National Wine Day

  • Old Wine, Tasty Wine?

    May 25, 2017 12:01

    Old Wine, Tasty Wine?

    As we move through our 90th anniversary year we are taking some of our cellared wines from the library and giving them some consideration. Many are 20, 30 and 40 years old. Today we are celebrating National Wine Day (May 25). I thought I’d discuss my experiences of tasting some of our older wines, a few of them in great condition and others have gone over the wine colored rainbow bridge.

    With this in mind I found, for the most part, our Cabernet Sauvignons have held their ground in the world of cellar aging. The 1966 I tasted last night was a bit tired in the aroma department and once tasted I think actually held onto some of its’ youth with touches of tobacco, a bit of acidity and tannin, overall very soft. At this point, for many wine lovers and fans, this wine has joined the ‘over the hill’ gang but I am still fascinated by the longevity—51 years old!

    A 1977 Cabernet Sauvignon fared a bit better-and coming from a drought period. The wine still captured the fruit and acidity with a bit more concentration from the lower yield influenced by drought that year.  With a bit of zestfulness it holds as one of the best from an uneven decade and did well in my opinion. Not for the faint of heart and certainly something you want to pour and serve almost immediately-the more aeration the faster the bouquet disappears and my advice is not to linger.

    Our 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon is a good example of a well-aged wine at 22 years old. It had life left including fruit framed by still-present tannins and hints of warm toasty oak, although the tannins had softened up and acidity provided the tart palate. Predictions of a Cabernet worthy of aging, based on the growing season that year, proved right. Decanting the wine would not be required, drink up because older wines don’t last into the next day.

    Heading into the first decade of the new millennium the Cabernets of this period tend to be doing well with plenty of aging capability left. The 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon shows fruit over tannin, beautiful toasted oak and acidity frame the wine. Decanting at this stage in the aging game would be recommended.

    Take a look around your stash and don’t wait too long to enjoy the fruits of your cellar. You don’t have to reach into your cellar (closet, garage, wine refrigerator) for an older wine. Enjoy a glass of your favorite today. Pair with whatever you are having, from a quick weeknight meal to after dinner reflection.  Post photos using #NationalWineDay on your favorite social media channel. A toast in my Dino with a splash of 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon!

  • November 16 National Zinfandel Day

    November 10, 2016 15:20

    What is Zinfandel Day?

    Zinfandel Day is a worldwide celebration of the Zinfandel grape variety, intended to give Zinfandel lovers around the globe a platform to express their passion for grape and the wines made from it.

    How do I take part in Zinfandel Day?

    Stop by Pedroncelli's tasting room for a sip of Zinfandel from the library, our current release 2014 Mother Clone Zinfandel and a sneak preview of one of our favorites (a surprise). Learn about the nearly 90 years of Zinfandel on our estate vineyards.

    Are you social media savvy?

    If so, use the #ZinfandelDay and #ZinDay hash tags when posting your comments or photos about Zinfandel. You can also search the hash tag on these sites to keep up with your fellow Zin drinkers from around the globe.

    Not social media inclined?

    Not to worry, the important thing is that you gather with friends or family and enjoy some great wine...after all what is wine if not shared?

    Learn more about this delicious grape here.

    In support of our local food pantry, we are collecting dry goods and canned food for the Redwood Empire Food Bank this month so please bring something to add to our barrel in lieu of the tasting fee.

    Contact Julie at for more information or if you'd like to reserve your own appointment in the barrel room or a tour of our Home Ranch Zinfandel vineyards, seen below in fall color glory.

    Zinfandel Vineyards


  • Celebrating National Zinfandel Day

    November 18, 2015 12:33

    We have been growing Zinfandel on our property since the turn of the 20th century when a 25 acre vineyard was established before my grandparents bought the property mid-Prohibition. Some of these vines are still around and continue to produce grapes. Since it is National Zinfandel Day I’ll share what I have of the first years of Zinfandel (aka Zinfandal, Zeinfindall, Black St. Peters and a host of other names).

    • 1832—First record of Zinfandel being grown in the US by William Prince on Long Island, New York.  He identifies it as a Hungarian variety.
    • 1834—First reported exhibit of Zinfandel by Samuel J. Perkins of Boston.
    • 1839—Zinfandal vine wins its first award as part of the Otis Johnson collection on the East Coast.
    • 1848—John Fisk Allen of Salem, Massachusetts, publishes description of locally grown Zinfandal that closely matches what is now called Zinfandel.
    • 1852—The year Agoston Haraszthy imported Zin into California, according to his son, Arpad, writing in the 1880’s.  Haraszthy is sometimes known as the “father of Sonoma County winegrowing”.
    • 1857—Captain Frederick W. Macondray and J.W. Osborne exhibit Zinfandal at Mechanic’s Fair in San Francisco.
    • 1858—Commissioner of Patents lists Zinfandal as part of its collection.
    • 1858—A.P. Smith of Sacramento exhibits Zeinfindall at State Fair.
    • 1859—Antoine Delmas wins first prize for his wine, believed to be Zinfandel, at the State Fair.
    • 1860—William Boggs plants Zinfandel in the propagation garden of the Sonoma Horticultural Society.  Leads to extensive Zin plantings in the county.
    • 1860—General Vallejo’s winemaker, Dr. Victor Flaure, advises Sonoma growers to plant all the Zinfandel they can.
    • 1864-1869—Dry Creek Valley experiences the first growers who many feel planted Zinfandel and Mission grapes to support or start their own wineries.
    • 1868—First North Coast award (a silver medal) for a Zinfandel given to Sonoma pioneer wineman Jacob R. Snyder at the Mechanics Institute Fair.
    • 1872—The first winery in Dry Creek Valley  was built by George Bloch.  A vineyard boom soon followed with about 15 growers by 1877.
    • 1878—Zinfandel is the most widely planted varietal during California’s first wine boom.
    • 1883—Dry Creek grape growers increased to 54 by this time and Zinfandel was the top planted varietal with a total of 395 acres.

     The rest, as they say, is zinstory. Even though Prohibition came along and many vineyards were pulled up for other crops, we continued to sell grapes until the U.S. saw the light and Repeal came along. After all, over 2500 acres of Zinfandel in the smallest major appellation in Sonoma County can't be wrong. A toast with Zinfandel in my Dino to this singular grape!

    Zinfandel grape bunch