What is a Rhône White Wine?

People in the wine world talk about life-changing tasting moments.  I recently experienced one of those wine tasting moments.  That taste that has the potential to reshape life—or at least a palate.

Andy and I were in St. Louis this spring with our wine team getting excited about the 2016 August White Rhône blend releasing in May.  I confessed to our GM, Tymari, that we didn’t know much about Rhône whites.  So, naturally we went shopping.  Steven Gitto at Schnucks in St. Louis has a private wine room… also news to me.  He ushered us into his inner sanctum, and we each chose a bottle from his sacred stash.  Tymari chose a 2012 Domaine Jean-Louis Chave Hermitage.  The girl knows her wines.  It was definitely the most money I have ever spent on a white wine, but it was research, so…

That night, dressed in PJ’s because the week had been exhausting, we opened the legendary bottle with friends.  Mind.  Blown.  Why hadn’t we bought two bottles?  Oh yeah, Andy.  Would our whites be like this?  A girl can dream!

Folded Hills August White Wine


Rhône white grapes are some of the most commonly blended grapes in the world.  Varietals like Grenache Blanc, Clairette Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier and Picpoul are a few of the French varietals that some Central Coast vintners are experimenting with at the moment.  These varietals can be blended or used as a single varietal.  While Grenache Blanc is fresh and light, often with apple-like notes on the palate. Roussanne adds a bit of weight, lovely aromatics and finesse to the blend.


Rhône whites are delicious any time of year.  During Indian summer try the August White with produce from your garden, goat cheese and sautéed zucchini, asparagus, simply grilled or with a sauce, pasta with chicken, fish, avocado with smoked salmon, and grilled shellfish.  Rhône whites pair well with dishes that can often be challenging like curries, Mexican, and Asian foods.  Vegan meals are notoriously difficult to pair wine with, so try the August White with those gloriously green and healthy dishes.  Our Ballard Canyon Roussanne pairs beautifully with shellfish, crab, mussels, as well as chicken, turkey and pasta dishes.  Let us know what dishes you pair with Folded Hills Rhône white wines!



The 2016 August White blend is Folded Hills first white wine release.  It is a blend of Grenache Blanc and Roussanne.  This is a light, crisp and refreshing wine, perfect for Indian summer, and holiday get togethers.  It is low in alcohol, which considering how easily it goes down, is a good thing.  So who loves this wine?  Andy for starters.  This was a surprise to me… Andy never, never drinks white wine.  Not even a sip.  We opened a bottle of August White this June during game 7 of the NBA playoffs and you should have seen him guzzle that wine.  We opened another bottle and down that went too!  And guess what?  No tipsy feeling, no hangover, just crisp, delicious wine which paired so well with our Mexican fiesta in front of the TV.

Delivering both freshness and richness, the Folded Hills August White combines flavors of ripe stone fruits, exotic spices of amber and saffron, and a chalky mineral note touched by celery salt.  The August White will reward you with friendly complexity, just enough weight on the palate, and a refreshing long finish.  Ready to drink now, you can also enjoy this wine over the next several years.


Also in this shipment you have a bottle of 100% Roussanne.  This is a special reserve, wine club member only wine and because of the small production is already sold out.  We love this wine.  It spent 20 months in French barrique on lees and is reminiscent of a Chardonnay with a super crisp finish.  This Roussanne will pair well with spicy Asian dishes and will be wonderful with your Thanksgiving turkey.

An elegant expression of Roussanne from Ballard Canyon, this wine offers golden tones that open with rich while fresh aromatics.  The palate brings fresh acidity and the texture of ripe apricots.  From nose through palate, the Folded Hills Ballard Canyon Roussanne carries notes of honeysuckle and chamomile tea, crisp peach and ripe pear, and a spiced sprinkle of amber and saffron.  Glittering acidity throughout refreshes the palate with energizing tension and a satisfying, long finish.

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