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Why Zinfandel?

It’s often said that Zinfandel is the only truly American grape and, in many ways, the Seghesio story is a true reflection of the American dream. Every bottle of Zinfandel we make is a realization of the dreams and aspirations of an Italian immigrant who came to Sonoma County in the late 19th century to build a family and a future.

Over 125 years, the Seghesio family name has become synonymous with the highest quality Zinfandel from Sonoma County. Why Zinfandel? We like to say that Zinfandel is not for the faint of heart – it may be easy to drink but it is a challenging variety to grow. Luckily, we aren’t ones to turn our backs on a challenge and neither are the bold wine drinkers who have followed us off the beaten path to discover and fall in love with this unique variety.

Our ancestors planted these vines and our family has nourished and cared for them since 1895, persevering through prohibition, earthquakes, fires and droughts. When times got tough, we didn’t give up. We buckled down, propped each other up, and did what we had to do to sustain our family, our vines, and our business to propel us forward. Sustainability has become a central tenet of our farming and viticultural practices with the continued health of our vineyards and with the next five generations always in mind.

Though Zinfandel’s popularity may have waxed and waned, we are steadfast in our commitment to the Zinfandel vines that have nourished our family for five generations. We believe in Zinfandel’s capacity to make fascinating wines that are bold, complex, age-worthy and have something to say. With Italian roots, we’ve never found ourselves at a loss for words and we are proud to make bold wines that aren’t shy either. Our celebrated and food-friendly wines are crafted in small lots to reflect the best sites and vineyards for growing Zinfandel in Sonoma County and our style is defined by our commitment to making wines of balance, purity, and character.

Our Commitment to Old Vines

While “Old Vine” may be an unregulated term, we have devised our own strict guidelines for using the phrase. For us, “Old Vine” indicates a minimum age of 50 years, but we exceed even our own guidelines; our Old Vine Zinfandel, as an example, is produced from vineyards with an average age closer to 75 years.

Seghesio Family Vineyards farms a number of the original founding blocks of Zinfandel planted at our Home Ranch Vineyard in 1895. We also maintain the oldest blocks of Sangiovese in North America in our Chianti Station Vineyard. These Sangiovese vines represent an heirloom clone that has otherwise gone extinct and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Seghesio Family Vineyards is wholly devoted to the stewardship and preservation of old vines, so much so that, in 2011, we purchased the historic Montafi Vineyard in Russian River Valley in large part to ensure that the 94-year-old Zinfandel vines planted there would stay in the ground. We make a small amount of wine from this site exclusively for our tasting room and wine club.

Our commitment to farming and cultivating old vine vineyards stems from our belief in the capacity of these vines to make truly extraordinary wines with incredible concentration, complexity, and intrigue. Though their yields may be low, the quality of the old vine fruit we farm provides reliable and excellent quality fruit that elevates the profile of many of our signature Zinfandels.