Greetings from De Tomas Wines! Posted on 10 Jun 12:23
“De Tomas” simply means “from Thomas,” because that’s me, Thomas Guilliams. As many of you all ready know, I grew up working for my parents, John and Shawn Guilliams. My winemaking odyssey began in 1978, when my parents brought me to Spring Mountain in a wicker basket. My earliest memories of happy times with my family are tied to planting the vineyard, and making wine in the cellar with my father and grandfather. I officially “turned pro” in 1997, when at age 18 I took a cellar job at Caymus Vineyards. Since age 19, I have been saving toward the goal of having my own wine company, which culminated in the formation of De Tomas Wines, LLC in 2007.
In the wake of my parents’ separation and subsequent sale of Guilliams Vineyards, my wife and I are more committed than ever to continuing to blaze our own trail in the wine business. Despite our fair share of setbacks, I have recently bottled another 250 cases of extremely good wine. That’s why we need your support now more than ever, to help us continue a family tradition that began over 35 years ago.
2010 was a very lucky vintage for me. The Rose from this vintage sold out in 6 weeks, and I am only now releasing the reds. I was lucky to find such good Merlot, from Rutherford, grown on the Carpy Connely Ranch by Tom Gamble. This is the backbone of another very good red blend. I lucked out again when I found one ton of amazing Petit Sirah on a ranch south of Calistoga. I showed up a little before dawn to pick the fruit myself, and paid the farmer, Melvin Cooke. He told me to go “over by the crick, that’s where the best fruit is.” It turns out his ranch is positioned in such a way that Dunaweal lane marks the southern boundary, and a tributary creek marks the north. On the north side of this block was a gravel fan worth getting excited about. That day was a truly unique experience, picking all day to get just one ton from the ancient vines. The result is the darkest wine I have ever seen, and I spent 3 years working to tame the massive tannins while the wine aged in French oak. After blending with small amounts of Cabernet and Merlot, the finished product is a serious and hand crafted offering.
Your friend in the Napa Valley, Thomas Guilliams