Rooted in Rhône

GSM Society Debuts

RHÔNE-STYLE Sarah’s Vineyard among the top producers in region. Photo: Steve Zmak
Did you know that Santa Clara Valley has produced premium Rhône varietals for more than 150 years?

Four local wineries, Aver Family Vineyards, La Vie Dansante Wines, Lion Ranch Vineyards and Sarah’s Vineyard, recently launched the GSM Society to spotlight Rhônes crafted from grapes grown in Gilroy, San Martin and Morgan Hill. There’s your GSM, thanks to Carolyn Aver.

John Aver has long been a fan of Rhônes, and is thrilled to add a lovely 2016 San Benito Grenache Blanc to his lineup, which includes a lush viognier, a blend called “Hope,” and the ever popular “Family Album,” starring petite sirah and carignane.

Vigneron Jeffrey Fadness of La Vie Dansante, long admired the wines of Tablas Creek in Paso Robles. Along with partner, Richard Bryant, and other fellow dancers on the stage of life, Fadness turns out Roussanne, a white blend called Overture, and two rosés: one of grenache and the other from mourvedre.

Kim Englehart of Lion Ranch crafts Rhônes alone from their estate ranch, including picpoul blanc, a refreshingly sassy summer white, a 2017 Lioness Rosé of grenache and cinsault, along with several blends, like Two Lions and Lion’s Share. Rhônes rule here.

Tim Slater of Sarah’s Vineyard flaunts the area’s Rhône prowess with blended beauties like jours de joie and madonne blanc, both starring roussanne, grenache blanc and picpoul blanc, with the latter adding clairette blanche.

What’s your Rhône?

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About Laura Ness
Laura Ness is an accomplished freelance writer offering travel tips and commentary on the California wine industry.