Smith Story Cabernet Franc 2015
Smith Story Wine Cellars crafts wines that are made with respect for the land, kindness for the grower, and love from the winemaker. Each vineyard Smith Story works with is family-owned as a central tenet; the founders believe firmly that the integrity of the vines can only be ensured by grape growers who safeguard the land for the next generation. The resulting wines have heart and soul. They show restraint, balance and the integrity of the grape. Eric and Ali's winemaking philosophy is to utilize classic, old world techniques and let the grapes - and sense of place where they are grown - speak for themselves.
In 2013, Eric Story and Ali Smith Story co-founded Russian River Valley-based Smith Story Wine Cellars out of a desire to make the kind of wine that “wine people” drink. Both came from wine industry backgrounds, and their palates remain well attuned to both the sublime and the delicious – at every price. They dreamed of starting a wine project that could produce wines that were both attractive and approachable…but that wouldn’t require a savant to enjoy them.
Working on a wine-industry budget, the duo tapped into the support of their extensive networks, successfully launching Smith Story Wine Cellars on Kickstarter in 2014. 3 Their campaign was called “Farmers First,” and the very first American winery to be crowdfunded was born. Today the winery produces over 4,000 cases annually and has been called “one of California’s top emerging wineries.” The wines begin with the land, places that are special to Eric and Ali in Northern California, from twelve family owned vineyards throughout Sonoma Valley, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, Knights Valley, Pine Mountain, Anderson Valley and the Rheingau region of Germany. As the vineyard program grows, so will their story.
Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.
It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.
The subtler and more delicate of the Cabernets, Cabernet Franc is a proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. While both are important grapes in modern day, high quality Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc also produces outstanding single varietal wines across the wine-producing world. Sommelier Secret—One of California's best-kept secrets is the Happy Canyon appellation of Santa Barbara. Here Cabernet Franc shines as a single varietal wine or in blends, expressing sumptuous fruit, savory aromas and polished tannins.