Chateau St. Jean was founded in Sonoma Valley, near Kenwood, in 1973 by Robert and Edward Merzoian and Ken Sheffield. The three business partners were grape growers who wanted to make wine. Their first winemaker Richard Arrowood went on to establish his own winery in the 1990s, leaving a legacy of outstanding winemaking, especially with Chardonnay. In 1997 the 117-acre estate was purchased by Beringer Wine Estates. With vineyards in Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley, the estate grows a wide variety of red and white grapes and purchases additional varietals, including Pinot Noir and Riesling. Robert M. Parker Jr. has written that though Chateau St. Jean is often considered primarily “a white wine producing estate because of the brilliant quality of their Fume Blancs and Chardonnays, they also fashion very fine Cabernet Sauvignons as well as an excellent Bordeaux blend…”
This is a parent grape to Cabernet Sauvignon. It most likely originates from Basque country. It is an excellent blending grape, known for making the exquisite Cheval-Blanc. Franc is a little hardier on a vine than Sauvignon, but drinks smoothly at the table.