Rockpile Wine

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The aptly named Rockpile AVA is a remote, high-country growing area, where the unforgiving terrain and soils stress the vines into ripening. The demanding landscape brings out the best in Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it seems less hospitable to man, having yet to attract any resident wineries. Perched at elevations up to 1,900 feet, Rockpile is too far upland for the penetrating fogs that influence other Sonoma appellations. This exposes grapes to more California warmth and sunshine, boosting their ripeness and richness. Only recognized as an AVA in 2002, Rockpile is a northern extension of the Dry Creek Valley AVA. However, Rockpile is not a come-lately area, as it has been the source of intense, highly-defined red wines since 1872. Several of California’s elite ZIN-ophiles make the annual pilgrimage to Rockpile, seeking its exceptional fruit to craft powerful Zinfandels. – Description from Appellation America (view original content)

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Popular wines made in Rockpile under $20

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Varietals Produced in Rockpile View all

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Malbec

    History of the grape: Some believe Malbec is named after a Hungarian peasant who spread plantings along the French co...

  • Merlot

    The Occitanian word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird.” An accurate description for this popular, early-budding...

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Petite Sirah

    History of the grape: Petite Syrah is often confused with its parent grape, Syrah, but it has been identified as a se...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

People getting updates on Rockpile Wines

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Rockpile on Snooth

  • Day 2 is again in Sonoma, mainly focused on downtown Healdsburg. We ... ... the barrel taste of their Rockpile, both of which sell out to their wine club members.  On to our 2pm appt. at Ramey. Wow, just wow. Four fantastic chards, one of the best pinots we've encountered on this trip, a very interesting syrah and two excellent cabs were waiti... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Sonoma Barrel Tasting with...


  • Great 1st day.  Weather was off and on all day, showers, sun, hail, more ... the years, especially her Rockpile Vnyd Rocky Reserve. Carol and her husband were in attendance, always a bonus to get to talk with winemakers and owners. Started off with a really nice carignanne (70+ yr old vines) that was really nice, with a touch of raspberry. Thr... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Sonoma Barrel Tasting with...


  • Rosenblum Zinfandel Rockpile Road 2010

    Snoothrank:

    Big wine, yet smooth and flavorful, The Rockpile Road has never disappointed. Read More

    Wine review by Mr Dolce


  • Rockpile Winery Syrah Madrone Spring Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Nice, medium-strength, highly drinkable wine. Blackberry and plum flavors on entry. Something of a dusty sensation, but nothing annoying. I guess I could describe it as earthiness, but that isnt quite it. In fact, it prevents the fruit from tasting syrupy. Nice acid tartness. Quite sedate tannin. No harm in holding this one, but I am happ... Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • JD:  We'll all be eating squirrel, deer, and whatever we can get our ... venison this summer up at Rockpile's vineyard dinner.  Went great with the Buck Pasture Bord blend that Clay makes.  I also like Syrah with gamey stuff, and Brunello with some age on it.  Anything that's gamey and fatty gets Petite Sirah for its natural tannin.  (Lamb, fo... Read More

    Forum post in the topic I'm going to need a bigger...


  • Rockpile Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Rockpile Ridge Vineyard 2011

    Snoothrank:

    Oaky, viney nose, with hints of black fruit. On the tongue, initial hints of currant and black plum. Lemon? Some earthiness and some tobacco. Surprisingly light tannins for such a young Cab, and the tannins that are there are sweet. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • As to zins from winemakers starting with R, don't forget Rochioli, ... anything coming out of the Rockpile Vineyar Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekend Wines - Post Pictures...


  • Clearly those were below retail.  Someone must have overbought or had a ... a ... vineyard dinner in Rockpile, we stopped at a winery to use their picnic grounds, felt obliged to taste, and, having enjoyed their Pinot and wanting to recoup the likely tasting fee (total strangers don't always comp me, I have learned!), we went ahead and bought... Read More

    Forum post in the topic What have you bought lately?


  • Rockpile Winery Zinfandel Rockpile Jack's Cabin 2011

    Snoothrank:

    More of a fruity nose than Im used to for a Zinfandel. On the tongue, though, the fruit is ameliorated. I do get a bit of blueberry and some plum, but this is more subtle than blatant. Some leather that I would, normally associate with Cabernet Sauvignon on the rear palate. Not terribly full-bodied. Fairly light on tannin. Read More

    Wine review by EMark


  • Rib eye burgers!  Talk about conspicuous consumption!  Rib eye for ... do it for me, so I had the Rockpile Jack's Vineyard Zin I brought with me. BTW, on Friday, the last night I was in charge of my own meal, we drank a 2008 Martinelli Hop Camp Gravel Lens Syrah that they were closing out a while ago at K&L.  The review says "big fruited," and... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Whatcha drinking tonight?


  • Hi everyone, New to the site here, but I thought I would let everyone know about a new Rockpile wine. I started my winery in 2006, and will have Malbec and Petite Sirah specifically from the Rockpile AVA. The only current release I have available is my inaugural release, 2006 Keating Rockpile Malbec (88% Malbec, 12% Cab Franc, 193 cases produ...

    Comment by 107607eric4275 107607 eric4275


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