Our Story

Y. Rousseau Wines is the realization of a dream that began long ago in the South-West of France and evolved as Yannick Rousseau, French native, founder and winemaker, followed his heart and passion for winemaking.

Gascony ROOTS

Yannick was born in the Gascony region in the South-West of France known for its delicious, rich food, daily wine consumption and impressive longevity of the inhabitants. His life-long journey in wine started when he was 5 years old and drank his first glass of homemade wine with Pépé, his grandpa. Pépé hunted his own food, made his own wine, and was an artisan butcher.

French heritage

The first wine Yannick ever made was Colombard, a white variety native to Gascony. Yannick was then studying for his winemaking degree at Toulouse University and interning in Côtes de Gascogne. Not surprisingly, Colombard became Yannick’s ‘founding wine’ when he established Y. Rousseau Wines in Napa in 2008. Yannick was elated to find older Colombard vines in a small Russian River Valley vineyard. The dry, refreshing Colombard has been one of Yannick's most popular wines since. 

Tannat is another wine that Yannick first made in France. He was truly fortunate to work side-by-side with the French Tannat guru Alain Brumont, who enlightened Yannick on the art of blending and a perfectionist approach to winemaking. At Y. Rousseau Wines Yannick now makes not one, but two award-winning Tannats! 



In 2008, Yannick and his Texas-born wife and accomplice Susan started Y. Rousseau Wines. Before getting there, Yannick honed his winemaking skills as an assistant winemaker at Newton Vineyards and later as a winemaker at Chateau Potelle Winery. 

Yannick hadn't planned to stay in California for a long time when he moved here from France. But he fell in love - first, with Napa Valley terroir and then, with his wife Susan. Together, they have put all their knowledge, experience, and passion in the Y. Rousseau project, crafting small-lot, artisanal wines.

Yannick stays deeply connected to his French roots. He will always remain the son and grandson of a farmer, home winemaker, and country butcher. His down-to-earth, respectful approach to the vineyard is obvious when you taste his wine.

Download Yannick's story (PDF)