The story of Southern Roots Wines has been decades in the making. We trace our roots back through an enduring, thirty-five-year friendship between two families whose shared passion for great wine, fine food, and excellent company have combined to make Southern Roots Wines a reality.
Our dreams to create our own wines began over many great bottles of wine during vacations on Gulf Coast beaches and grew while enjoying family gatherings and perfectly paired wine dinners in Birmingham, Alabama. As fate would have it, the Francis family moved to Napa, California in 2004 and began an avocation as winegrowers. While the Francises lived among the vines and met countless helpful people in the wine industry, the O’Neils visited often, and we learned together about the wine growing and making processes. In 2015, Frank O’Neil boldly suggested that we began to make our own Cabernet Sauvignon. The brand name and label design involved our now adult children. Our initial dream has grown exponentially. We proudly honor our Southern Roots by producing three highly rated, award-winning wines: our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon from the prestigious Coombsville AVA in Napa Valley, CA, our Chardonnay from the renowned Truchard Vineyard in Carneros, the premier chardonnay growing region in California, and our newest addition, a Rosé which uses fruit from only the top AVA regions in the Napa Valley.
Our Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from the esteemed Francis Vineyards, and brought to life under the careful stewardship of winemaker Rudy Zuidema. Planted in 2008, Southern Roots vines consist of three different Cabernet Sauvignon clones – 07, 04 and Entav 169 - which are grafted to rootstocks 110R, 101-14 and 1103P. Our hillside soils vary from compacted volcanic ash to clay to dense loam.
Our 100% Cabernet Sauvignon wines are aged in French Oak barrels for 20 to 24 months and have consistently received gold medals in competitions.
Carneros is the coolest and most moderate of California’s premier wine growing regions. The rolling hills of Carneros benefit from the cooling effects of fog and gentle breezes, due to its proximity to San Pablo Bay. Southern Roots sources its chardonnay grapes from a well-respected vineyard can we name Truchard? in the heart of Carneros to produce a brilliant wine that showcases the true expression of California chardonnay.
Our award-winning Southern Roots Chardonnay is whole cluster pressed with fermentation that begins in stainless steel tanks and is finished in French oak barrels, where it is aged for 20 months sur lie. This process produced a wine of impressive depth and power.
Our award-winning Napa Valley Rosé was inspired by many spectacular Gulf Coast sunsets and is a nod to that special place where our early wine education and dreams began. We aspire to use only the highest quality fruit from notable Napa Valley AVAs including Rutherford and Coombsville. The red grape varietals and proportions used in our rosé may change from vintage to vintage, but our goal is to create a rosé that is relatively dry with enough structure to be a fantastic food wine.
Our first vintage in 2018, received gold medals in competitions and was recognized by Oprah Magazine as a top 25 “Wines to Impress Your Family This Thanksgiving.”
Meet our Winemaker
As a consulting winemaker for small estate programs, Rudy Zuidema’s impressive experience includes Robert Craig Winery, Ehlers Estate and Shadybrook Estate Winery, among others. Rudy combines his passion for agriculture with an expansive education and experience in the science and art of winemaking. In the vineyard, he follows organic and biodynamic farming practices to naturally enhance the natural diversity of the rich terroir tapestry of each vineyard block. This natural approach continues in the winery, where Rudy emphasizes gentle handling of the grapes and creative, small-lot aging and blending techniques to craft balanced wines that embody a sense of elegance, purity and power. As owners, we have a strong sense of the wines we want to produce, and Rudy consistently transforms our carefully considered descriptions into wines that exceed all our expectations.