Greyscale Wines is a family-run winery founded in 2009 by Jean and Larry Rowe. They specialize in Bordeaux-style wines. Our Cuvée Blanc is a new world take on a Bordeaux Blanc that blends barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc with Marsanne which produces a rich, complex wine with many layers of flavor. Our Napa Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc, which produces a classic California Cabernet that is similar to a left-bank Bordeaux Rouge.
A memorable trip to Bordeaux in September 2005 included visits to several Grand Cru Chateaux and witness to the harvest of the outstanding 2005 vintage. Jean and Larry decided after this trip to make wine that mirrored the great wines they enjoyed. We loved the elegant, low alcohol wines from Bordeaux. We also believe the best wines pair well with the fresh local food pioneered in California. Our dream is to create elegant Bordeaux-style wine using California grapes.
We contacted a custom crush operation in San Francisco to help us realize this dream. We met Kian Tavakoli who, besides having French heritage and sharing our love of Bordeaux-style wines, is a world-class winemaker. He trained at the world-renowned U.C. Davis viticulture and enology program, interned at wineries in California and France, and worked at Opus and Clos du Val. We first made a barrel of Cabernet for private consumption in 2006 using grapes from the Stagecoach vineyard in Napa. We loved the wine and were sorry we could not sell it to friends who asked to purchase bottles after they tasted it. So, we decided to “go commercial” with our first vintage in 2008 – and Greyscale Wines was born.
Many people ask why we chose this name for the winery. “Greyscale” is a term used in color science, printing, photography, and computer displays. It describes all shades of grey in the color spectrum between black and white. Winemaking, like many things in life, is not an absolute recipe (i.e., black and white). Instead each year's blending process involves a series of adjustments, reacting to the unique qualities of the fruit that year.
Our motto is “Wine is neither white nor black, it is always shades of grey!”