Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Syrah, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Malbec, Cab Franc, Montepulciano
The 200 acre Geyserville Estate Vineyard consists of 12 red grape varietals, varying in age from 4 to 128 years old. While the majority of our vines are supported by trellis wires, our Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Carignane blocks are head pruned, which we believe allow these varieties to produce higher quality fruit. Although more labor is involved in farming grapes this way, the improved fruit quality outweighs the increase time and labor cost. All of our fruit is handpicked, mostly at night which keeps the temperature of the juice from 50 to 60 ° F, which preserves and enhances the flavors of the grapes. We use soil-building cover crops which add nutrients and nitrogen into the soil, as well as control erosion and suppress unwanted weeds, which is part of our sustainable farming efforts. Nothing goes to waste as grape stems and pomace for instance, are composted, turning them into a nutrient-rich material that can be used in the vineyards.
The Trentadue family arrived in Sonoma County long before the region gained a reputation as the Wine Country. Life-long, hands-on agriculturists, Evelyn and Leo Trentadue contributed significantly to the advancement of their region over the years. In 1959, the Trentadues decided to flee the developers encroaching on their apricot and cherry orchards in Sunnyvale, the area known today around the world as Silicon Valley. To preserve their way of life, these hard-working Italian ranchers purchased 208 acres of land in Sonoma County’s then remote Alexander Valley.
There was little market for the region’s dry-farmed apples, prunes, pears, and grapes in the late 1950s, so land was cheap and plentiful. Scores of ranches were for sale but, because it was blessed with an excellent combination of climate, soil, and water, Leo settled on a special piece of property in the heart of the Alexander Valley. Little did he know what this ranch had once been, much less what it was to become.
The piece of land, which is now home to Trentadue Winery, has a remarkable history. In 1868, a French botanist named Andrew Bouton established Heart’s Desire Nursery on this excellent site east of the railroad tracks. With a passion for breeding new and improved strains of fruit trees, Bouton devoted himself to plant propagation, becoming a major supplier of young tree stock to orchardists throughout the western United States. His reputation attracted the attention of a young man named Luther Burbank who visited Bouton frequently. Influenced by Bouton, Burbank conducted his own work in nearby Sebastopol and Santa Rosa.
Leo Trentadue has a reputation for openness to new ideas. Over the years, this inveterate tinkerer has been among the first to experiment with what resulted in a number of viticultural/wine industry innovations. An overview of his unheralded achievements: From dry farming to irrigation. Horse drawn plows and dry farming were still practiced when the Trentadues arrived in the Alexander Valley. Leo introduced advanced irrigation practices common to his former home in Santa Clara County.
The Trentadues were among the very first to plant new vines in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. Italians love their red wines, especially hearty reds like Carignane. In 1962, the Trentadue family began planting new Carignane vines in addition to the 68 acres of old vines already growing on their ranch. Now more than 115 years old, these vines are among the oldest producing Carignane vineyards in America. The family remains steadfastly devoted to this grape, and their wine ranks indisputably among just a handful of top ranked California Carignane. These vines continue to provide valuable character in many of our award winning wines.
Understanding the importance of growing only those grape varieties, which excelled in his vineyards, in 1974 Leo installed half-acre blocks of eight different varietals. The quality of the Sangiovese was extraordinary, so all other vines were replanted to this famed variety from Tuscany. Because Evelyn and Leo share a Tuscan heritage, it is not surprising that in 1984 Trentadue was the first producer to release a 100% varietal wine named for this famed grape of Italy. The superior quality of this fruit has produced our most popular Tasting Room wine and has been the backbone for our La Storia Cuvee 32 blend, which is consistently one of the top wines produced from the Trentadue Estate.
Leo had produced an incredible, award-winning 1973 Angelica and finally, in 1987, he encouraged his winemaker to experiment with fortified wines. An excellent Petite Sirah Port resulted, among the very first of its kind. The wine was well received, so a Merlot Port and eventually a Zinfandel Port were added to the line. Over the years, Trentadue has become the leading producer of dessert wines in the area, including the wildly popular Chocolate Amore.