multi-vintage approach, a practice that has been around for a very long time. Multi-vintage blending is an old-world process that allows The Mill Keeper to deliver consistency and high quality with affordable price points.
I especially admired the labeling. Honoring the past and the pioneering spirit of Napa’s first settlers, the Gamble family commissioned illustrator Mark Summers for the Mill Keeper artwork to reflect the virtues of hard work and dedication. Packaged in an environmentally conscious manner, the wines are delivered in lightweight bottles with sugarcane corks and forego the use of foils.
The Mill Keeper is a small artisanal brand that allows the Gamble family the freedom to focus on quality and details. Tom Gamble pays tribute to his past while inspiring and forging a path for the future with his focus on sustainable business practices and land conservation.
***Photos Courtesy The Mill Keeper***