In 1938 Jennie Ophelia Barnum Thomson purchased parcel number 15 on the subdivision map of "Rancho Rincon de Los Carneros" at a property tax auction. The very next day she deeded the property to her Husband Matthew Alston Thomson Jr. and Father In-Law Mathew Alexander Thomson Sr. The family farmed the land (pears, apples, and prunes) under the name “M.A. Thomson” until 1965 when M.A. Thomson was the last grower to have a sales contract for pears in Napa County with California Canners and Growers.
In 1950 M.A. Thomson received a federal soil conservation grant to build the Carneros Creek flashboard dam and later in 1955 to build a 20 acre foot reservoir to irrigate the land.
At just 12 years old and the oldest of five siblings, George Alexander Thomson was responsible for the spraying, reporting, cultivation, irrigation and delivery of fruit. At that time harvest lasted 10 days and George was tasked to deliver 10 ton of fruit every day for 10 days during harvest to the Southern Pacific Railroad station, what is now the intersection of Trancas and Redwood Road in Napa Valley. The fruit was shipped across California by railway.
Because of his irrigation knowledge George went to work for Rene di Rosa when he was a junior in high school. He was responsible for the irrigation, rootstock planting, grafting and general vineyard management of di Rosa Vineyards through his graduation from Sonoma State University.
In 1970 M.A. Thomson family members began planting 50 acres of dry farmed vineyards on Cuttings Wharf Road, 30 acres on Los Carneros followed and because of the designated water rights Thomson Vineyards were the first irrigated vineyards in Los Carneros. Matthew A. Thomson Jr., Mason Iund and Abbott Williams planted the land with a combination of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Matthew A. Thomson Jr., in his late seventies, transferred the responsibility of M.A. Thomson on to his Sons George and Matt Thomson in early 2000.
Just under three acres of Merlot were planted on Monticello Road in the late 1990s known as G.A. Thomson Ranch. Between 2000 and 2011 George, “The Farmer” was solely responsible for the vineyards at the Thomson Home Ranch on Los Carneros Avenue and Monticello Road and often lent farming and harvest help to Step-Brother David Iund at Iund Vineyards of Carneros. The two, now in their 70s, can often be seen on either property loading grapes by forklift, maneuvering a tractor and three bin trailer or working on well heads and electrical panels in the off season.
In 2009 George’s oldest daughter Jennifer R. Thomson began her apprenticeship harvesting and hauling fruit for George and David. Picking what George calls, “the absolute worst time to get into farming” Jennifer single-handedly managed the 2011 harvest known by wine critics and industry insiders as the most challenging vintage in Napa Valley since 1998.
By 2012 Jennifer assumed full operation of both the Thomson Home Ranch and G.A. Thomson Ranch. Just as her Father and Grandfather have done before her, she lends support to David at his Cuttings Wharf Vineyard.
In 2015 Jennifer purchased and planted just under seven more acres in the Los Carneros AVA; named the LiveWire Ranch a reference to the high voltage power lines which span the property serving electricity to Sonoma County residents, businesses and beyond. She cultivates heritage clone Pinot Noir and Italian clone Chardonnay to differentiate the business in an ever competitive marketplace.
In 2020 seven acres of Pinot Blanc were planted at the Thomson Home Ranch, further diversifying the business.
Jennifer is dedicated to the legacy of farming premium winegrapes in the Napa Valley just as three generations have done before her and championing the role of women in farming just as her Grandmother and Great Grandmother did.
When not working with her hands in the vineyard she wears her Great Grandfather's signet ring, which dates back to the 1800s, and lives by the Thomson Family Crest day in and day out: Honesty Is Good Policy.