The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2015

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Page 66 of 136

66  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2015 DEPARTMENT HEADER O pen just about any wine list in the country that carries California wines, and invari- ably at least one of the wines featured will be from Sonoma's St. Francis Winery. The Santa Rosa–based producer has embraced a series of initiatives that include a new gen- eration winemaking team, a focus on sustainable vineyard practices, and the release of small-production wines. Founded in the 1970s upon purchase of the Behler Ranch vineyard by the late Joe and Emma Martin, St. Francis Winery was one of the early players in helping to create an identity for Sonoma as a winemaking region. Key to this was the 1983 arrival of winemaker Tom Mackey, who worked passionately and tirelessly on pinpoint- ing varietals best-suited for Sonoma's soils. St. Francis soon developed its Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel based portfolio, and with it a reputation for a house style of elegant, fruit- driven, food-friendly wines. Fast forward a few decades to present day, St. Francis Winery, which produces about 200,000 cases annually, has kept its leading position in a much more crowded Sonoma marketplace. "This is an exciting time for us," says Christopher Silva, CEO of St. Francis and a fifth-generation native of Sonoma County. "With Winemaker Chris Louton joining us to work alongside long-time Winemaker Katie Madigan, and Jake Terrell taking over management of our vineyards, St. A Sonoma General Manager Nick McGreevy of Scoma's in San Francisco, CA. PHOTO: ALEXANDER RUBIN ST. FRANCIS RELIES ON INNOVATION, SUSTAINABILITY AND A NEW GENERATION WINEMAKING TEAM TO TELL A SONOMA STORY

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