Ninety years ago, it all started with a goal of three pillars – farming, fun and flagships – with flagships being the Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon wines Pedroncelli is known for producing. That was recently reinforced on a Twitter virtual tasting. However, I think one additional pillar needs to be added to the mix – and that is family.
This has been a family business since 1927 when Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli Sr. purchased a vineyard and shuttered winery in Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley. In the beginning, due to Prohibition, they had to sell grapes to home winemakers to stay afloat. There’s some heritage here. The Pedroncelli family was the first to put Sonoma County on a wine label when the area was designated in the late 1940s. The name Pedroncelli is Italian for Summer.
The family has been making wine since 1934, starting with bulk wines and evolving into the legacy wines that continue to get great wine scores from the critics. Now, the fourth generation of family members continue the family legacy. With the expansion of the generations, came the decision to expand varietals, replant the vineyards and now the winery has 70 percent female ownership. And, that’s a trend that I love to see.
The Pedroncelli’s farm more than 100 acres of vineyards in Dry Creek and source grapes from those who have the same farming vision. We (okay, my husband since I don’t cook) were asked to create the family’s special recipe for Feta and Kalamata Chicken and were given a gift card to cover the cost of the ingredients. I loved the recipe and as someone that is the last to order a big beef dish on a menu, it was a nice change of pace for a wine pairing.
We tasted three wines, which were fantastic, and I got a glimpse prior to my invitation to the big 90th celebration blowout in July in Sonoma (watch for #Ped90th).
2016 Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc – notes of Meyer lemon, lychee and a nice minerality made this a crowd favorite and a great match with the chicken.
2016 Pedroncelli Rosé of Zinfandel – notes of candied violets and just plucked off the vine berries. So refreshing.
2015 Pedroncelli Sangiovese – notes of cherry, cranberry, pepper and spice made this incredibly drinkable and food friendly wine disappear quickly.
Ninety years — nine decades strong in a tough business. The pillars remain true and the family remains focused on tradition, heritage and making amazing wines that reflect a sense of place. So, looking forward to my celebration at Pedroncelli in late July and I plan to be wearing this amazing hat.