Summit Lake Vineyards & Winery

Napa Valley AVA

One of Napa Valley’s best locations, and a little slice of paradise.

Owner Bob Brakesman readily admits his beloved Summit Lake Vineyards is one of Napa Valley’s best locations, and a little slice of paradise. Located high above the valley floor at around 2,000-foot elevation, the 20-acre site is not far from the quaint town of Angwin on Napa Valley’s eastern shoulder. Brakesman purchased the property shortly before Christmas in 1971 and Summit Lake Vineyards has now been in existence for close to fifty years.

Fast forward to the present and Summit Lake Vineyards is alive and very, very well. From its first releases in 1978, the smallish winery has continued to produce award-winning wines in the red varietal categories. Summit Lake Vineyards was one of the first Napa wineries to produce Zinfandel from preprohibition vines Brakesman discovered when first cleaning up the property. He got to know Joe Swan who was a true pioneer of Old Vine Zinfandel in the area, followed his lead, and the rest is history. The modern Summit Lake Vineyards produces between 1,800 and 2,000 cases annually, and expects to reach around 2,500 cases in another year or two. Summit Lake Vineyards’ Zinfandel continues to be one of the most successful wines offered from the Napa Valley winery.

Summit Lake Vineyards and Winery is totally family-oriented with Brakesman’s daughter Heather Griffin serving as the entity’s general manager, and his son Brian serving as the winemaker. Brian’s past stints at both Domain Chandon Winery and Beringer Vineyards helped prepare him for his current role. Heather’s husband, Mark Griffin, is another key ingredient. While managing vineyards at the iconic Harlan Estate and other top vineyard properties, he also oversees the vines at Summit Lake Vineyards. Everyone works very hard and that continues to make the team a really tight knit family.

Summit Lake Vineyards has been awarded numerous medals and accolades during its existence, which is no small feat when you consider the number and facilities of many of its Napa competitors. We hope you enjoy getting to know this well-established and very successful small family winery in Napa Valley. Cheers!

Featured Wines

Brian Brakesman - Winemaker

Dear Platinum Series Wine Club Members,

On behalf of Summit Lake Vineyards and Winery and the Brakesman family, I would personally like to thank you for taking the time to enjoy our wines. Our family has been producing high-end Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel on Howell Mountain for over 44 years. During that time, we have made many great friends who share with us one common belief: Life is about good friends, good times, and fantastic wines.

To date, our winery produces less than 2,000 cases, focusing on 100% estate fruit. We are family run and operated and strive to have our hard work and dedication be truly represented in each bottle of wine we produce. Our winery sits 2,000 feet above the Napa Valley in the Howell Mountain AVA. Known for our Zinfandel and Cabernet, we also produce small quantities of Rose, Petite Sirah and Zinfandel Port.

Winemaking at Summit Lake Vineyards has always been about family. Bob Brakesman (founder and Howell Mountain Pioneer) has recently passed his duties on to me to help elevate our wines to an even higher quality standard. While I strive to keep the winemaking vision of my father, I also believe that with my own style, technical expertise and attention to detail are making our wines better and better every vintage. Again, enjoy!

Thank you!

Brian Brakesman
Summit Lake Vineyards