Rhône Style Wines

We call them Viognier and Syrah or Shiraz but they are all descendants of the same grapes grown in the Rhône Valley region of France, a huge, diverse, viticultural area originally planted in the first century BC by the Romans.

There Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes struggled for existence and brought forth richly flavored fruit. We found a similar hillside location above Dry Creek Valley to grow these same varieties and are proud of the way our vines struggle to produce fruit worthy of the finest Rhône style wines.

Northern Rhône Style Wines

In 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.

Heritage - possessed as a result of natural birth , was chosen to name our first Shiraz, made in the Australian McLaren Vale style, co-fermented with a little Viognier, it represents our Australian heritage from the combination of Australian Shiraz and French Hermitage Syrah clones we planted on our estate ranch.

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Harmony - a simultaneous combination designed to show parallelism, mutual relationships, and differences , was chosen to name our second Shiraz, made in the Australian old-vine Barossa Valley style. With three separate Shiraz / Syrah vineyards we decided to make a pure Shiraz, blending fruit from all three vineyards. The hillside vineyards contribute power, the valley vineyards contribute smooth subtle flavors while the more gentle graded vineyards provide complexity. Our blending goal was to produce an elegant, harmonious and balanced Barossa style Shiraz.

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Relish- appetizing flavor pleasant to the taste and enjoyed with great zest was the name chosen for our pure Roussanne. This varietal is almost always blended into other wines to add more melon and mineral core, but Bill felt that his Roussanne was wine enough to deserve its own label and he relished that thought.

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Frolic - uninhibited enjoyment in high spirits This Viognier has a light, honey flavor which will evoke feelings of gaiety, merriment or playfulness. It seemed that Homer was describing our Viognier when he wrote, "Wine can of their wits the wise beguile; make the sage frolic and the serious smile."

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Southern Rhône Style Wines

In the Southern Rhône the major appellations are Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes-du-Rhône where fifteen different red grape varieties 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, black raspberry and strawberry flavors, often with fresh Provencal herbs, olives, cloves and a nice, spicy accent.

Southern Rhône wines are largely made by blending grapes planted in different soil types and terroir, with single varietals being rare. 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.

Embrace - receive gladly or eagerly; to accept willingly . The most important grape in the Southern Rhône Valley is Grenache. One taste and you will accept this intensely fruity wine with vibrant acids because it is approachable early with elegance and finesse then a long palate presence delivers a cascade of pleasure ending with a little spice twist.

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Enchant - to attract and move deeply rousing ecstatic admiration was chosen for our Châteauneuf-du-Pape style wine made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre grapes, hence the blend name Trinity. This is a lush, lusty and luscious wine that will attract and capture your attention then, paired with complex foods, will cause you to be enamored with its richness.

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Caress - to gently show affection is the name chosen for this gentle, affectionate wine. Cuvée Blanc simply means a cross-appellation blended white wine and the divine detail shows in this blend with its magnificent nose and delicious mouth full of pear, apple, lemon and peach flavors.

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Elate - to be in high spirits; exultant or proud;
Grange - a farmhouse with various farm buildings, usually the dwelling of a gentleman farmer;
Cuvée - a cross-appellation wine blend
This Elate Grange Cuvée Cabernet-Shiraz blend from our Home Ranch or Grange will put anyone in high spirits with its full rich mouth feel and great finish.

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Shiraz vines planted in 1843 and still producing beautiful fruit. The Origin of our Heritage Shiraz.

Pumping over Shiraz to aerate the ferment.

Old Shiraz with rich, exquisite fruit.