Welcome to the second release of Rhys Vineyards!
The overwhelming, positive response to our first release exceeded our wildest imagination and we hope you enjoy these wines every bit as much. For this release we have two Rhys Pinots, two Alesia Pinots and our first Chileno Valley Syrah. All of these are ageworthy wines from the 2004 vintage.
Once again, please accept our apologies for the small allocations but relief is in sight. Not only was 2006 a great vintage for Califonia, but two of our Estate vineyards–Family Farm and Alpine Road–reached full production.
Focus on Chileno Valley
In this release we have two wines, a Pinot and Syrah, from an exciting new region of California’s Sonoma Coast called Chileno Valley. This cool valley starts in northern Marin and winds its way through southernmost Sonoma County eventually reaching the Pacific Ocean. We are always on the lookout for cool climates and interesting soils and the Chileno Valley offers both. Our Chileno Valley Pinot and Syrah are grown on a unique soil of eroded sandstone called Steinbeck series. This soil and the cool, windy weather produce wines with crunchy fresh fruit and interesting mineral notes.
Rhys is Growing
As the 2007 vintage gets started we have a lot to be excited about at Rhys. For the first time, all five of our estate vineyards should produce wine. We can’t wait to taste the wines from our Horseshoe Ranch and Skyline vineyards but the increased production requires some planning. In addition to managing the entire Rhys operation from vine to wine to shipping, Jason Jardine has been the sole Rhys employee. With increased production in 2006, Jason was able to recruit Jeff Brinkman as Winemaker and Dan Rinke as Viticulturalist. Making wine at Rhys is a yearlong team-oriented endeavor and our focus and winemaking techniques have not changed. Every block of our vineyards is fermented with native yeasts in small 1 ton lots and punched down by foot. Managing 60 fermenters at a time is no easy task, but Jeff was more than up to the challenge. With Jeff and Dan on board, we feel confident that we can maintain quality while our production increases from garage to small winery levels.
Moving Forward and the 2006 Harvest
We couldn’t be more excited about the 2006 harvest. The mild weather produced wines with a rare combination of balance and concentration. Most importantly, with three of our vineyards in production, we expect to have good quantities of Rhys and Alesia to offer in the Fall of 2008 and Spring of 2009. Please bear with us until then. As we mentioned last time, our production in the 2005 vintage is extremely small. We expect to offer these few bottles of wine in the Spring of 2008, so this will be the only offering from Rhys this year.
Kevin, Jason, and Jeff