My name is Thomas Guilliams. I am a young winemaker from St. Helena, CA. Together with my wife, Ashleen, we have started our own company with the goal of making innovative, value oriented wines. I started working in the wine business at a very young age, and have accumulated enough experience to handle every stage of the winemaking process myself. Over the past 17 years, I have worked both in the field and in the winery to really learn the business from top to bottom.
I am currently producing wines from grapes I purchase from other growers. The process begins by visiting the ranch, talking to the farmer, tasting barrel samples of previous vintages, and conceptualizing how the wine will fit into my program. On harvest day, I arrive at the field early and work with a crew to make sure that only the very best grapes go into the bin in the first place. Then they are transported to the winery, where I crush them myself. After cold soaking, I start the fermentation and do punchdowns until I decide to press the wine off the skins. After settling the wine in tank, it spends two full years in barrels. I generally prefer French oak, but you will notice that the 2007 Red includes two Hungarian oak barrels that I paired with the cool climate Syrah.
Many of you have asked why I am making blended wines. My answer is that I am trying to produce wines of exceptional value and a key part of that is understanding how various lots of wine interact with each other. I dream of producing a reserve red wine in the near future, but right now I am focused on making the best wine under $30 that I can.