Tom NJ wrote:WTN: 2010 Ch. Thomas Winery Zinfandel
so it's probably not one we'll be having again. Shame - I like the name
Thanks Tom. I have often wondered about the wine these days. I worked there for a while back in 1994/1995 timeframe. The winery was completely different then. At that time they made nine wines (Cab, Merlot, PN, Zin, Cdr blend, Chard, SB, chenin, and a semi-sweet muscat) plus the occasional extra and all the vineyard sources were prime; Rutherford Cab, Oakville merlot, Carnerous Chard & PN, etc. The wines I thought were quite good back then and occasionally excellent. I liked them so much I served them at my wedding.
Problem was that the winery was losing money. The Fleur de Peche (semi-sweet muscat) was the big revenue generator but not enough of one so the winery was to close. The grape contracts were not renewed, the winery lease not renewed, the equipment sold to the son who was the winemaker then and he took it and relocated to Southern Indiana and opened his own winery. To sell the remaining inventory, the owner rented a tasting room space in Nashville Indiana and once there sales took off. They sold so much back inventory in such a little time that the plans to close were changed but now they lacked a winery, equipment, grape sources, and a winemaker.
So now they are sourcing from Lodi and Amador instead of Napa. Not sure who is making the wine these days. Lastly, I see a large quantity of wines on the website that were never part of the winery I knew that appear to be focused on sales to non-wine drinkers.
In short, the winery went from one striving to make a certain quality of wine without regards to profits and over the course of years appears to have switched to one focused on profits over quality. While, I wish it were not the case, I was there during the prep for shutdown and understand first hand that the market was not supportive of their original intent. I owe a great debt to the Thomas family for indulging my interst in wine and being more than employers. They encouraged me to follow my love of wine and shared with me much more knowledge and experience than one could ever expect. I am glad that they appear to be profitable and hope that Charlie still makes a Family Reserve even if its no longer for sale.