Toad Hollow Vineyards Eye of the Toad Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016

Deep copper color; raspberry, red cherry candy, flowers on the nose; cherry, spice, cranberry, watermelon, orange zest on the palate.

Delightfully light, refreshing pour; nicely crisp, no residual sugar, good acidity (3.49 pH). In the Toad Hollow tradition, the wine does not take itself too seriously, is fun and approachable, well priced.

The Toad Hollow name comes, according to the winery’s charming website, from original owners, Dr. Toad (Todd Williams) and The Dancing Badger (Rodney Strong), two old friends who decided to start a winery in 1994 instead of enjoying retirement and rusting away. It remains family owned, although—from the website: “Heaven is a livelier place these days as both Dr. Toad and Mr. Badger have left their wine glasses with us here on Earth, but we know that these fine gentlemen toast us regularly, as we do them!”

Regular readers know of my admiration of Toad Hollow’s president Frankie Williams. Francine “Frankie” Williams has a colorful history that includes working for the CIA. She arrived in California in 1972 and met Dr. Todd Williams. They married in 1978 and operated a San Francisco bar named “Toad Manner.” Later, they opened the Whiskey River Inn in the Sierra Foothills before moving back to Sonoma and Healdsburg, where Frankie helped manage a law firm. Then came the wine operation. After Todd passed on in 2007, Frankie vowed to continue and now enjoys her days surrounded by Russian River Valley vineyards and her long-time staff.

Toad Hollow Vineyards Eye of the Toad Dry Rosé of Pinot Noir 2016 is fun summer sipper that is admirably bone-dry and delicately tasty. Will pair well with vegetarian fare, ethnic foods, and works as an eye-pleasing aperitif. $12-15

Toad Hollow website

Photo: Frankie Williams, Toad Hollow president; Toad Hollow winery; Toad Hollow winery and vineyards