Yannick Rousseau
Published On: December 20, 2020


Yannick Rousseau’s winemaking philosophy and style are  old  school. His wines – both his high-end Y. Rousseau label wines and the more approachable Son of a Butcher (SOB) – are made with passion, consistency, and meticulous care. “I provide as much attention to detail to SOB as I do to my high-end Cabernet,” said Rousseau. The Gascon-born winemaker has developed a devoted following for his artisan, primarily southwestern France, YRW labels: Tannat, Colombard, and Mt. Veeder Cabernet Sauvignon. The more playful SOB label, named in honor of both his father and grand- father, both of whom were butchers, is equally popular. Rousseau attended winemaking school in Toulouse before landing in the Napa Valley as assistant winemaker for the Bordeaux program at Newton Vineyards. For two years, he worked side by side with the famed Luc Morlet at Newton before moving to Chateau Potelle, where he served as winemaker for six years. In 2008, he established his own label, recognized by the plume logo, a tribute to the also Gascon-born D’Artagnan whose life was fictionalized within Dumas’ book, The Three Musketeers. “As a winemaker, when making my picking decisions,  I don’t go into a comfort zone,” said Rousseau, who appreciates the Napa wine- making community for its positive energy and open-mindedness. “I don’t wait for the grapes to become raisened or shriveled to make sure they are ready. I am not afraid of acid and tannins because as long as the berries taste good and the seeds are ripe, I will achieve balance and focus/purity in my wines.” Said his wife Susan, “Yannick is a craftsman and an educator, and he is very loyal, not only to the people in his life but to his wines. He makes his wines with conviction and love.”



 Article By: Fran Miller