Situated in a small valley in the southern foothills of the Stag’s Leap Range, White Rock Vineyards’ family-run estate began making wine in the 1870’s.
Shortly after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1822, Salvador Vallejo was granted a coveted 21,650 acre parcel of land in Northern California known as Rancho de Napa. In 1870, the land was purchased by bon vivant and globetrotter Dr. Pettingill who’s larger than life character, impassioned by science and nature, planted one of the first vineyards in Napa Valley. In 1871, using a hand saw to cut the property’s volcanic white rock, he constructed a winery that would produce and age wine for two years before release–a method we still proudly practice today.
In 1977, Henri Vandendriessche of Northern France and wife Claire of Napa Valley purchased the property with two goals in mind: reviving the estate to its former glory and raising their family on a piece of land that encompassed their values of legacy and stewardship.
In 1999, after years of formal and hands-on training at home and abroad, their sons Christopher and Michael returned to the estate to assume the critical roles of winegrower and winemaker.
Naturally farmed since its inception, White Rock Vineyards uses time proven techniques of nutrient rich compost, cover crops and hand cultivation to ensure the highest quality fruit, soil health and a diverse and balanced ecosystem for all who work, live and play among the vines.
Located between Napa Valley’s Stags Leap and Atlas Peak appellations, White Rock farms a bowl of volcanic bedrock shaped over a millenia. A unique site providing ideal valley floor Chardonnay terroir, as well as diverse hillside elevations and exposures for Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Malbec.
With over 40 years of dutiful cultivation by the Vandendriessche family, White Rock produces elegantly refined, richly concentrated, mineral intensive wines.
Balance, complexity, intensity and ageability have been the hallmarks of White Rock wines. With vines 20-45 years old, the estate is low yield with an average of 2 tons per acre. The tiny berries, hand-harvested by our team in small baskets, are intense and concentrated, consistently displaying bold tannins and strong mineral characteristics, due to the volcanic ash soil.