In California the first Zinfandel vineyards were planted by Italian immigrants; popularity grew swiftly and by the end of the nineteenth century it was the most widely planted variety in California. In Italy this grape variety is known as Primitivo, grown mostly in Apulia in southern Italy. Recent DNA fingerprinting shows that Primitivo's ancestor is Crljenak Kastelanski which was found in a vineyard on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia and only nine vines survive today. We fermented and aged 162 barrels of 2004 Zinfandel from heritage Mendocino vines and selected the 19 best barrels to carry our Old Vine designation. Two of the vineyards producing 89% of the blend are sited on the Talmage bench overlooking the Russian River. Twelve barrels from John Young's vineyard planted in the '30s was the base wine with dense chocolate flavors and a rich mouth feel. Five barrels from Berry Vineyards planted in the '40s reinforced the jammy core of blackberry fruit.
John and Michelle Young's vineyard was planted by the Bartolomei brothers in the 1930s.
DuPratt vineyards was planted by the Pronsolino family before Prohibition. Ranches on Mendocino's coastal ridges were won and lost in card games during the rowdy days of Prohibition.
A final touch was the best two barrels from DuPratt Vineyards on Signal Ridge overlooking Anderson Valley planted in the teens with the only virus-free clone of old-vine Zinfandel found in California. It's cooler here; the wine adds white pepper and spice with an intense tart cassis element. We'll wager that this vino grande will be a great match with your favorite pasta sauce. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.
Ed Berry's vineyard was planted by Louie Locotelli starting in 1946. Ed Sr. and Donna purchased the property in the seventies.