Robert Sinskey Vin Gris 2010
The story of how wine is made is as important as the wine itself. The craft of winegrowing begins with the care of the soil and ends as an open bottle of wine on the table.
RSV is a second generation, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery. Every vine for every wine was planted by RSV and every vineyard is certified* organic. One could say that RSV is beyond organic. Since 1991, RSV has been practicing the “whole farm” philosophy of interrelationships based on Rudolph Steiner’s 1928 lecture “Agriculture.” This approach stresses the need to heal damage done by modern, mechanized farming - tapping into the rhythms of nature, encouraging natural processes, to grow superior winegrapes that require little but care to craft into expressive, vibrant and living wines.
RSV approaches the cellar as purists (with the same winemaker, Jeff Virnig, for over twenty-five years) to craft wines that are true and pure. The guiding principle that “wine is not an athletic event” has allowed the wines of RSV to stay true to vineyard and variety. Elegance over brawn has always been the house style and RSV does not submit wine for review by score-centric critics; because to taste wine in a competitive atmosphere, without food on the table, encourages wines that shout, ignoring subtle wines of balance, finesse and elegance... the attributes that define the fine wines of RSV.
*RSV’s vineyards are certified by C.C.O.F. - California Certified Organic Farmers. Due to the fee structure of Demeter USA, RSV no longer uses the trademarked words “Demeter” or “Biodynamic” as of the 2012 vintage - no matter, RSV has not changed farming philosophy
One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.
The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
Whether it’s playful and fun or savory and serious, most rosé today is not your grandmother’s White Zinfandel, though that category remains strong. Pink wine has recently become quite trendy, and this time around it’s commonly quite dry. Since the pigment in red wines comes from keeping fermenting juice in contact with the grape skins for an extended period, it follows that a pink wine can be made using just a brief period of skin contact—usually just a couple of days. The resulting color depends on grape variety and winemaking style, ranging from pale salmon to deep magenta.