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California Wine, Napa Valley
About Frank Family Vineyards
Take a trip back in time at the Frank Family Vineyards. First constructed as the Larkmead Winery in 1884, the building was refinished with native sandstone from the nearby hills in 1906 and still stands tall today. The massive stone edifice is considered an archetype of California’s wine country; it appears on the National Register of Historical Places and is listed as a Point of Historical Interest in the state of California. Owners Richard Frank and Connie Frank focus their energies on making superb still wines. The winery produces Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Sangiovese and several distinctly different Cabernet Sauvignons. The highly regarded Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which is barrel aged for two and one-half years, is emerging as one of the most sought after wines in the valley and their Napa Carneros Vineyards produce some of the finest Chardonnay available. The Sangiovese, a rising star, is created entirely from grapes grown on Rich’s property and the Zinfandel comes from the Pope & Chiles Valley. Once owned by wine legend Hans Kornell, the winery originally secured its reputation with sparkling wines. Five sparkling wines are handcrafted today in the old building: Brut, Blanc de Blancs, Blanc de Noirs, occasionally the Rouge and Reserve. All of these are made in the traditional French methode champenoise style.
Rising nearly 500 feet above the valley floor in the prestigious Rutherford viticultural appellation, Winston Hill is located along the east side of the Napa Valley along the Vaca Mountain range. Winston Hill is located on owner Rich Frank’s personal estate. The soil consists of well-drained, volcanic deposits and sandstone. Due to its southwest exposure, Winston Hill has a high radiant value. Typical warm summer days give way to cool nights with soft mountain breezes. The vineyard has an average rainfall of 24-36 inches per year.
Approximately 20 acres of vines were planted on Winston Hill starting in1991. Cabernet Sauvignon is the primary variety, along with small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Sangiovese. Through site specific vineyard management, several clonal selections are matched with the appropriate rootstocks. Extensive hand labor balances the vine canopy and maintains the yields to produce rich and concentrated wines.
Winston Hill produces its namesake wine and the flagship for Frank Family Vineyards along with being the foundation for our Rutherford Reserve and Napa Valley Sangiovese.
Located in the heart of Napa Carneros, near the shores of San Pablo Bay, Lewis Vineyard is 138 acres of gently rolling hills. The predominant maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean create the cool temperature, fog and wind that make Carneros ideally suited for the growing of world class Chardonnay. Lewis Vineyard consists primarily of shallow dense clay loam soils, receiving only 20 inches of rainfall annually.
Overall the maritime influence and the restricting soils result in extremely low yields, producing grapes with strong character and balanced acidity. The practice of cool climate viticulture and the planting of small cluster Dijon clones contribute to an intensity that is unmatched in the Chardonnay of Lewis Vineyard.
S & J Vineyard
Adding to our vineyard diversity, we have planted 50 acres of Cabernet Sauvignon east of the Vaca Mountain range in Napa’s Capell Valley. In the effort to produce the highest quality grapes in our newest vineyard development, we have included the most advanced farming techniques, such as high-density spacing, clonal-rootstock variation, temperature and moisture monitoring.
The soils are fertile, well drained, clay-loam based reminiscent of the Rutherford Bench. The cold nights balance with the warm days, ensuring the long-even ripening of our Cabernet Sauvignon.
Adding to our collection of vineyards, S&J Vineyard, continues our efforts in winegrowing to make the best possible wines from soil to bottle. The grapes from this vineyards will be for Frank Family Vineyards’ Napa Valley Cabernet starting with the 2004 vintage.
Frank Family Vineyards wines are produced in small quantities and currently sold only at the winery and a handful of select restaurants and wine shops.Frank Family Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Rated 91 - Starts out ripe and supple, with pure, ripe cherry, plum and blackberry fruit, then firms up, revealing chewy tannins. Full-bodied and well-balanced, with a complex finish. Best from 2010 through 2017. 11,170 cases made. - Wine SpectatorFrank Family Vineyards Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2005
Rated 90 - Offers ripe cherry and toasty sage aromas, with concentrated and complex flavors of dried plum and herb that finish with dusty, mineral-tinged tannins. Best from 2010 through 2013. 1,000 cases made.Firm, intense and concentrated, with a mix of earthy, racy currant, anise, sage and underbrush. Full-bodied, with tight tannins and a long finish, where the loamy tannins return. Drink now through 2016. 2,400 cases made. - Wine SpectatorFrank Family Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay 2006
Delivers a rich, complex beam of pear- and apple-laced Chardonnay fruit, shaded by spicy nutmeg and hazelnut notes. Drink now through 2011. 1,000 cases made. - Wine Spectator