We source the majority of our Zinfandel grapes from four blocks of dry-farmed vines at Tollini vineyards in Redwood Valley, north of Ukiah. The base wine, constituting half of this bottling, comes from a field of head-trained vines known as AT1, and another 30% is sourced from block AT2. These fields were originally planted by Al Tollini's grandfather back in 1932, making the vines genuinely old. Both AT1 and AT2 are head-trained on a six-foot-by-six-foot grid without a trellis or irrigation, allowing for easy weed removal as tractors can operate in both directions. AT1 is situated on sandy gravel, with a gravel company located about half a mile away, while AT2 is positioned above AT1, featuring thin soils and abundant rocks.
Sometimes it’s a struggle washing barrels.
Jim and Al Tollini in AT1 Zinfandel Vineyard. The ancient vines have man-sized trunks.
Additionally, we also source Zinfandel from two more of Al's vineyards: AT3 and AT4. Although planted in 1948, they are not part of this bottling. The remaining 20% of this Old Vine 2021 cuvée comes from Dark Horse Vineyards, whose vines are mature but not as ancient as the Tollini vines. Whereas the Tollini Zinfandels were aged in seasoned barrels, the Dark Horse Zin was aged in newer French oak barrels, imparting toasty notes and enhancing the wine's mid-palate richness. These old vines produced a wine smacking of wild blackberries, Italian plums and forest floor. Silver Medal winner.