Three families
Thirteen cousins
One exceptional wine

A bottle of panther rock's Meritage Red wine on a stone surface with a dark blackdrop

Meet the family

the next generation of the franzia family toasting to the future with two wine barrels while at a vineyard

Panther Rock Wine Company is a family-owned venture, founded by thirteen cousins who share a passion for creating exceptional wines. As the fourth generation of the Franzia family, a name steeped in wine industry history since 1893, they carry forward a legacy of excellence.

The name “Panther Rock” holds special significance for these cousins as it originates from a place where they spent much of their youth. Legend has it that a panther once stood atop a rock, fiercely guarding the land and its people. This powerful and graceful creature symbolizes both strength and elegance. The tale of the panther and the rock has become more than folklore—it embodies the family’s philosophy of safeguarding, nurturing, and sustaining their vineyards to produce wines of the highest quality.

Panther Rock Wine Company isn’t just about the past; it’s a celebration of the present and a commitment to the future. It represents their love for wine, family bonds, and dedication to preserving the land for generations to come. Through their wines, they share this passion with family and friends, creating a legacy that transcends time.

A bottle of panther rock's meritage red next to a glass of wine and a corkscrew with a stone backdropA bottle of panther rock's meritage red next to a glass of wine and a corkscrew with a stone backdrop

Our Wine

A bottle of panther rock's Meritage Red Blend wine


Step into the realm of sophistication and immerse yourself in the smooth embrace of a truly remarkable wine with our first release Panther Rock, 2021 Napa Valley Meritage – a masterpiece that encapsulates the spirit of terroir and winemaking finesse. This Meritage, an artful union of Bordeaux varietals, elegantly balances power and grace, embodying the very spirit of the vineyards. A blend of CABERNET SAUVIGNON (53%), MERLOT (28%), CABERNET FRANC (18%), and a touch of PETIT VERDOT (1%) crafted by fourth-generation California winemaker, Carol Franzia.

This Meritage captures the essence of Napa Valley, where sun-kissed vines and cool breezes harmonize to make world-class wines. Carol crafted a blend that tells the story of the 2021 vintage. The growing season started with astonishingly little rain as the Valley was in its second year of drought. These conditions resulted in a low-yield harvest with intensely flavored, petite-sized berries. This lack of water and less vigorous vine growth led to reduced fruit drop resulting in concentrated flavors in the grapes.

The wine was meticulously AGED FOR 12 MONTHS IN 100% FRENCH OAK WITH 50% NEW BARRELS from acclaimed cooperages – Sylvain, Taransaud, and Boutes. As it gracefully matured, an additional six months in neutral barrels imparted a complex texture before being carefully racked.

With aromatic notes of blackberry, dark cherry, and hints of cedar from oak aging, the bouquet highlights subtle vanilla and spice nuances. On the palate, the wine features bold, dark fruit flavors, and a velvety texture with integrated, well-structured tannins. The wine offers a harmonious balance with a lingering finish that combines elements of ripe fruit, elegant oak, and a touch of earthiness. The result? A wine with a lusciously smooth and well-rounded mouthfeel, giving way to a profound depth of finish. Overall, this is an opulent and well-crafted Meritage showcasing the unique characteristics of Napa Valley.

53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% merlot, 18% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot

Savor the harmonious notes of our 2021 Napa Valley Meritage with a pairing that delights the senses. For a delectable gustatory experience, pair this red blend with a succulent grilled ribeye steak. The rich flavors of the wine complement the robustness of the meat, creating a symphony of taste.

Enhance the ensemble with a creamy blue cheese, like Gorgonzola. The velvety texture and bold flavor profile of the cheese harmonize with the complex layers of the Meritage, offering a luxurious combination.

Indulge your palate further by accompanying this duo with roasted vegetables, such as caramelized Brussels sprouts or garlic-infused mushrooms, adding depth to the overall experience.

Raise a glass to the legacy of craftsmanship that echoes through generations and cheers to a culinary journey that elevates both the wine and the moment.

Our Winemaker

Carol franzia poses next to a wine vine while holding a glass of wine on a sunny day

Carol Franzia

With a family history of viticulture and winemaking spanning over a century, there wasn’t a doubt about what career path Carol Franzia wanted to take. She had lived and breathed the business since she could walk her family’s vineyards and when the time came to become a part of it, she was more than ready to make her mark.

Carol has always had a deep-rooted appreciation for the land. From an early age, she was taught that great wine starts in the vineyards so knowing as much as she could learn would be critical. After graduating from UC Davis with a BS in Fermentation Science, she wanted to expand her knowledge of various climates and techniques, so she attended winemaking courses at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia.

Carol understood that the land’s subtle nuance makes a large impact when crafting wines. With her focus on complex characteristics, Carol believes that people should drink wines they like. To avoid the pretentious and intimidating wine culture, Carol creates wines that reflect the vineyard's characteristics. Her wines are meant to be approachable and well-balanced - complementing meals or good times with friends.

When Carol isn’t making wine, she can be found gardening, making preserves and soap, teaching Master Foods Preserver courses at the local agricultural extension office, or on gopher patrol on the farm. The mother of triplet girls, Carol is also the head of Zinc House Farm’s egg operation with over 30 happy hens.

A bottle of panther rock's meritage red next to a glass of wine and a corkscrew with a stone backdrop

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Our wines are available to purchase online at Cellar 8 Wine for delivery in most US states. Click below to explore.

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