Adelle “Boots” Brounstein, 92, the owner and co-founder of Diamond Creek Vineyards, passed away on Wednesday, July 31 at the Adventist Health Hospital in St. Helena.
Brounstein died after a short illness, said her son, Philip Ross, who has been running Diamond Creek Vineyards along with his mother. “The legacy that my Mom and my late step-father, Al Brounstein, built with Diamond Creek, as the first vineyard in the state of California to exclusively produce Cabernet Sauvignon, is legendary,” Ross said.
“Mom was the heart of Diamond Creek,” said Ross, adding, “What she and Al did as pioneers, helping to bring the French idea of terroir to the Napa Valley, was extraordinary, perhaps only exceeded by the great work she did over the past decade since Al’s passing in 2006 to maintain Diamond Creek’s renowned place in the wine world.”
Boots Brounstein was born on Feb. 25, 1927 in Oakland. She was raised in Los Angeles, where she met Al on a blind date in the mid-1960s. Al was a widower and Boots was a divorcee. They married and found the property that became Diamond Creek Vineyards in 1967. They cleared the land, planted the first new vines on Diamond Mountain since Prohibition, and established the business in 1968.
In his 60s, Al was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and in a series of fundraising events called “Diamonds in the Rough,” Boots raised a significant amount of money for the Parkinson’s Institute in Sunnyvale.
“Whether it was the establishing of Diamond Creek, or the battle fighting Parkinson’s, or the worldwide acclaim the winery has received, Boots and Al were truly a team like no other,” Ross added.
Boots is survived by her sons Phil and Chuck Ross, their wives Susan Kopperman Ross and Susan Black Ross, her sisters Renee and Janice, and seven grandchildren. Services will be private in Los Angeles. The date for a memorial service in the Napa Valley to celebrate Boots’ life will be announced in the near future.