White Rock Vineyards Claret 2015
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 1960 Henri Vandendriessche, whose family originated in Northern France, came to America to study Economics at UC Berkeley. In 1967 he met Claire, raised in Napa Valley. They fell in love and sought to learn what they could about American winemaking. In 1977 they purchased a 64 acre estate north of Napa with two goals in mind: reviving an 1870’s winery estate to its former glory and raising their family on the land that would reflect and encompass their values. Learning to be good stewards of the land, they relied on their common sense. They moved their young family into the converted old winery and made the farm their home. They replanted as much of the vineyard as they could, and dug a cave into the solid rock where they could make and cellar the wine. Always a family business, White Rock was in the capable hands of Henri who oversaw all aspects of the enterprise, including the vineyard management, while Claire marketed and sold the wines. Their three children lived along with the seasons, helping and participating at each stage. It was their small hands that carried the 5 gallon buckets of picked grapes to the gondola. The lively atmosphere of fulfillment and joy made every day and every helper a part of the family gathering.
Undoubtedly proving its merit over and over, Napa Valley is a now a leading force in the world of prestigious red wine regions. Though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates Napa Valley, other red varieties certainly thrive here. Important but often overlooked include Merlot and other Bordeaux varieties well-regarded on their own as well as for their blending capacities. Very old vine Zinfandel represents an important historical stronghold for the region and Pinot noir is produced in the cooler southern parts, close to the San Pablo Bay.
Perfectly situated running north to south, the valley acts as a corridor, pulling cool, moist air up from the San Pablo Bay in the evenings during the hot days of the growing season, which leads to even and slow grape ripening. Furthermore the valley claims over 100 soil variations including layers of volcanic, gravel, sand and silt—a combination excellent for world-class red wine production.