Sangiovese is the focus varietal for today’s blog post featuring of the different grapes we grow. In the early 1990’s John Pedroncelli wanted to add an Italian varietal, in honor of our heritage, to our home ranch vineyard. We planted the first 2 acres in 1993 and it took to the hillside as if it were home. We named it Alto Vineyard, and soon another 3 acres followed on two other hills. We went into the California Chianti business. Yes, this grape is the backbone of Italy’s Chianti region. In number of acres planted in California, it is most widely planted in Sonoma County with 365 acres scattered around the many appellations in our county with a healthy amount taking root right here in Dry Creek Valley. The vineyard crew has learned these vines like to start early-usually the first at budbreak and needs some hang-time on the vine to ripen properly-this is a high acid grape and the longer it hangs with the right climate the better it gets. You could say it is a vineyard I have seen mature from the early astringent days when we added Merlot to soften it to the recent 2012 vintage where it stands on its own as a true California Chianti with bright acidity balanced with perfectly ripened fruit. Now for a toast to our heritage!
Our Alto Vineyards Sangiovese hugs the hillside terraces.