• Zin-Zin-Zin

    April 21, 2019 12:16


    The reference in the title is for a license plate frame we had created in the 1980s when we made three styles of Zinfandel-Red, White and Rosé. Zinfandel is part of our history as a brand and as grape growers. The name 'zinfandel' itself has quite a complicated past-not always called Zinfandel but the good news is the name prevailed!

    Zinfandel has been grown on the hillsides surrounding the winery since the early 1900s and, what became known as our Mother Clone vineyard, covers 32 acres and has three generations planted on the Home Ranch. We have diversified our Zin-folio to include three red Zinfandels, one Rosé and two blends. Zin-Zin-Zin takes a look back and forward with this versatile varietal.

    From the beginning there was red Zinfandel. It was the first varietal planted on our property and is what sustained my grandparents and their family through the end of Prohibition. It made a style of wine that was drinkable soon after it was made-which is why it was so popular with heads-of-households who would purchase our Zinfandel and make their own 200 gallons of wine during the ‘dry years’. It was also the predominant grape in the blends my grandfather made as he began the family business after Repeal.

    By 1948 we introduced a Zinfandel at the same time as we put our first label on bottles of our wine. It was made by son John in his first year as winemaker. As time went by we increased our line of wines giving our customers a wider selection to choose from. The next wine in the Zinfandel legacy was a Rosé introduced in the mid-1950s when John wanted a lighter styled wine. These Zinfandels would become the backbone of our winery in the ensuing years even as we added Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and others to the list.

    As we entered the 1980s the wine world was finding out about a lighter styled rosé called White Zinfandel which was becoming very popular. We made our first one in 1985 and continued for 15 years making a sweeter lighter version of this popular wine side by side with our traditional styled Zinfandel Rosé. The latter began to make a comeback in the early 2000s as more people desired a more complex rosé and we began increasing our production proving the original style was more popular.

    During the 1990s winemaker John Pedroncelli chose some outstanding vineyards which deserved recognition on our labels. Our Mother Clone and Bushnell Vineyard Zins were created. The Mother Clone maintained the style we were always known for which was a classic Dry Creek Valley combination of fruit and spice. The Bushnell Vineyard, with a family connection, was set aside as a Single Vineyard choice focusing on a block among the 15 acre vineyard. This block showed more spice followed by deep fruit aromatics and flavor. In 2016 we added a second single vineyard wine-Courage from the Faloni Vineyard. Our winemaker Montse noticed this vineyard block had a different aspect to it and shows a pretty floral-berry aroma and flavor. We welcomed the new addition to our expanding line of wines.

    Finally our Zinfandel makes appearances as a supporting player in our and Sonoma Classico-both blends with other varietals combining for the best of their characteristics. You could say we are going back to our roots when we offer these blends-just like my grandfather did when he first started blending the wines in his cellar all those years ago.

  • Rosé in 140 Characters

    June 22, 2016 13:34

    Thanks to @winestudio and @lusciouslushes I was asked to take part in the Sonoma Rosé Revolution on June 21st. I participated in an hour long tweet-fest with bloggers across the U.S. over the bottle of our 2015 Dry Rosé of Zinfandel each of them had received. What fun it was to type madly trying to answer everyone’s questions. My fingers needed a break an hour later. Thankfully I was able to lift my wine glass for a last sip of Rosé!

    Here are some of the questions and answers in 140 characters or less:

    “Intentional Rosés: Rosés are what they are-or are they?”

    I think Rosés are in a class by themselves-not quite red not quite white but like Goldilocks they are just right.

    Our Dry Rosé of Zinfandel is not a mistake and never was. It was our (my grandfathers') intention to introduce a Rosé to our line of wines.

    “Do you feel Zin has a bad reputation for Rosé?”

    Just a bit-raised eyebrows but then they taste it and know there is a difference.

    It ain't your grandmother's White Zin.

    “Should there be specific rosé criteria?”

    I'd hate to put rules down for rosé. It is in a class by itself and even with Chardonnay you have a full spectrum.

    “Any life lessons you’d like to share?”

    Patience is a virtue. Wisdom comes from time and experience. Intuition is the guiding hand.

    Family, great vineyards and authentic wines. Our way of life is the reason our wines are remarkable.


    Some comments from the hundreds of tweets we all shared:

    Top takeaways from #winestudio tonight - let #rosé warm a little, #rosé goes with many foods & old zin vines make great #rosé

    What a great informative show tonight. Oh and the wine wasn't to shabby either LOL.

    Color is key! The color of this wine is gorgeous.

    These ripely fruited, fleshy rosés with mouthwatering acidity pair nicely with barbecue fare (and more importantly, thick, sweeter sauces). Yum!

    Keeps evolving with subtle nuances. Well made wine. #winestudio


    Follow @Pedroncelli you’ll see the whole online discussion. Here’s hoping I get to do this again. In the meantime, a toast to summer and the perfect wine for it: Dry Rosé of Zinfandel.

    And now for some photos that were shared throughout the hour:

    Rosé of Zin & Carbonara from @ArtPredator

    Zin and Carbonara

    @Fiery01Red tempted us with Lamb Chops

    Rose Zin and Lamb Chops

    @ToledoWinesandVines grilled up salmon-one of my favorite pairings.

    Rose Zin and Salmon