Our Grapes - Zinfandel

The Zinfandel is considered America's own great indigenous grape, even though its origins lie on the Adriatic coast. Planted throughout California and the Pacific Northwest, Zinfandel is at its best in warm regions with cooler temperatures during harvest. The wines can range from off-dry Rosés, White Zinfandels, and light bistro styled wines, to big, rich powerful wines - even luscious wines for dessert bottling. The flavors range from plummy to raspberry, although deep blackberry fruit and brambly spice tones are most common.


Zinfandel, also known as Primitivo, vines can be quite vigorous and grow best in climates that are warm but not too hot, because grapes may shrivel in hot weather. Our hillside location and shallow soil prevents the vines from becoming overly vigorous. Zinfandel's thin-skinned grapes grow in large, tight bunches that are sometimes prone to bunch rot. The fruit ripen in mid to late September and produces juice with high sugar levels. If weather conditions permit, the grapes may be late-harvested to make dessert wine.  Zinfandel is often praised for its ability to reflect both its terroir and its winemaker's style and skill.

Zinfandel grapes are known for their uneven pattern of ripening: a single bunch may contain both raisin-like, over-ripe grapes and green, unripened grapes. Some winemakers choose to vinify the bunches with these varying levels of ripeness, while others hand-harvest the bunches, even by single berries, through multiple passes through the vineyards over several weeks. This extensively laborious practice is one component in the high cost of some Zinfandels.

Our vineyard contains three blocks of Zinfandel and these blocks are havested at different time to achieve a uniform quality. That not easy to do with Zin because of its inherent tendacy to ripen unevenly. Zin is sensitive to water stress and can show signs of potassium deficency. Our clone was selected because it does not produce giant clusters, and our yield are right around 4 tons to the acre. The vines are trellised using VSP and are cordon pruned. They are spaced 5-feet between plants and 9-feet between rows, and have drip irrigation. The oldest Block, #7 which contains 2 acres, was planted in 1999. Block 10 contains 3 acres and was planted in 2004, and Block 11 also contains three acres and was planted in 2006.