RHÔNE STYLE WINES
California Wines ~ Rhône Style
The Rhone Valley is divided into two diverse wine regions ~ Northern and Southern Rhone
We call them Viognier and Syrah or Shiraz but they are all descendants of grapes grown in the Rhône Valley region of France, a huge, diverse, viticultural area planted in the first century BC by the Romans.
Northern Rhône Style WinesIn the Northern Rhône there are seven major appellations including Côte-Rôtie, Hermitage and Condrieu where steep, craggy hillsides with a variety of limestone, quartz, minerals, clay, gravel, iron and sand make up the soils, however the only red grape grown here is Syrah (Shiraz) while the predominate white grapes are Roussanne and Viognier and the wines are largely made by blending grapes planted in different soil types and terroirs.
Here in Northern California we grow Syrah is similar soils which shape the character of the grapes. We make the wines in the traditional way, no additives, no fining, no filtering and in turn the wines are exceptional.
Southern Rhône Style WinesIn the Southern Rhône the major appellations are Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes-du-Rhône where Grenache is the primary red grape, but is joined by up to twelve others, most commonly Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Here the wines are grown in a wide range of terroirs, hot, dry micro climates and soils producing lighter, more open wines expressing red fruit flavors over black fruits such as fresh ripe cherries, raspberry and strawberry flavors, often with fresh Provencal herbs, olives, cloves and a nice, spicy accent.
Here in Northern California we have found specific vineyards that mirror the terroir of the Southern Rhône and produce a wide, diverse array of exciting early drinking wines meant to be enjoyed on release.
Williamson Rhone Style Wines