Sauvignon Blanc cuttings from the legendary Château d’Yquem were brought to California in 1882 by Charles Wetmore and planted in the Livermore Valley, whose gravely terroir was considered similar to that of Bordeaux. The white wine he made from it shocked France and took the Grand Prix at the 1889 Paris Exposition, causing the Marquis de Lur-Saluces of Yquem to visit Wetmore to find out how such a wine could be made in the new world.
Our cuttings of this antique Sauvignon were planted at the Dairy Vineyard in Buellton, CA, whose coastal marine climate and cool nights allow for full phenolic ripeness, even when picked on the early side at 21.5 brix-- keeping the wine light and fresh but without any "green" notes sometimes found in Sauvignon Blanc.
Made as a tribute to the Great Bordeaux whites of yesteryear, our Roman Ceremony Blanc is fermented and aged in old French barriques, then allowed to naturally complete a full malolactic fermentation and develop a rounder, waxy texture in the mouth.
Railsback Frères began as a rosé project in 2015 by brothers Lyle and Eric Railsback, who call their rosé “Les Rascasses” (scorpion fish in French) as an homage to Lulu Peyraud. Lulu was the proprietress of Domaine Tempier in Bandol, maker of their favorite rosé in Provence. Lyle did National Sales for French importer Kermit Lynch for twelve years before leaving to focus on this Santa Ynez project. His brother Eric started Lieu Dit wines in Santa Barbara, inspired by wines of the Loire valley, and owns Verve Wine in NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco.
“Eric approached me when he found access to some Mourvèdre, Carignan and Cinsault in Santa Ynez,” says Lyle Railsback, “and we produced our first rosé with the ‘original recipe’ of Bandol: direct-to-press, vinified and aged in old wood, and with malolactic completed. Two years later we partnered with Presqu’ile Winery in Santa Maria, where we now make the wines using only wild, native yeast fermentation. In addition to our dry rosé, we also now make small lots of other Southern French grape varieties, including Vermentino, Carbonic Carignan (à la Maxime Magnon in Corbières), an inky red Mourvèdre, and Syrah from Bien Nacido that’s made entirely without the use of SO2.”