With a compelling blend of Vietnamese heritage and Napa Valley’s rich viticultural landscape, RD Winery under the astute leadership of CEO Mailynh Phan has transformed the winemaking landscape. From its humble beginnings in the Vietnamese market, the winery’s journey into the heart of Napa unveiled not just a new tasting room, but an innovative fusion of all-Asian cuisine pairing. By bridging the essence of Vietnamese tradition with Napa’s winemaking artistry, RD Winery has not only crafted a distinct brand voice but also fostered a sense of inclusivity and community within the often exclusive world of wine.
Mailynh joined the winery in 2010 and helped secure their first production facility and harvest. Since then, she has led the company through a shift to focus on the domestic market and creating a unique brand identity. Mailynh oversees the tasting room experience, which showcases their Vietnamese culture and cuisine, the online shop, which offers direct to consumer wine sales, and the Seasonal Foodie Box, which features diverse and delicious wine and food pairings. She also manages the Collective at RD Winery, a community-driven program that supports and empowers small and minority-owned wine, cider, and beer producers.
RD Winery is a story of two labels: Hundred Knot and Fifth Moon. Each label caters to different wine preferences and palates, offering a range of styles, varieties, and regions. Hundred Knot features wines from many storied vineyards within Napa and Sonoma. The Fifth Moon label explores the diversity and versatility of lesser-known grape varieties and regions, such as Gruner Veltliner, Zinfandel, and Mission. The Fifth Moon label is inspired by the Vietnamese lunar calendar, which celebrates the fifth moon as a time of joy and abundance. Both labels reflect the innovative vision of the winery, which is to create wines that honor the essence of Napa Valley while also embracing their Vietnamese culture and heritage.
Credit: Bob McClenahan
One of the most intriguing wines from their Fifth Moon label is the Stampede Vineyard Field Blend, which debuted in 2022. This wine is made from grapes harvested and fermented together from a vineyard planted to multiple grape varieties, such as Zinfandel, Mission, Grenache and others. A field blend is a traditional and authentic practice that dates back to the early days of California viticulture.
The Stampede Vineyard, located in Lodi, is one of the oldest vineyards in California, planted in the 1920s by J.J. Zechmeister and C.H. Suess. The vineyard is situated on the old southern embankment of the Mokelumne River, near the Clements Buckaroos Rodeo Grounds, where the famous Clements Stampede Rodeo takes place. RD Winery chose the Stampede Vineyard for its inaugural field blend because of its exceptional historical significance and unique grape composition. With a limited production of only 30 cases, this wine underscores their commitment to innovative craftsmanship and rare wines.
They also make Gruner Veltliner, a white grape variety that is native to Austria.. This wine is made from grapes grown in Mayfarm Vineyard, located in Edna Valley, a cool-climate region near San Luis Obispo. According to winemaker Tim Milos, the idea of making a Gruner Veltliner was inspired by the desire to pair it with Vietnamese cuisine. The versatility of this wine makes it a perfect match for a wide range of dishes, from the classic pho (noodle soup) to the more adventurous fish and chips. It can also handle the spiciness and complexity of Vietnamese food, such as cà ri gà (chicken curry with coconut milk) or bánh xèo (crispy rice pancakes with shrimp and pork).
Community is not just a word, but a core value that guides their actions and decisions of the organization. They understand the challenges and opportunities of being a minority in the wine industry, which has often been perceived as exclusive and homogeneous. That’s why they are passionate about creating a sense of connection and inclusivity for themselves and others who share their background or aspirations.
Credit: Bob McClenahan
RD Winery fosters community and diversity by collaborating with organizations that support and empower Hispanic and Latinx wine professionals and consumers, such as the LatinXWine Summit and Hispanics in Wine. By doing so, RD Winery not only supports their fellow wine professionals and enthusiasts, but also helps to create a more diverse and welcoming wine culture that reflects the changing demographics and preferences of the U.S. population. Their commitment to community and diversity is not only good for business, but also good for society.
The wines featured in the Wine Recommendations section were provided by the winery for the purpose of review. The selection and tasting of these wines were independently conducted. No compensation or incentives were provided for inclusion in the story. As always, the top priority is to provide the readers with informative reporting.
2019 Hundred Knot Syrah- robust, hearty, a feast of flavors, engulfed in the depths of dark fruits, a touch of herbs, the allure of leather, and the whisper of tobacco.
2021 Fifth Moon Field Blend- aromas of ripe red and black fruits, exotic spices, vanilla and licorice. The palate is full bodied and complex, with layers of flavors that echo the nose, supported by smooth tannins and a lively acidity while the finish is long and satisfying.
2020 Fifth Moon Gruner Veltliner- refreshing and crisp experience. The has a pale straw color hue and aromas of citrus, green apple, and floral notes. On the palate, dry with high acidity and a earthy finish.
For more information on the winery you can visit their website at: rdwinery.com
Located out of the Sierra Foothills of California, Joe Campbell provides color commentary as well as insight within the wine industry both from the lifestyle consumer and business segments of the industry. He can be reached via email at : firstname.lastname@example.org .
Craft Wine Association 1121 L Street, Suite 700 Sacramento, CA 95814 916.672.0854
ⓒ All Rights Reserved – Craft Wine Association – 2023