Greyscale Wines LLC is a family-run winery founded in 2009 by Jean and Larry Rowe. We specialize in Bordeaux-style wines. Their Cuvée Blanc is a new world take on a Bordeaux Blanc that blends barrel-fermented Sauvignon Blanc with Marsanne rather than Semillon, which produces a rich, complex wine with many layers of flavor. Their 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.
The origins of Greyscale Wines goes back a long way. Jean grew up in Northern California in a home with a backyard vineyard where her father grew grapes and made wines for many decades. She vividly remembers many vineyard activities including training grape canes in the Spring and taking refractometer readings at harvest. Larry’s interest in wine started as a consumer. He and Jean visited many wineries in California and around the world as they learned more about fine wines. The art of winemaking and marketing of fine wines was an obvious interest for Larry with his scientific background (Emeritus Professor in Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley) and his experience as a high tech entrepreneur (Co-founder of the original Ingres Corporation).
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. They loved the elegant, low alcohol wines from Bordeaux. They also believe the best wines pair well with the fresh local food pioneered in California as opposed to the popular fruit-driven wines. Their dream is to create elegant Bordeaux-style wine using California grapes.
They met Kian Tavakoli, who besides having French heritage and sharing their love of Bordeaux-style wines, is a world-class winemaker who worked at Opus and Clos du Val after completing training at the world renowned U.C. Davis viticulture and enology program. They first made a barrel of Cabernet for private consumption in 2006 using grapes from the Stagecoach vineyard in Napa. They loved the wine and were sorry they could not sell it to friends who asked to purchase bottles after they tasted it. So, they decided to “go commercial” with their first vintage in 2008 – and Greyscale Wines was born.
Their first release was the 2008 Cuvée Blanc that won a “Best in Class” award among Bordeaux White Varieties at the 2011 San Francisco Wine Competition. They are pleased to announce that they have sold out of this first Cuvée vintage but luckily at the same time as the release of the 2009 vintage Cuvée Blanc. They also offer 2008 Napa Cabernet Sauvignon made with grapes sourced from Rafael Vineyard in the Oak Knoll region and Reverence Vineyard in the Coombsville region. This wine secured a silver medal at the 2011 San Francisco International Wine Competition.
To purchase any of their delicious varietals, you can know shop their online store!