In 1973 Karl and John Giguiere (along with John's wife Lane) went home to the Dunnigan Hills farm they grew up on to settle down to the idyll life on the family wheat and sheep operation. The charm of being shepherds quickly wore off when the three discovered that sheep use almost zero percent of their brains. The sheep were fired. In 1981, they planted 10 acres of Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc; in 1983, they started their own winery. Naming their new venture after the brothers' maternal grandfather, they launched R.H. Phillips with 4,000 cases of wine. They sold every drop. Next year they sold 40,000 cases; the year after that, they sold 150,000 cases. Today, R.H. Phillips has 1600 acres of grapes on the property, and produces over 400,000 cases of wine.
Learn More About Other Red Blends
Red wines are certainly not limited to Cabernet and Pinot Noir - or even Nebbiolo and Grenache. There are a multitude of grape varieties throughout the world, however, in a Darwinian sense, survival of the fittest only brings us wines made from grapes that can adapt to changing climates and winemaking techniques.
Notable Facts Our "other red wines" primarily consists of a multitude of different blends, such as Argentina blends - Malbec-based blends, often with Bonarda, Cabernet Sauvignon or Syrah Australian blends - Usually Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon blends Tuscan blends - Super Tuscans are often blends of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah or others. Excellent and interesting blends in this category, however, come from just about everywhere, including Portugal, South Africa and Greece.
Some of the red single varietals you'll find in our other red wine category include: Carignan, a Spanish grape found in Spain (under the name Cariñena) and in many of the blends in the Rhone and Languedoc-Rousillon
Aglianico, a varietal from Southern Italy that makes some big and bold reds.
Montelpulciano d'Abruzzo, which is the grape Montelpulciano, from Abruzzo. A very easy-drinking wine from Central Italy.
Learn More About California
California has nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs) and accounts for almost 90% of wine production in the United States. In our section of Other California, we include wines from smaller AVAs as well as wines from the California AVA. Here are a few smaller AVAs you may see on the label:
Livermore Valley AVA
, located right outside of San Francisco and home to wineries such as Wente.
Lodi County AVA
, an AVA further east of San Francisco and known for its excellent, old-vine Zinfandels.
San Francisco Bay AVA
, a sprawling AVA that covers Contra Costa, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, to name a few.
Wine that holds only the California AVA is typically a wine that includes grapes from a number of different AVAs, which leads to the general labeling of the wine as California. This does not denote the quality of the wine, only the diversity of where the grapes originate.