What began many years ago for Paul and Suzie Frank as a casual interest in wine escalated into a passionate search for a place to make a very unique wine. When they found their tiny jewel-like vineyard nestled between rolling knolls in Napa Valley, Gemstone seemed the perfect name. It is now a name well known to cult wine enthusiasts and is synonymous with excellence. They first divided their small vineyard into micro-blocks of five distinguished clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, two clones of Merlot, two clones of Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. A no-compromise strategy was agreed upon, resulting in a dense planting of the vines on a variety of rootstocks carefully matched to the soil. Labor intensive cane pruning, meticulous canopy management and nutritional monitoring were employed. New levels of quality control were introduced with the installation of a radio telemetry weather station that downloads data to their computerized vineyard management program, along with neutron probes to monitor soil moisture. Each of the micro blocks is vinified seperately, and then later blended to make the final selection of wines. Gemstone produces three limited-production estate Cabernet Sauvignon selections—Heritage, Alluvial and RubyThe results are wine of the highest quality each year, with a true Gemstone vineyard "signature" as well. In 2017 Thomas Rivers Brown, one of Napa Valley's best known consulting winemakers, became winemaker for Gemstone wines. Brown has been associated with some of Napa Valley's most distinguished labels, including his own, Rivers-Marie. The results have been astounding.
At a Glance
- The Gemstone vineyard was planted by Paul and Suzie Frank over 25 years ago in the Napa Valley sub-AVA of Yountville. The property was later purchased by the Marks family in 2008
- The 16 acre vineyard is comprised of 20 “micro blocks” and several clonal selections of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Cabernet Franc
- Each block is vinified seperately and later blended to produce one of three Cabernet’s from the estate
- In 2017 Napa’s most famous winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, took over the reigns at Gemstone