Red Thread Wines, Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery

2022 Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain

2024 Offering
Premiere Napa Valley
Auction 28 | Lot No. 4
Vintage: 2022

Red Thread Wines, Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon
Howell Mountain

10 cases produced


  • Cabernet Sauvignon made with 2% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc from our Howell Mountain estate
  • Low-yielding site (2.5 tons an acre) produces small berries and concentrated wines from 2,000 feet
  • Aging 26 months in barrel, this wine is a signature of our estate: power, depth and ageability
  • The 2022 vintage marks 52 years since our multi-generational family winery was founded


This Cabernet Sauvignon is not only representative of the power, depth and ageability of wines from the esteemed Howell Mountain appellation, but also of 52 years of experience farming on rocky, mountain soils. The wine is a tale of two generations - a collaboration between Summit Lake Vineyards, a multi-generational family winery that helped pioneer the Howell Mountain region, and Red Thread Wines. The latter is the Summit Lake family’s secondary wine label, which was created by co-owner and winemaker Brian Brakesman and his wife Gretchen in 2014. This wine will transport you right to the 1880s Brakesman home, which Brian’s dad Bob purchased in 1971. At the time, the 28 acres of land was planted to pre-Prohibition Zinfandel but had been abandoned for 30 years and required the family to start its winery dream from scratch. Today, Summit Lake is one of the longest-standing producers in Napa’s eastern hills. More than a wine, this is a poetic statement in a bottle about the value and survival of small family producers in the ever-evolving Napa Valley.

Wine Facts

  • Single vineyard wine
  • Sustainably produced
  • Wine is 100% estate grown and bottled

Brian Brakesman

Winemaker, Red Thread Wines

Winemaker, Brian Brakesman

Brian was born and raised on Howell Mountain at Summit Lake Vineyards, a boutique family winery famous for its Zinfandel.

Working alongside his parents and siblings, Brian developed an appreciation for the art and culture of winemaking, learning every step of the process from vine to bottle.

To formalize his education, Brian studied agricultural engineering at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. Here, he learned of his exceptional aptitude for identifying the intricate details of wine composition and terrior, and further developed his intuitive grasp of the elements essential to winemaking.

After graduation, Brian spent a year traveling the world to broaden and develop his knowledge of wine, stopping for a season of wine and rugby in New Zealand. Wanderlust abated, and palate for worldly wines temporarily satiated, Brian returned home to Napa Valley. He immediately began working with acclaimed consulting winemaker John Gibson, formally of Stags Leap Wine Cellars and Vine Cliff Winery. Here, Brian helped John make wines for celebrated clients including Snowden Vineyards, Andrew Geoffrey, and Salexis.

After apprenticing with Gibson for 3 years, Brian became the Assistant Winemaker for Duckhorn Wine Company's Paraduxx Winery. Under famed winemaker Bill Nancarrow’s tutelage, Brian learned to balance the complexities of large-scale winemaking with the high standards and intricacies associated with top-notch, legacy brands.

Four years later, Brian was hungry to run the show and accepted the Winemaker position at Ledson Winery in Sonoma. Employing the skills and unique enological insights developed over his lifetime, Brian made over 82 wines per vintage from a catalog of diverse growing regions over his 4-year tenure at Ledson, and significantly elevated the quality of wines and brand.

Today Brian is the Winemaker at Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery, Consulting Winemaker, Owner at burgeoning Red Thread Wine Company, and lives with his wife and children just around the corner from his family winery on Howell Mountain.

Country born: United States

Years in the wine industry: 20-30 years

Winery Distribution

Red Thread Wines, Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery is distributed in the following markets. Please contact the winery directly for the most up-to-date distribution information and to explore commercial opportunities.

Red Thread Wines, Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery Contact: Gretchen Brakesman


  • Florida ( Harvest Moon Importing )
  • Indiana ( Carroll and company )
  • Nebraska ( Qwest )
  • Ohio ( Tramonte & Sons )
  • Texas ( Green Light Distribution )
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