Little Frances

Erin Pooley was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. Before relocating to California she graduated from Charles Sturt University with a degree in Wine Science. Erin has been making wine worldwide since 2007.

Enamored with the nuance and intrigue of white wine with bottle age, Erin started her wine company in 2012 with Semillon from the Luchsinger Vineyard in Lake County, California. From the outset Erin subscribed to the philosophy of aging Semillon before release. These dry white wines develop a savoury complexity and depth fascinating to experience over years of cellaring.

Little Frances continues to expand on what is possible for Northern Californian wine by adding a textured Chenin Blanc from the celebrated Clarksburg region. Applying a white winemaker’s lens to a red wine grape, Little Frances is also on a mission to make Merlot great again.

Semillon, Chenin Blanc and Merlot complete a triptych of engaging table wines rooted in Northern California.

Erin was recently featured as a San Francisco Chronicle Winemaker to Watch.


Chenin Blanc Clarksburg

Varietal: Chenin Blanc

Color: White

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. 100% Chenin Blanc. From Heringer vineyard (in conversion to organic farming) in Clarksburg. 15-year-old vines on silt loam. Whole bunch pressed (no SO2) to tank. Juice oxidation allowed to occur naturally. Tank chilled slightly and after 24 hours transferred to neutral French oak and stainless steel barrels. Fermentation occurs naturally in the barrel with no additions, stirring or temperature control. Post fermentation, barrels are topped and sulfured when dry ~25ppm. Wine aged on lees (no stirring) until bottling in spring. No fining. Loose filtration only to catch large solids. Wine was not cold stabilized. Wine aged in neutral French oak. 162 cases produced.

Merlot Sierra Foothills

Varietal: Merlot

Color: Red

Farming Practice: Certified Organic

Certified Organic. 100% Merlot. Sourced from the Ponderosa vineyard at Chacewater in Sierra Foothills. The vineyard is 34 acres in size, and the vines are 20+ year-old and planted on shallow soil over impenetrable rocks at 2000 ft elevation. Hand-harvested, destemmed to open top stainless steel fermentation tank. Grapes were cool when they came in, so a passive cold-soak occurred for five days before natural fermentation started. Fermentation proceeded for approximately 7 days before the wine was drained and pressed to tank. Gentle punch downs twice daily throughout fermentation. Aged in 2/3 once used Demptos and the rest neutral French oak (all barrique). All fine lees were retained until bottling in August 2019. 10 months total aging with minimal SO2 added post malolactic (25ppm). Wine was not racked or stirred during elevage. 254 cases produced.

Semillon Lake County

Varietal: Semillon

Color: White

Farming Practice: Sustainable

Sustainable. 100% Semillon. Soils in the vineyards consist of alluvial rocky loam with some clay. Whole bunch pressed to tank. Zero SO2, juice allowed to oxidize pre-fermentation. Chilled for 24 hours and racked off gross lees to tank for fermentation. Tank set to around 67F and allowed to ferment at its own pace (native). Generally complete within a week and malolactic is also allowed to proceed naturally. Racked off fermentation lees to neutral oak, stainless steel and tank for the completion of malolactic. Wine is sulfured at 50ppm when complete, lightly filtered (pads) before bottling in March 2016 (5 months elevage). Wine adjusted to 20ppm FSO2 pre bottling. 280 cases produced.