Meet Russian River Valley’s True Old Vine Zinfandel

By Founder Peter Tonti, Tonti Family Wines

Born out of our love of fine wines and delicious food, Tonti Family Wines offers a fine vintage Zinfandel.  After traveling the world and sampling different wines, we decided to make our way back home and bring this vintage to you.

Our vineyard partnership affords us access to an extraordinary patch of land. The vineyard where our grapes are grown rests on the Eastern edge of the beautiful Russian River Valley Appellation, on gently rolling bench land above the valley floor.

The Russian River Appellation location not only provides the ideal soil composed of stony ancient volcanic ash, but also an excellent overall climate for wine grapes. Warm days and cool nights, and light breezes from the Pacific, all have positive affects on the growing season. The day heating and night time cooling cycle plays an important part of why Northern California is a world class wine producing region.

Old Vine Zinfandel grape cluster

Planted to Zinfandel in 1900, the Vineyard consists primarily of Old Vine Zinfandel, as well as small separate blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. With ideal Southern exposure, the vineyard is bathed in sunlight during the growing season. On average the yield is small, in part due to nature, but also by design-approximately one half ton, and occasionally up to one ton per acre is harvested, depending on the vigor of vineyard block and severity of pruning. The vines are organically dry farmed relying solely on yearly rainwater to irrigate the vineyard. This method generally decreases tonnage, however, in exchange, the remaining fruit clusters achieve a wonderful concentration.

The meso-climate on the Eastern edge of the Russian River Valley, is located on the Fulton bench land. It provides enough heat to ripen the grapes, and enough natural cooling influences from the Pacific Ocean allowing extended hang time, for additional concentration and optimal maturation.

Old Vine Zinfandel from Sonoma Russian River Valley

The vineyard enjoys views North into the Russian River Valley. To the Northeast, stands the majestic Mount St. Helena. To the West, lie rolling vineyards to the foothills that are the home of the great Redwoods, with the Pacific Ocean beyond. On cloud free days, the top of Mount Tamalpais near the San Francisco Bay can be seen reaching skyward in the distant Marin County to the South.

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