Sharing Uncommon Ground

Gnarly, century-old Zinfandel vines in a head-pruned vineyard eek out but a few grapes every year, but their wines can be deep, rich, ethereal and sublime. Though California was once virtually blanketed in Zinfandel, most of these vineyards disappeared in the prohibition or to market forces. Lucky for us that Seghesio Family Vineyards of Sonoma County never lost their grand, ancient Zinfandel vineyards. Today, they produce a range of award-winning old-vine Zinfandels in both single vineyard bottlings and proprietary blends. In addition to Zinfandel, they also specialize in Italian varietals such as Sangiovese, Barbera, Fiano and Arneis.  The connection between the Seghesio Family and Sonoma County viticulture runs deep. Eduardo Seghesio arrived from Piedmont, Italy, in 1895 to become winemaker at Italian Swiss Colony. After getting married, he planted his own vineyard to the varietals he loved best: Zinfandel, Sangiovese and other hearty reds. Despite the prohibition, he held on to his family vineyards, which his wife, his children – and now his great-grandchildren – continued to farm after his death. In the 1960s and 1970s, Seghesio produced 50% of all red wine grapes in Sonoma County, most of which went into such ubiquitous jug wine brands as Krug and Almaden. In 1983, the family began bottling wine under their own label, and in the 1990s, Ted and Pete Seghesio refocused the operation toward premium wines made exclusively from estate vineyards, which required significant changes and investment in viticulture and wine production. Using their heritage to create value, Seghesio’s best wines are crafted from the old vines planted by the original family patriarch.