About

... history

Hear an interview with Julie Pedroncelli St. John about our history.

1927

Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli purchase hillside property west of Geyerserville of which 25 acres are planted mostly to Zinfandel. During Prohibition, a former winery building is in use as a barn.

1927 - 1933 Pedroncelli harvests and sells grapes to local home winemakers. One small, historic block of 100-year-old Zinfandel still remains, the Mother Clone, providing budwood for replanted estate Zinfandel into the 21st century.
1933 Prohibition is repealed at the end of the year. Giovanni Pedroncelli applies for licensing in 1934 to begin wine production for the upcoming harvest. The federal government allows him to use the original Bonded Winery #113.
1934-1947

The Pedroncelli family makes wine, selling and delivering in barrels to grocery stores, local families and ranchers. A gallon of the red and white field blend sells for 45 cents to consumers who drive to the winery to fill up their own bottles.

A few more redwood storage tanks are added and a small vineyard is acquired, now known as the Bushnell Vineyard, owned and farmed by Jim and John's niece Carol and her husband Jim.
1948 John Pedroncelli Jr. becomes winemaker in 1948. Beginning in 1949, he makes a Zinfandel for release bottled under the Pedroncelli label.
1954 On Jim Pedroncelli's recommendation, the winery is among the first to use the Sonoma County appellation on its label.
1955 Pedroncelli's first major winery expansion is built. An automatic bottling line is installed and more storage tanks for the growing production. (Before this, bottling was done by hand.) John Sr operates a tiny tasting room in a corner of the cellar, welcoming friends and family to taste his wines.
1956-1960 Jim Pedroncelli assumes marketing and sales responsibilities in 1957. Along with Zinfandel, wines produced now include Pinot Noir, Zinfandel Rose and Riesling as well as blends like Burgundy, Claret and Chablis.
1960 Thirty acres of adjacent vineyard land is purchased from a grower and adds to the home ranch.
1963 Sons John and Jim Pedroncelli purchase the winery and vineyards from their father and begin their own legacy.
1964 Pedroncelli begins to vintage date its wines. The first Pedroncelli vintage dated Cabernet Sauvignon is from 1966.
1966 A six-acre parcel of prunes on West Dry Creek Road is purchased and planted to Cabernet Sauvignon. These majestic vines were pulled out due to age in 2003 and have been replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon once again.
1968 Pedroncelli purchases its first French oak barrels and begins converting the wood tanks to stainless steel. The winery focuses more on varietal wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, Gewurztraminer and Johannisberg Riesling.
1970 Two parcels of prunes totaling 56 acres located about a mile from the winery on the bench and valley floor are purchased. This is now known as the Pedroncelli East Side Vineyards, as vines are planted along the eastern side of Dry Creek Valley.
1971-1980

A renaissance begins in Dry Creek Valley with many wineries being established and prune orchards now planted to grapes. During this period, Pedroncelli establishes relationships with growers Nivan Buchignani, Frank Johnson and Morris Fay that will last into the 21st century.

Pedroncelli transitions out of gallons and half gallons and focuses on production of 750 ml bottles of varietal wines. The list of wines is expanded. Avenues for selling wine go from local sales to statewide and national distribution through wholesalers.
1980-1982 Pedroncelli begins a 20-year project of replanting most of its 47-acre hillside Home Ranch Vineyards surrounding the winery that are primarily planted to Zinfandel.  A new fermentation room is built in 1981 with temperature controlled stainless steel tanks.
1983

Dry Creek Valley becomes an American Viticultural Appellation (AVA).

Pedroncelli adds Dry Creek Valley to its label.

1986-87 A new barrel room and tasting room are built. About 90 percent of the barrels at Pedroncelli are American oak. French oak barrels are used to age Pinot Noir and special lots. The barrel room holds 2000 barrels.
1988 Pedroncelli begins replanting the 52-acre East Side Vineyards to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and a small block of Cabernet Franc, using Smart Dysen and Scott Henry split canopy trellising systems and closer vine spacing (6'x9').
1990s

Single and Special Vineyard Selection wines are introduced. These wines represent Pedroncelli's finest achievement in eight decades of winegrowing.

A third generation of Pedroncellis is firmly established in all aspects of winery and vineyard operations, carrying forward the family tradition into the 21st century.

2002

After more than 20 years of replanting, the 47-acre hillside estate Home Ranch Vineyards surrounding the winery is predominantly head-trained Zinfandel, ranging in age from 95 to four years old. Sangiovese, Petite Sirah, Syrah and four different Port varieties are also planted in this vineyard.

2004 Pedroncelli experienced their earliest harvest ever with the first grapes picked on August 11 (Sauvignon Blanc). Harvest was over by the end of September and the wines are showing wonderfully even for such a hurried time.
2007 The Pedroncelli family celebrates 80 years of winegrowing.
2008-09

Members of the fourth generation work in the vineyard as well as the tasting room including grandsons Mitch Blakeley and Steve Trentadue.

2010

Completion of transfer of ownership to the third generation making us a 70% woman owned business.

2015

The passing of John Pedroncelli who had been winemaker since 1948. 67 vintages at the helm.

2015

Appointment of Montse Reece as Winemaker--only the third head winemaker in the history of the company, and the first woman.

Jim Pedroncelli,
Giovanni (John, Sr.) Pedroncelli
and John Pedroncelli

Pedroncelli Winery ~ A Sonoma County Tradition Since 1927