Benchmark Wineries

Alma de Cattelya

Named for the national symbol of winemaker and founder Bibiana Gonzalez Rave’s native Colombia, Cattleya was founded in 2011. Bibiana trained in France, receiving her Degree in Enology from the University of Bordeaux, before working in both Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace and the Rhone Valley, before coming to California to put down roots. Her rosé is made from pinot noir, and is released under the companion label to Cattelya, Alma de Cattelya.

Amapola Creek

Richard Arrowood has had a long and storied winemaking career. He worked at Chateau St Jean from 1974 to 1990, taking time to found Arrowood winery in 1985, before leaving there in 2010 to concentrate on Amapola Creek. In addition to his white and red wines, he also makes a rosé based on grenache, syrah, and mourvedre.

Arnot Roberts

Arnot-Roberts was founded in Healdsburg in 2001 by childhood friends Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts. Growing up in Napa, they were exposed to wine at the young age, and now focus on sourcing their grapes from unique sites throughout Northern California. Their rosé is made from Touriga Nacional found in Lake County.


Founded by Julien Fayard and his wife, after moving to Napa from his native France and working with Phillppe Melka, Azur is dedicated to rosé wine made in the Provençal style. This style is defined by making rosé using grapes grown for that purpose, usually syrah based, and without malolactic fermentation to preserve acidity.


Beringer is Napa’s oldest continually operating winery, founded in 1876, it was also the first to offer public tours and tastings in 1934. While well known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Beringer’s white zinfandel is one of the most popular wines in the United States, along with Sutter Home.


Josh Jensen worked at DRC and Dujac before returning home and looking for a vineyard site with limestone soils, like he had seen in Burgundy. He found a site on Mt Harlan and founded his winery in 1974. The vines are farmed organically, and supposedly the Calera clone of pinot noir is a suitcase clone from DRC (unofficially). The rosé is also made from pinot noir.


Founded in 1982 by Fred Cline in Oakley, CA, began by making wine from old vine vineyards, some dating back to the 1880s. In 1989 the winery moved to a new property in Sonoma Carneros to expand their operation, as well as add to their vineyard holdings.

County Line

A companion label to Eric Sussman’s Radio Coteau label, County Line’s first vintage was a rosé made from pinot noir in 2003. Sussman first became interested in wine while at Cornell, before learning the craft in France both in Bordeaux and Burgundy. County Line now produces a full line of wines, all sourced from the North Coast.


Decoy was created in 1985 as a part of the Duckhorn family of wines, as an outlet for Napa valley red blend wine. Today, the winery is located in Sonoma, and produces a full line of white, red, and rosé wines. The rosé is California appellated, and is made from a blend of syrah, vermentino, carignan, and grenache.


Tony Soter began his career at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, before becoming a highy sought after consulting winemaker. He began Etude in 1982 to explore making pinot noir in the cool climate of Carneros in southern Napa. The rosé he made there was in the style of Burgundian vin gris of pinot noir. In 1997 he moved home to Oregon to found Soter Vineyards and continue his journey with pinot noir.

FF Coppola / Sofia

When Francis Ford Coppola’s daughter Sofia was a child, he promised her one day he would make a wine and name it after her. Well known for sparkling wines, Sofia also produces still rosé as well. The syrah, grenache, and pinot noir used for the still wine are sourced from Monterey, harvested early to preserve acidity.


Established in 1989 by Walt and Joan Flowers, their vineyards are located in the northern Sonoma coast, with Marcassin and Hirsch as neighbors. In 2009 Huneeus Vintners purchased a majority stake, and Flowers retired from the winery. The vineyards are planted above the fog line, and so receive ample sun during the day.


In 1961 Joe and Alice Heitz purchased vineyards just south of St Helena, then moved their operation to the Rossi Ranch at the end of Taplin Road in 1964. Heitz is well known for the cabernet, especially the Martha’s Vineyard bottling, but also produces sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, and grignolino, among others. The Grignolino means “many pips” in the Piemontese dialect, and is made into both a still red and a rosé. One of the most respected and traditional producers in Napa Valley, the winery was purchased by Gaylon Lawerence in 2018.

Hogwash / Tuck Beckstoffer

Part of the Tuck Beckstoffer family of wines, Hogwash is their rosé, made from free run grenache juice. This wine is intended to be one of the less serious, more readily enjoyable wines in their portfolio. That is not to say it is not given the attention and care it deserves, but is meant to be enjoyed with a light heart.

Kendall Jackson

Begun by Jess Jackson in 1974, Kendall Jackson would go on to become one of the biggest and most successful family owned wine companies of the modern era. The original estate in Lake county sold grapes to other wineries, but a downturn in the market in 1982 caused them to make their own wine, and Kendall Jackson was founded as a result. The KJ rosé is made from pinot noir, syrah, and grenache.


Jamie Kutch left a position on Wall Street to learn about winemaking at Kosta Browne. He emailed Michael Browne asking for advice about following his dream, and soon after moved to California with Browne as his mentor. His first vintage was in 2005, and has focussed on pinot noir ever since. His rosé is also made from pinot noir, and is sourced from the Sonoma Coast.

Lieu Dit

Founded in 2011 by Justin Willett and Eric Railsback, Lieu Dit focusses on creating wines made from Loire valley varieties grown in Santa Barbara County. The rosé is made in a style inspired by the rosés of Sancerre, and is also made from 100% pinot noir.


Lorenza is the creation from mother and daughter team, Melinda Kearney and Michele Lorenza Ouellet. They fell in love with the French style of rosé while on Michele’s fashion model shoots in southern France, and returned home wishing to make a similar style close to home. The grapes are sourced from old vines in the Sacramento Delta and Lodi, and are mainly based on cinsault and carignan.


Matthiasson is run by two farmers, Steve and Jill Matthiasson. Both are specialists in sustainable farming and viticulture, and their vineyard is located in the Oak Knoll District of Southern Napa Valley. They consult on vineyard management while also running their winery, which produces Bordeaux blend red wines, chardonnay, and several Italian varieties as well. The rosé is made from a blend of grenache, syrah, mourvedre, and counoise.


Since 1868. the Mauritson family has been farming in Sonoma. The Mauritson family has long sold their grapes to other wineries, but Clay Mauritson, after training at local wineries, released the inaugural vintage of zinfandel in 1998. The winery would expand in the coming years, adding a rosé of zinfandel in later years.


Samantha Sheehan founded Poe in 2009 after falling in love with the wines of Burgundy and Champagne. She produces low intervention wines from the north coast, including still rosé made from a blend of pinot noir and pinot meunier. She also makes a darker rosé of pinot meunier sourced from the Van Der Kamp vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.


Ryme is a husband and wife team, taking their first names, Ryan and Megan Glaab, and creating Ryme. The two met while working in Australia at Torbreck, before returning stateside to work at wineries such as Pax, Peay, Marcassin, and Sine Qua Non. Their rosé is made from whole cluster pressed Aglianico.


Andrew and Adam Mariani, fourth generation Sonoma residents, created Scribe in 2007 in a vineyard that has been producing wine since before prohibition. They practice a low to non-interventionist approach to winemaking, and strive to balance their desires with nature. The rosé they make is based on pinot noir, fermented and aged in stainless steel.

Sutter Home

One of the most important names in American wine is Sutter Home. As a result of a stuck fermentation of juice that winemaker Bob Trinchero had bled off of zinfandel he was making, he struck upon the name “Oeil de Perdrix”, and in small print beneath “a white zinfandel wine”. The off dry rosé was a success, and earned Trinchero his place in history.

Tablas Creek

Founded in 1989 by two families deeply invested in wine, the Perrin Family of Chateauneuf du Pape’s Chateau de Beaucastel, and the Haas family of Vineyard Brands wine company, Tablas Creek is a pillar of Rhone style winemaking in California. The site selected is in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles, as the limestone soils and climate are reminiscent of the southern Rhone. Their rosés are based on grenache, mourvedre, and counoise.

The Ojai Vineyard

After graduating from UC Davis in 1976, Adam Tolmach gained experience while working at nearby Zaca Mesa winery for three vintages, as well as abroad. The in 1982, founded Au Bon Climat with Jim Clendenen. Adam also planted vines and would go on to found the Ojai Vineyard in 1983, finally leaving Au Bon Climat in 1991 after 9 years. The Ojai Vineyard sources their grapes from vineyards in Santa Barbara county, and produces over 25 different wines, including a Rhone inspired rosé.