To honor Frank Family’s 30th anniversary, we crafted a late disgorged sparkling rosé to commemorate the journey that began with Founders Rich and Leslie Frank three decades ago. Named, Lady Edythe, in honor of our matriarch, Edythe Frank, this wine is worthy to be classified as our tête de cuvée, essentially the best of our best; and with only 1,000 bottles produced for this special occasion, this wine is all the more precious and rare.
The Lady Edythe Brut Rosé comes from the standout 2015 vintage and is a tribute to Frank Family’s sparkling wine legacy dating back to the late 1950s when our historic property was home to one of California’s earliest sparkling wine producers, Hanns Kornell Champagne Cellars. Decades later, Frank Family continues to honor the heritage of our iconic winery by handcrafting sparkling wines according to the méthode champenoise.
It Starts in the Vineyard
The finest sparkling wines are crafted from cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Frank Family’s second home in Carneros, just like Champagne, France, is considered to be a world-class region. Spanning over 10 different vineyard blocks of various elevations, microclimates, and soil compositions, Frank Family’s Lewis Vineyard holds the key elements to build the perfect bottle of bubbly – full of brightness, depth, and allure. The unique maritime fog provides the ultimate hang time for the ripening grapes, pivotal in developing cool-climate aromatics and maintaining high acidity. Strong breezes tunneling through the vines throughout the day create thick skins and tiny clusters for an intense fruit-focused palate. The restricting shallow and dense clay loam soils result in extremely low yields, producing grapes with strong character and balanced freshness.
The fruit is harvested by hand at the peak of ripeness and in the coolness of the night to preserve the purity of the fruit flavors. Grapes are handled with gentle care as they are transported to the winery and immediately pressed. “We put a big focus on single-vineyard, house-made wines to give us total control from vineyard to bottle,” says Winemaker Todd Graff. “This ensures our high- quality standards are not just being met, but exceeded.” Indeed, each Frank Family wine is handcrafted in- house, and our dedication has earned us the recognition of leading the effort of “Grower-Champagnes” in the United States
The Time it Takes
Frank Family employs the labor-intensive méthode champenoise to produce each of our sparkling wines, a patient process that takes no less than five years from vineyard to release. “The world’s finest sparkling wines are made according to the méthode champenoise, and while it is the costliest way to produce sparkling wine, we knew there was simply no other option when it came to producing ours,” says Todd.
The process begins once a base wine undergoes its first fermentation. Then, sugar and yeast are added to the bottle which ignites the secondary fermentation, creating the small, delicate bubbles for which Frank Family sparkling wines are adored for. Each of our sparkling wines are aged in the bottle for a minimum of three years, with the Lady Edythe receiving an impressive six to eight years of aging prior to release. These additional years resting on the lees provides a delightful creamy and rich texture to support the natural acidity found in our Carneros-designated sparkling wines.
Whether ceremoniously sabered or opened with a simple pop of the cork, one may be surprised to know that this stunning, soft coral-pink hued wine is mainly Chardonnay based. Delicately textured, it shows notes of white peach, strawberry, and yeasty brioche with plenty of mineral-tinged acidity. Still amazingly young and fresh after six years of aging on the lees, this remarkable bottle proves approachable yet thought-provoking all at once. Both a pleasure and an adventure to produce, we look forward to enjoying this special 30th Anniversary Lady Edythe Brut Rosé with you now and for the next 30 years to come!
This commemorative bottle will be available online starting summer 2023. Guests who join us for our 30th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, July 1 will be among the first to try this exclusive wine. Tickets and additional information are available here.