The Single Vineyard Man Passes

If you have an interest in "Terroir American Style" then you probably, or should, have an interest in Diamond Creek wines. The vineyard designated wines of Diamond Creek made off of a relatively small parcel of land on Diamond Mountain in Napa Valley were among the first to give concrete recognition to the notion in America that different pieces of land create different tasting wines.

The man who committed to this idea, Al Brounstein, died Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

I met Mr. Brounstein a couple times, both at his winery on the hill. The first time was a trip to convince him to sell futures of his vineyard designated wines at He immediately told me he wasn’t interested as he already sold everything. Then he offered to give a detailed explanation of why I came to him with this business opportunity…in other words he wanted to give me his explanation of why his various small vineyard plots were so special. I forgot why I was there and listened. He had a lot to say. And I forgot why I was there.

I hate writing about important people like this after they pass because I regret not having mentioned them to readers while they are alive. It almost feels like I’m taking advantage of their death. At the same time it reminds me that there are a number of people out there that deserve continued recognition  and that I should make a greater effort to introduce them to readers, or at least remind readers of their value.

A lot of people will miss Mr. Brounstein. He helped American vintners feel more confident with the notion that vineyard designated wine is important because it is vineyard designated.

One Response

  1. Fredric Koeppel - June 29, 2006

    He was a great American winemaker and a true gentleman.

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