About Us

Vineyard 36 was created by a shared vision and a common goal to create unique and exceptional wines. Nothing comes to fruition simply because someone declares it so. Discipline, persistence, dedication, and a competitive spirit are all prerequisites for success. Passion becomes contagious when it is shared.

Sourced from premier estates, the Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines of Vineyard 36 express the diversity of Napa Valley's finest terroirs. Our winemaking philosophy is to create powerful, elegant and complex wines that express the essence of the region.

Cam Ward

Cam became interested in wine in his rookie season in the National Hockey League as the team traveled all over the country and typically ate at fine steakhouses before games. He would credit Ray Whitney, one of his teammates for introducing him to “fine wine”. As he began to try these wines he started to get more accustomed to what styles of wines he liked, and would soon get familiar with an assortment of Napa Valley wineries that he would soon start to collect.

Cam recently completed construction of his personal wine cellar at his home where he carefully stores his collection in a temperature controlled environment. A few of his most cherrished bottles include an 07 Harlan, etched 3 litre of Continuum, and 07 Hundred Acre Ark. As his pursuit of discovering premium Napa Valley Cabernet's grew, his passion burned for creating his own wines under his winery, Vineyard 36.

“I love the whole concept of wine, sitting around the living room sharing a glass while telling stories with friends. There’s nothing better."

Tim Gleason

Tim began enjoying wine like most professional athletes, on the road with their teammates at fine restaurants the night before a game. The start of Tim’s passion for wine began about 6 years ago at a team dinner where someone suggested a vintage Bordeaux. His interest peaked as he began to learn more about the varietals, regions and styles of wines that were out there to explore. As he began to venture out of his comfort zone of vintage wines, he found a love for California Cabernet Sauvignon. Over the last several years he has enjoyed expanding his personal collection of Napa Valley Cabernet’s including such favorites as Paul Hobbs and Caymus Special Select.

It was only natural that his passion for cult Cabernet’s would lead him to an opportunity to create wines under his own winery in Napa Valley. After his first conversation about crafting his own wines he was very excited about the entire process from the vineyard to the bottle and now that dream is a reality with Vineyard 36.

“I love being around people that enjoy wine like I do, it’s amazing what conversations can come out of one glass of wine, let alone a bottle.”

Jason Earnest

Jason spent much of his early life in Southern Maryland and in 1996 moved south to begin his college years at East Carolina University, where he studied Corporate Finance. Upon graduating he started his career in asset management where he met a gentleman who introduced him to the idea of one day following his passion for wine and owning his own winery in Napa Valley. After a trip to Napa Valley and being fortunate enough to experience a wine tasting cave tour with Dave Del Dotto of the famed Del Dotto Vineyards, his mission began.

Jason instilled his business philosophy and inspired his team to share his values in founding the highly-acclaimed winery, Tobacco Road Cellars. His wines drew the attention of wine critics, restaurateurs and professional athletes around the country, beginning a friendship and passion for sharing exceptional wines with Cam Ward and Tim Gleason. It was over dinner on a road trip to where Jason now calls home, the fast paced NYC, that Ward, Gleason and Earnest's vision of creating their own unique wines would come to fruition under their new winery, Vineyard 36.

Keith Emerson, Director of Winemaking

Keith Emerson joined Vineyard 36 as Director of Winemaking in 2017 charged with managing and directing the production of our wine portfolio. The opportunity to interact with Napa Valley’s esteemed growers and winemakers has been an integral part of his professional development. With over 12 years of winemaking and vineyard experience, Emerson’s leadership, can-do attitude and organizational skills have earned him the respect of his peers. That respect has enabled us to secure some of the most prestigious fruit in the world.

Emerson obtained his Enology and Viticulture degree from the University of California at Davis in 1999. After a year at Cakebread Cellars, he accepted an enologist position with Sonoma’s historical Gundlach Bundschu Winery. Emerson quickly excelled to assistant winemaker, soon after was named associate winemaker and became solely responsible for Gundlach Bundschu’s second label, Block 13. The Block 13 program enabled Emerson to cultivate his own personal style of wine and gave him valuable experience in developing a wine brand from the ground up. In March 2004, Emerson traveled to Martinborough, New Zealand to work for Palliser Estate Wines. For him, the experience of working a vintage in the southern hemisphere was remarkable.

We are humbled to have Keith on the Vineyard 36 team.

Scott Barber, Director of Hospitality

Scott, like many wine professionals, came to wine indirectly. He was a student of Art History in college living in Italy and 'wasting time in museums and churches'. He later went to New York to work in the art business with auction houses including Sotheby's and Christie's as a specialist in paintings and vintage guitars. Scott developed connoisseurship skills to identify quality across many genres, which later became invaluable in wine.

Laundry in Napa Valley, The Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and various other restaurants working with Chef John Tesar. He won the Texsom Texas Best Sommelier competition in 2008 and passed the Advanced exam in 2009. He also worked in distribution representing many of Napa's most exclusive wineries and Europe's finest estates. He ran the top wine department in Dallas' largest retail chain, Centennial, traveling to Europe to negotiate large purchases and bringing new wineries into the state.

Scott left Texas to move to Napa to take over the Wine Education program for Meadowood Napa Valley, America's top wine resort. He immersed himself into studying Napa and developed strong relationships with many top wineries.

For tasting appointments please email Scott at: scott@vineyard36.com

Our Vineyards

The world famous Napa Valley region is home to some of the finest wines in the world. We are lucky to have the opportunity to source our fruit from two of the most treasured appellations in the Valley, Oakville and Stags Leap.

Located in the heart of Napa Valley, Oakville is at the base of the Vaca Mountains to the east and the Mayacamas Mountains to the west. Within this small district you will find the greatest concentration of Napa Valley’s premier vineyards growing the coveted Cabernet Sauvignon.

Oakville such an influential appellation that you will find you will find such wineries as Robert Mondavi, Joseph Heitz to powerhouse brands Groth, Far Niente, Opus One and Joseph Phelps, through “cult Cabernet” producers Dalla Valle, Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle, tells the condensed story of Napa Valley wine. It’s not hard to imagine why Vineyard 36 has chosen the meticulously grown vineyards of Oakville to craft our unique wines.

Stags Leap is just south of Oakville and provides us with a particularly unique terroir for our Cabernet Sauvignon. The soil of this region include loam and clay sediments from the Napa River and volcanic soil deposits left over from erosion of the Vaca Mountains. A turning point for the region was in 1976 at the Judgment of Paris wine tasting, where 1973 Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars Cabernet from the area that would become this AVA won first place in the red wine category, beating out Bordeaux estates.

Panek Vineyard St. Helena Block 4B, clone 7 on 101-14 rootstock

The farming at Panek continues to improve every year as we become more and more familiar with the individual blocks.  We have secured Block 4B, predominately clone 7 from the rockiest section of the vineyard.  The vineyard is adjacent to the esteemed Aida Vineyard on a rocky, gently sloping knoll in the shadow of the Mayacamas Mountains. The loamy soil, with its highly compacted alluvial deposits of gravel, provides optimal drainage. The valley basin is also more temperate than the hillsides surrounding St. Helena, making it ideal for slower ripening and full development of flavors. These elements coalesce in low yields of reliably superb fruit. Vines at Panek are densely spaced and pruned using the “two straight cane” method, which requires a specific skill set and hands-on, time-intensive attention. The ultimate goal is to allow the “site to shine through” the wine.