Experienced Napa Winemaker Tom Gamble Launches New Wine Brand: The Mill Keeper

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“I fondly remember when 1970s and 1980s California negotiator-style wines were shared at my parents’ table,” says Gamble. “Over the past few decades, Napa has continued to achieve higher levels of excellence. As quality and reputation grew, demand grew and more and more Napa Valley wines became wines for a special occasion. But Napa Valley’s roots are humble, and Mill Keeper is designed to honor that heritage and bring California Cabernet back to the everyday dinner table.

The Gamble family’s historic relationships with farmers allow The Mill Keeper to source fruit from generational vineyards and breathe new life into smaller, neglected sites in an effort to preserve family farms. In doing so, The Mill Keeper sources responsibly grown fruit to create high quality, eco-friendly wine at a value. Like Napa’s early settlers, The Mill Keeper strives to be a steward of the land and is committed to protecting its health and the surrounding ecosystems for future generations through strategic partnerships with sustainable agencies.

Today, The Mill Keeper is a proud sponsor of Napa State Historic Park, Bale Grist Mill, which served as inspiration for the brand. The mill was established in 1849 by Dr. Edwin Bale, an Englishman and General Vallejo’s chief military surgeon. An untimely death left his widow, María Ignacia Soberanes Bale, to become the new miller. She successfully operated the mill and became a mainstay of Napa Valley’s first community. Inspired by the heritage of Soberanes Bale, The Mill Keeper Multi Vintage Chardonnay and The Mill Keeper Cabernet Sauvignon labels feature artwork that commemorates the artisan women who crafted some of Napa Valley’s earliest wines.

“The hard work of these men and women and their dedication to the land have transformed Napa Valley into a thriving and prosperous community,” says Gamble. “The Mill Keeper brand embodies this pioneering spirit and the Gamble family’s desire to bring the virtues of their dedication and the resulting agrarian wealth of California’s wine country to consumers across the United States and around the world.”

The artist behind The Mill Keeper labels is Mark Summers, who specializes in the classic techniques of scratching, a medium once popular in print publications that became essentially obsolete in the 1970s. Summers has devoted his three-decade-long career to rekindle the popularity of these artistic techniques, using his own pen and knife to work with brands ranging from Rolling Stone Magazine to the United States Postal Service. The Gamble family, recognizing the painstaking dedication such an artistic style requires, commissioned artwork from Summers for The Mill Keeper to reflect the hard-working virtue of Napa’s early settlers.

Beyond the labels, The Mill Keeper wines are packaged in lightweight bottles with cane corks and forego the use of foil. In addition to multi-vintage offerings, The Mill Keeper also produces The Mill Keeper 2020 White Wine (SRP $35), a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay; the 2019 The Mill Keeper red wine (SRP $60), a classic Bordeaux blend; and the 2019 The Mill Keeper Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $80).

These wines are available for purchase on www.themillkeeper.com and are distributed nationwide in select markets. For specific locations, please contact Jarvis Communications.

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