Wine ‘vintage’ means nothing to Millennials. Can this winemaker’s unorthodox plan win them over?

To make his Napa Valley bottles affordable, Tom Gamble blended wine from multiple years

Pouring The Mill Keeper wine into a glass on the beach

In wine, the concept of vintage is sacrosanct. If wine is meant to be an expression of time and place, vintage — the year in which a wine’s grapes were harvested — is the time variable: The specific weather in a given year will influence how its wines taste. Wine experts take vintages so seriously that you may actually hear them debating, as a real-life, not made-up example, whether 1961 or 1959 was the superior year in Bordeaux.

But in Napa Valley, the tumult of fire, drought and cost increases in recent years caused one winegrower to rethink the idea of vintage-dated wine. And in this case, getting rid of the vintage turned out to be a great way to make a high-quality wine at a lower price.

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