At Black Sears, we believe that the role of a winemaker is to bring out the expression of the fruit and the terroir. Black Sears wines bestow upon the palate a sense of the place from which they come—a rugged, gorgeous, mountaintop estate overlooking two magnificent valleys.
Our wines are all estate-grown. The fruit comes from only one vineyard—ours. Which means we have full control over our source of fruit: when and how much to prune, how to manage the soil, which fruit to drop, and when to harvest. This enables us to attain the quality and consistency in the vineyard that is required to make great wines year after year.
Great wine starts in the vineyard, in the soil, in the sunshine, and it starts with farming. But from there, it also requires a masterful winemaker.
Thomas Brown is the meticulous and masterful artist who crafts Black Sears wines. He is a veritable star in Napa Valley, but he knows that when it comes to great wine, the fruit is the star of the show. He simply sets the stage, and like a great director, he does it in such a way that he brings out the best in the grapes. The results of his work are beautiful wines that sing of the land and the conditions that created them.
Born in Sumter, South Carolina, Thomas developed an interest in wine while at the University of Virginia where he studied Economics and English. 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, Thomas continues to hone his craft at Outpost, Black Sears, and his own project, Rivers-Marie, among others.
When asked how he defines great wine, Thomas responds, "I can't really define it, but I know it when I taste it." For Thomas, ever humble and laid-back, great wine is simply the result of taking an outstanding grape and allowing it to fully express itself.