Wine savage

The Wineries

Many wineries are too small to worry about contests and ratings. They know they have amazing wines, and they don’t need a 95 point review to sell out. WineSavage scours these small producers to find the best wine, not the best-known, at great value to you.

Ampelos Cellars

Pure is the word we use to describe Ampelos wines. By using a low-intervention winemaking process, the makers at Ampelos have crafted a range of intriguing and complex varietals that contain no added yeast, no artificial tannins, no artificial bacteria and no added color. In addition to being located in the beautiful, rolling Santa Rita Hills, Ampelos Cellars prides itself on maintaining a very eco-friendly production.

Anthem Winery

Anthem Winery in Napa Valley began its small operation in early 2009 and has been producing some amazing handcrafted wines since. We love the way Anthem values the quality of its wine over everything else. According to Anthem, “quality has trumped quantity at every turn.” Anthem’s team’s dedication to creating small amounts of great wine has allowed it to produce without regard to cost, resources and marketing timetables. Anthem has gone so far as to forego harvest completely when the grapes did not develop to their standards.

Bennet Valley Cellars

The climate in Bennett Valley is the reason for this world-class wine. With well-drained alluvial soils and fog-cooled temperatures, Bennett Valley Cellars harvests a full 40 acres of estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The result of such an ideal growing climate is great wine with flavors and aromatic characteristics unique to the beautiful Bennett Valley.

Bucher Vineyard

For years Bucher Vineyard has produced 38 acres of Pinot Noir grapes and two acres of Chardonnay grapes and has been featured in such wines as Williams Selyem, Holdredge, Arista, Papapietro Perry, and Siduri, to name a few. Now, Bucher is crafting its own very limited estate Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay. If you love the Bucher Vineyard wines as much as we do, you may want to order some more as there are only 250 cases made each year.

Buttonwood Farm

Buttonwood Farm Winery’s founder Betty Williams was always ahead of her time. In the 1960s, she set out to create a working farm based on good practices for people, animals, and the earth. What began with horses and then organic vegetables resulted in a 39-acre vineyard. Aside from the wonderful wine at Buttonwood Farm, we also love the atmosphere of the winery. If you are ever in the Santa Ynez Valley, check out the tasting room, which is surrounded by olives, pomegranates, peonies, herbs, summer vegetables and, of course, Buttonwood Farm’s famous peaches.

Canihan Wines

The Canihan Family crafts some fantastic award-winning wines. From their certified organic estate vineyards in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Canihan produces Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc. Tasted by 47 judges over three days, Canihan’s first ever wine produced was awarded “Best of Show Red Wine” out of 4,300 wines at the prestigious 2007 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

Casey Flat Ranch

Casey Flat Ranch, located in the Vaca Mountain Range, boasts over 6,000 impressive acres. The vineyard itself comprises only 24 total acres and grows a combination of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. Aside from producing great wine, the ranch also supports a modest Longhorn Cattle operation. We love the Casey Flat Ranch for its character, its dedication to preserving natural resources throughout wine production and for the way in which the property reflects the values of the Robert and Maura Morey family, owners for over a quarter-century.

Cuvée Wine Cellars

The story of Cuvée Wine Cellars begins with a group of home winemakers passionate about producing quality wines. Inspired by a run of successes in amateur winemaking contests across California, they decided to become a bonded winery. They chose the name Cuvée—the French term for a blend of wines, usually of different varietals or vintages—to express the collaboration of wines and winemakers. The final products are exciting and refreshing: the result of extensive research and tasting trials, teamwork, and talent. We know you’ll love them as much as we do.

En Garde Winery

En Garde Winery likes to keep it simple. The winery focuses on using the best sources for the best fruit to make the best wine, period. Proof that they are doing just that is the fact that they won the Affairs of the Vine Cabernet Shootout two years on a row with a Diamond Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a Double Gold medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. En Garde specializes in Diamond Mountain of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

girl. dog. truck.

The story of girl. dog. truck. is unique and interesting: the winery is quite literally a girl, her dog and her truck. The girl, Nicole, generally runs a one-woman operation, but she gives thanks to Wild Hog Vineyards for the use of their facilities. When it comes to production, everything is crafted with an eye for purity and sustainability. Sourced locally from family-owned vineyards, these wines focus on quality from primarily organic fruit. Additionally, all of Nicole’s wines are unfined, unfiltered, and are made with minimal chemical and mechanical intervention. The bottle glass is sourced from Modesto, California, while the corks are harvested from sustainably farmed cork trees. The labels are printed on 80% (post-consumer) recycled paper. As for how the wine tastes, Nicole says, “Ohhhh…It’s so good.”

Greyscale Wines

Greyscale Wines aspires to craft elegant Bordeaux-style wine using California grapes. They believe wines should be balanced, low in alcohol, and food-friendly. Greyscale’s world-class French winemaker Kian Tavakoli trained at the renowned U.C. Davis viticulture and enology program and has worked at wineries in both California and France. We love Kain's Bordeaux-style wines, and we think you will too.

Holme Estate Cellars

Holme Estate Cellars is a family-owned and operated winery situated on the Limestone Coast of the Mount Benson region of South Australia. Originally used to raise cattle and sheep, the farm has been in the family for over 100 years. In 1998, the Holme family realized the grape-growing potential of the region and began planting vines. We love Holme Estate Cellars' uncomplicated approach to winemaking: every grape is picked by hand and de-stemmed by a member of the Holme family. Their wine is truly a reflection of the vineyar: minimalist yet elegant.

Hopper Creek Winery

Developed in 1984, Hopper Creek Winery’s six acres of vineyards were originally planted with Pinot Noir vines in north-south rows. In 1991, to improve sun exposure and reduce the potential for wind damage, the vines were pulled and replaced with Merlot stock in an east-west configuration. After current proprietor Dieter Tede acquired the property in 1996, Cabernet Sauvignon vines were added to the vineyards. This beautiful Yountville winery now produces about 3.5 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot per acre annually. They also purchase super-premium grapes from top growers in Sonoma County to round out their portfolio with Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and Petite Syrah.

James Family Cellars

James Family Cellars is a family-owned boutique winery dedicated to the production of artisanal wines made from world-class grapes. Using 100% Pinot Noir grapes from its vineyard in the heart of Sonoma County, James Family Cellars handcrafts each with precision and care. The James family wants each Pinot Noir to reach the pinnacle of its potential: marvelously aromatic and flavorful. The commitment to a high standard of quality is reflected in the limited number of cases the James family releases each year.

Paradox Wines

Paradox Wines in San Francisco is an urban winery that creates unique wines for experienced enthusiasts and new wine drinkers. Paradox allows each release to reach its full potential by paying special attention to terroir, technique, and time. This winery’s selection of varietals includes Syrah, Barbera, Grenache, Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Rhone-style blends.

Parallel Napa Valley

Parallel Napa Valley was founded by a close-knit group of friends who are all extremely passionate about skiing, fine wine and life. Their label represents those passions in distinct ways. Their love of skiing served as an inspiration for the winery’s label, which captures the first tracks of the day cut into fresh powder. Their love of fine wine inspired them to collaborate with Philippe Melka to create Parallel Napa Valley. And their love for life inspired them to work hard and enjoy the amazing fruits of their labor: a beautiful selection of finely crafted wines.


Portalupi began many years ago in a small northern California town where Tim and Jane, now husband and wife, first met as children. For nearly 30 years, they have traversed the gamut of the premium wine business. They started Portalupi in 2002 and deliver exquisitely crafted wines worthy of their generation’s history of Italian winemaking. Portalupi is a celebration of their reunion and a tribute to their rich ancestry.


Sequum is owned and operated by Paul Skinner, Ph.D., who began production in 2003 because of his passion for wine and inspiration from his Kidd Ranch vineyard in St. Helena, Napa Valley. In crafting his varietals, Paul combines a practical scientific approach with an artisanal sensitivity. “Sequum” is a soil science term that describes the relationship of a vertical sequence of soil layers. Sequum wines are each made to showcase Paul’s deep understanding of the relationship between soil, climate, and grape growing. While Paul has a deep respect for old vines and traditions, he also has pioneered the use of new techniques for monitoring and assessing vine, water, and nutrient status and the implications and effects they have on premium quality grapes and wines.

Shadowbox Cellars

Shadowbox Cellars takes a unique approach to winemaking. This winery chooses different winemakers to guide each varietal through its journey from vine to wine. By choosing winemakers that excel at producing a specific varietal and matching these winemakers’ talents with carefully selected grapes, Shadowbox Cellars has created wines of distinction.

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