Wine Names

Labeling convention requires we use the grape variety but because our wines each have their own personality we felt they each deserved their own individual identity.

Loving life in wine country Dawn wanted the names to have a "love" or "romantic" theme.

Bill believes wines express themselves first via color then as aroma, then as entry, mid and end palate flavors, then as an impression and finally as an overall feeling or harmony.

With this in mind Dawn and Bill created a list of romantic words that described something impending and positive. Then, the first time Bill experiences the finished wine, he nominates its name based upon his feeling about the wine's harmony.


Burgundy Style Wines

  • Amourette ®, a French word which means "a little love affair" named because of the love affair we had with our home ranch Chardonnay and to honor Cecile, our original french wine maker mentor.
  • Chantilly ®, was chosen for our second Chardonnay which Bill made specially for Dawn. Chantilly [shan-til'-ee] refers to a town in France where fine lace is made for wedding veils and also refers to sweetened whipped cream, so the thought was that Bill made Chantilly for "his sweet bride".
  • Passion ®, an intense emotion which compels action and one taste of this Pinot Noir from Russian River Valley compels you to taste more as it unfolds showing its layers of flavor.
  • Rapture ®, to be carried away by overwhelming emotion, is indicative of the immediate ecstasy one feels in being carried away by tasting this overwhelming Pinot Noir.

Noble Bordeaux Style Wines

  • Joy ®, the expression great delight or happiness and it truly is a joyous wine to be enjoyed in the summer sun. Joy was also chosen by Bill as the name of this tall blond wine to honor Dawn's tall, blond mother, Joy.
  • Amour ®, the French word meaning "love" because everyone loves this unique, single-vineyard, non blended Merlot.
  • Sultry ®, passionately warm and exciting strong sensual desire, was the word that occurred when Bill first smelled the Cabernet Franc. Known for its great aroma this wine is truly sensual and sultry in nature.
  • Tango ®, a lovers dance with closed embrace and exciting, provocative rhythm, was the obvious choice for our Malbec which strives to out perform Argentine Malbec with its tight embrace and provocative mouth feel.
  • Seduce ®, to lead by persuasion to physical action. How appropriate for this Dry Creek Valley (aka DCV) Cabernet Sauvignon made from our home ranch fruit. Soft and luscious in the mouth this powerful Cabernet will seduce you into the physical action of tasting more and more.
  • Inspire ®, to exert an enlivening or exalting influence. The inspiration came from Bills' desire to actually make a Napa Cabernet each year with fruit sourced from a different, well respected Napa vineyard. The first was called CMH but when it out-performed the original winery in competition we decided it was more prudent to change the name to one that only hints at this inspiration.
  • Indulge ®, to yield to the desire to allow oneself to take unrestrained pleasure. This Cabernet Sauvignon was Bill's indulgence in making yet another incredible Cabernet from our Dry Creek Valley fruit.
  • Sovereign ® is an incredible Cabernet Sauvignon blend which Bill developed and then barrel-aged over an extended period of four years. The name Sovereign means a principal ruler and also refers to a Victorian-era gold coin. Since our first Sovereign ruled with five gold medals the name is appropriate.
  • Stagecoach ® refers to the famous Stagecoach Vineyard, the largest contiguous mountain planting in the Napa Valley. Stretching from Atlas Peak to above Oakville, this 1,200 acres of rocky, volcanic, south-facing terroir entices many of Napa's most successful winemakers to compete for the Stagecoach fruit. Today, we are proud to be one of 40 wineries who craft incredible wines from this vineyard where the character and complexity in these mountain grapes continues to be impressive.

Meritage ~ Bordeaux Blend Wines

  • Bliss ®, complete happiness, because our dessert wine will induce a state of extreme happiness.
  • Allure ®, to attract by charm. Our Meritage demonstrates the power to attract through its soft and alluring flavors. [Meritage: us/ American Bordeaux]
  • Entice ®, to attract by arousing desire, was chosen for our Cuvée because once you realize its power it will provoke or entice you to do something different with foods, especially peppered foods. [Cuvée: fr/ blend]
  • Clarissa ®, a 1748 novel "History of a young Lady" and Dawn's middle name, was chosen for our Vin Rouge to honor Dawn. [Vin Rouge: fr/ red wine]
  • Ravish ®, to overwhelm with emotion, filling with delight, was chosen for our Mélange [ma-lan-ge] because it will hold you spellbound with a feeling of delight, filled with wonder and enchantment from this incredible soft yet powerful wine. [Mélange: fr/ mixture]

Rhône Style Wines

  • Relish®, appetizing flavor pleasant to the taste and enjoyed with great zest. It's unusual to find a pure Roussanne as the 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.
  • Frolic ®, uninhibited enjoyment in high spirits, was chosen for the Viognier because of its light, honey flavor which seemed to 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."
  • Embrace®, accepting or supporting something enthusiastically. Intensely fruity with vibrant acids. Approachable early with elegance and finesse . A long palate presence delivering a cascade of pleasure. We embrace Grenache enthusiastically because it truly delivers what Pinot Noir only promises.
  • Heritage ®, that possessed as a result of natural birth, was chosen for our first Shiraz, made in the Australian McLaren Vale style, co-fermented with a little Viognier, it represents our Australian heritage (from the Australian clones we planted here) and the heritage of all wines (see "History of Shiraz") honoring the French Hermitage Syrah clones we also planted here.
  • Enchant ®, to attract and move deeply rousing ecstatic admiration, was chosen for our Châteauneuf-du-Pape style wine made from Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. A bold wine that will attract and capture your attention then, paired with complex foods, will cause you to be enamored with its richness.
  • Elate ®, to be in high spirits; exultant or proud. This Cabernet-Shiraz blend will make anyone be in high spirits with its full rich mouth feel and great finish. Bill is also proud of this tribute to his homeland Grange.

Sparkling Wines

  • Fizz ® Bright and lively in the sparkling Champagne-style made from a cuvée of 60% Chardonnay and 40% Pinot Noir grapes and produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle in the méthode champenoise style. A wonderful wine with a perfect balance, not overly fruity or too dry. Originally made to kick off Williamson Wine Club events, although some club members have been able to convince Bill to part with a bottle or two.
  • Bubbles ® An absolutely unique wine, this sparkling Malbec is made in the méthode champenoise style where the bubbles are produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle. Experience vivid violet and purple bubbles with the smell of blackberry, liquorish and chocolate. When poured, the bubbles settle into a purple red wine with a full mouth of dark fruit made even more exciting by its effervescence.

Esoteric Fun Wines

  • Fling®, a short period of enjoyment or wild behavior. Presented with an opportunity to take some Tempranillo fruit Bill set about a little wild behavior producing this wine with a ripe and enticing taste.
  • Amuse®, to find something funny and provide an interesting and enjoyable occupation. One of his winemaking colleagues recently referred to Bill's blending wines as "an excess of riches." Amused by this concept Bill decided to select certain barrels of these wines and make an amusing blend,
  • Folly®, a lack of good sense, perhaps a little foolishness. Creating the blend is the most creative part of being a winemaker. When you have six blends that have all won gold is it a little foolish to make another, especially from a brand new vineyard? No surprise -just folly.
  • Adore®, to love someone or something deeply and devotedly.
  • Tickled Pink®, pleased and delighted with the Adore Rose which is light in the Southern Rhone style Bill decided to make a second Rose a little darker and was tickled pink with the result.