Riverain is the vision of three close friends who share a love of wine, the wine country, and a passion for developing wines that reflect the character of the prestigious sites from where they are grown.
After more than a decade of “visits" to the wine country to purchase hand crafted boutique wines, and to enjoy the spectacular scenery, Steve Nordhoff, Laurie Gray and Dean Gray decided to start the journey of creating a wine project that reflects their passion, past experiences, and love for the valley.
If you have ever been to the Napa, our story needs very little explanation as most visitors catch “the fever" upon arrival. Our personal experiences were no different. After much time spent, and a wedding held in a a small vineyard off of Silverado Trail between Dean and Laurie in the mid 2000’s, signifigant friendships with others in the area began to develop for the three of us.
Over the next several years, Steve, an attorney by profession, but a wine geek at heart, continued to coordinate countless wine tasting trips for the three of us and many of our friends. During these visits, we gained an appreciation and working knowledge of what it takes to make consistently great wine.
In 2010, Napa became further imbedded in our souls as the Gray’s purchased a home in Rutherford, not far from the Napa River. The intention of this home was to welcome family and friends, thus allowing them to enjoy the Napa experience firsthand. Riverain is a historical French term meaning “near the river" and also refers to a “local", and could not be a stronger reflection of how our partnership and lives have evolved over the past decade.
We hope that through our wines, you will feel the passion, care, and tremendous effort that has gone into each bottle by our winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown, and his fabulous team.
We would love to hear about your Riverain experience once you have tried our wines. Please contact us through our website riverainvineyards.com or through Facebook at Riverain Vineyards.
The Riverain Team,
Steve, Laurie & Dean
THOMAS RIVERS BROWN
There are many important factors that go into making a great wine, but nothing is more important than the winemaker. At Riverain, we are fortunate to have the most renowned winemaker in the industry today as part of our team. Thomas Rivers Brown has been named “Winemaker of the Year" by Food & Wine Magazine, as well as being honored by Wine Spectator as one of the hottest young talents in the business.
Thomas made history as the youngest winemaker to score two perfect “100 point" ratings from Robert M. Parker, followed by two additional “100 point" ratings from both the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator.
Born in Sumter, South Carolina, and following his graduation from the University of Virginia, Thomas worked in the restaurant industry where he discovered his love of wine. Followed by many trips to Burgundy and the Rhone Valley in the mid 90’s, Thomas decided in 1996 that it was time to move west to the Napa Valley and pursue his passion full time. His first job in the wine industry brought him to Calistoga’s premier wine shop. Thomas’s talents were hard to hide, as he quickly made the transition from selling wine to becoming the assistant winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars.
Thomas has now had over a decade of success as the head winemaker for a handful of boutique wineries, to include his own label, Rivers Marie, as well as the world renowned Schrader Cellars. Today, Thomas is committed to only working with wineries in which his unique talents can be used to create wine with unparalleled quality and characteristics.
In addition to making quality wines, Thomas makes it a priority to spend time with the most important things in life, to include his family, international travel, and his love of sports cars. He also makes it a priority to “give back" to the community by sponsoring many charitable events, as well as mentoring and training the next generation of winemakers.