White Rock Vineyards

The history at White Rock Vineyards extends back to the 1870s, when one Dr. Pettingill established one of the earliest vineyard plantings in Napa Valley. Situated on the eastern side of the valley at 300 feet elevation, the vines grow in the austere, white volcanic soils that are responsible for their distinctive wines, and are also the winery's namesake. Like many seminal California wineries, it changed ownership several times over the years, endured prohibition, fell out of production, had the vineyards pulled out, and finally ended up used for something else entirely (horse training grounds). Luckily, this was not the end of the White Rock story.

In 1977, over 100 years after its founding, Henri and Claire Vandendreissche purchased the property. The replanted the vineyards soon after and spent nearly a decade selling their fruit to other wineries. In 1986, however, they produced their first vintage and have produced continually since then.

The second generation took up the reins in the late 90's starting with Henri and Claire's son Michael. After studying viticulture in Napa, he spent two years in France exploring other passions before returning to White Rock to take over vineyard management. In 1999 he was joined by his brother Christopher, who took over winemaking after working in Bordeaux, Rioja, and Mendoza, and spending two years learning under Napa legend John Kongsgaard as assistant winemaker at Luna.

The 35 acre vineyard has always been farmed naturally, without chemical treatments and using cover crops such as bell beans, rye, and clover to enrich the soils. Totaling 35 acres with an average age of 30 years, comprised of 14 acres of Chardonnay on the cooler benchland, and 22 acres of terraced Bordeaux varietals on the slopes above. Winemaking favors minimal new oak and native fermentations, with the goal of producing the kind balanced, age-worthy wines that Napa Valley first built it's legend upon.

Time has shown that they've succeeded in that goal; the wines are elegant and classic, they persist and thrive independently of the trends that have come and gone over the past three decades, and they are the embodiment of a singular place.

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White Rock Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
92  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92 "The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa is a beauty, with loads of graphite, white chocolate, crème de cassis and blackberry fruit are present in this medium to full-bodied wine with excellent texture, length and personality. The wine tips the scales at 14.7% alcohol, and was aged 24

White Rock Vineyards Chardonnay 2013
93  Antonio Galloni 
Antonio Galloni 93 "White Rock’s 2013 Chardonnay is bright and beautifully focused, with tons of lemon oil, white flowers, and stony mineral notes. Drink this vibrant, steely Chardonnay over the next handful of years. Readers who enjoy Chardonnays built on a Chablis-like model of precision will

White Rock Vineyards Claret 2013
93  Robert Parker 
Robert Parker 93 "The 2013 Proprietary Red Blend Claret is a blend of 33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Franc and 6% Petit Verdot. This has always been their flagship wine. This is the most fruit-forward, delicious, sexy wine in the portfolio, with soft tannins, loads of raspberry,

White Rock Vineyards 'Laureate' Cabernet Sauv 2010
96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot Total Production: 420 cases Barrel Ageing: 24 months in French Oak  Hillside Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with strong mineral expression from the volcanic ash soils. 2010 was a smaller crop of tiny berries, and the fruit was sorted more than

White Rock Vineyards 'Laureate' Caberet Sauv 2009
" 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot. The 2009 Laureate is dark garnet in color, deep and ripe. The nose shows full blackberry, raspberry, dark plum, and black pepper. Complex and textured, the mouth presents itself loaded with black cherries and chocolate, with hints of olive and black

White Rock Vineyards Chardonnay 2011
" 2011 was a cool year producing bright floral Chardonnay. The nose opens with intricate aromas of honeysuckle, lime, hints of wet stone and peach blossom. The lively palate unfolds layers of lemon-lime, apple, quince and white peach. The wine is bolstered by rich texture from the sur-lies aging in

White Rock Vineyards Claret 2010
90  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 90 " The 2010 Claret, a blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot, reveals a deep ruby/purple color as well as delicious red and black fruit notes intermixed with notions of underbrush and forest. Medium-bodied with abundant fruit as well as a

White Rock Vineyards Claret 2009
Wine and Spirits 92 BEST BUY "Store this wine away for five or six years, and with any luck, its flavor will follow the trajectory they took over the course of 3 days at our tasting table. It starts off feeling like an old-fashioned Napa blend (the composition includes 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27%