St Francis Claret has sweet earthy notes of Sonoma Valley grown Merlot and the spicy characteristics of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc and Malbec. The finished wine is an assemblage of Sonoma County terroir, ideally grown grapes and winemaking craftsmanship not to be missed.
For over 35 years, St. Francis Winery has produced top quality varietal wines from superior mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County's best appellations and earned a reputation for bold-flavored, fruit-forward wines that showcase the terroir and varied microclimates unique to Sonoma.
Since its founding in 1971, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards has carried on a constant search for vineyards with unique soil and climate characteristics. Winemaker Tom Mackey, who has been with St. Francis for over 25 years, has cultivated an in-depth understanding of every Sonoma appellation, which he has used to acquire and develop the very best vineyards for the winery over the last several decades.
St. Francis owns 600 acres of prime Sonoma County vineyards - carefully chosen, diverse vineyard sites with varying soil compositions of loam, clay and volcanic soils. St. Francis' estate vineyards give the winery complete control over growing and production; a cornerstone to the winery's quality philosophy.
In addition to owning vineyards in Sonoma's highest quality appellations, St. Francis has carefully nurtured long-term relationships with superlative Sonoma County grape growers that gives the winery access to some of the region's most coveted old vines Zinfandel grapes and other varietals from acclaimed vineyards including Rockpile Vineyard, Amman Ranch, Leras Ranch and the famous Pagani Ranch.
When Mackey began at St. Francis in 1983, there were a handful of wineries in Sonoma and the region struggled to find its identity. St. Francis quickly changed that, pioneering a Sonoma Valley style and leading the way in pinpointing the varietals that were ideally suited to Sonoma soils. Mackey introduced Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel wines, and strengthened St. Francis' commitment to the already-thriving Chardonnay and Merlot wines. The St. Francis moniker quickly became associated with intense, boldly structured red wines.
While most renowned for its red wines-Zinfandel (all from old vines between 60 and 110 years old), Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon-St. Francis also produces a noteworthy Chardonnay. In 2005, St. Francis introduced RED a Sonoma County blend of Merlot, Cabernet, Zinfandel, Syrah and Grenache. The winery recently launched a new ultra premium line of varietal wines, Wild Oak; limited production varietal blends sourced from the best fruit from top vineyard sources in Sonoma County. The Wild Oak wines are hand-crafted in the small winery within the St. Francis Winery (a.k.a. Tom's Winery) and demonstrate St. Francis' most recent quality initiatives.
St. Francis' 35-year history has been one of constant evolution in pursuit of quality and innovation. A new, state-of-the-art winery and barrel building were built recently which along with the estate vineyards have dramatically enhanced St. Francis' winemaking capabilities as well as ensured its longstanding commitment to, and investment in, Sonoma County.
Wine Maker Notes
Individual varietal wines are skillfully blended together to create a complex, well-balanced and full-flavored wine. This beautifully crafted wine of medium-body and rich tannins displays aromas of cedar, vanilla and toffee with flavors of rich ripe plum and strawberries. Claret is ready to drink upon release with an aging potential of 5-6 years.
In 1971, Joe Martin, a San Francisco businessman and his wife Emma purchased the 100 acre Behler Ranch Vineyard in Sonoma Valley, located in the historic town of Kenwood. In 1979, after several years of growing and selling grapes to local wineries, the decision was made by Joe and business partner Lloyd Canton to build their own winery. St. Francis Winery was established and christened after St. Francis of Assisi, in recognition of the Saint’s role as a protector of the natural world and as acknowledgement of the Franciscan order, believed to have been the first to bring European grape cultivation to the new world.
Pasta: Lasagna, Spaghetti Bolognese Meat: Pot Roast, Lamb Shanks, Grilled Beef, Lamb or Barbeque Fish: Grilled Tuna or Salmon Cheese: Aged and Blue Veined Cheese like Cheddar and Gorgonzola