Helen Keplinger is the winemaker for Napa’s famed Bryant Family Vineyard, where Cabernet Sauvignon is king, but she also maintains her own small brand, Keplinger Wines. Here, she devotes all her time to Rhône varieties. Keplinger fell in love with Grenache and Syrah while visiting the Rhône in 2004, and started looking for Rhône-minded vineyards in California shortly thereafter. Her good friend Andy Erickson of Favia suggested she turn to Kraemer for the varieties when she expressed interest in launching her own label. The wines are aged in French oak, 20-65% new, depending on the wine. Racking is kept to a bare minimum and the wines are neither fined nor filtered. Readers owe it to themselves to check out these pure, handcrafted wines.

website: www.keplingerwines.com