Winemaking

“We believe that the best wines are born in the vineyard. Because we begin with some of the finest wine grapes in the world, our goal is not to construct a personality for Round Pond wines, but to allow each Round Pond wine to find its own expressive voice.”

– Miles MacDonnell

For more than a century, Napa Valley’s Rutherford region has been recognized for producing wines of rare depth and complexity, most notably rich and expressive Cabernet Sauvignon. At Round Pond Estate, we pay tribute to the personality of our estate vineyards by crafting wines that reflect the charm and sophistication of this extraordinary appellation. Made from select blocks of our best estate fruit, our wines embody the essence of a terroir-inspired, Californian winemaking philosophy.

In the vineyard, our team is a constant presence. During every step of the growing season we are working with the vines to develop balance; balanced growth, crop load, sun exposure, ripening and flavor development. With over 40 years of experience farming its vineyards, Round Pond Estate consistently delivers grapes of the highest possible caliber. Our non-interventionist winemaking approach lets the inherent quality of the fruit speak.

Our mission with white winemaking is to highlight the freshness of the grapes’ aromas and preserve a crisp clean mouthfeel. For textural and aromatic depth we harvest grapes from various sun exposures and ripeness levels. Grapes are harvested and gently pressed as whole clusters at low pressures. Fermentations are slow and cool enhancing aromatic concentration and a bright palate.

Our goal with red winemaking is to promote the saturated red and black fruited qualities which reflect our ample sunlight. Vineyard soils influence the structure and mouthfeel of our wines. For the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon we harvest from loamy soils which lend a soft texture that is approachable as a young wine. In the Bovet and Gravel tier, the fruit is sourced from specific areas in the vineyard with loose difficult soils comprised of sand and gravel. These wines showcase pronounced tannin structure, earthiness, age ability and that distinctive “Rutherford dust”. Wines will ferment in small, temperature-controlled tanks for up to three weeks before they go down to French oak barrels for a 20 month aging period.

With over 40 years of experience farming its vineyards, Round Pond Estate consistently delivers grapes of the highest possible caliber. Our non-interventionist winemaking approach lets the inherent quality of the fruit speak and allows each wine to find its own expressive voice.

Thomas Rivers Brown
Consulting Winemaker

Our Consulting Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown is one of the most exciting young talents in Napa Valley. Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Thomas developed an interest in wine while at the University of Virginia. Later he expanded his knowledge of wines from all the world’s great regions while working at All Seasons Wine Shop in Calistoga. Beginning at Turley Estate in the late 1990s, and continuing today at Schrader, Maybach Cellars, Outpost and his own project, Rivers-Marie, he crafts beautiful wines that speak of the land and conditions that created them.

John Wilson
Estate Winemaker

John brings a wealth of experience through various winemaking positions in Napa and Sonoma counties. A graduate of the University of Colorado, Boulder, he has most recently been the Winemaker at Vine Cliff Winery. He has worked with Thomas Rivers Brown and held winemaking roles at notable wineries including Thomas George Estates, Littorai Wines in Sonoma and Rivers-Marie and Outpost Wines in Napa.