Monday, March 5, 2018

Pedroncelli Winery Marks 90 Years of Quality and Innovation

During the last 90 years Pedroncelli Winery has forged a reputation for “firsts” that have quenched our thirsts.

A Family Tradition

In 1927 Giovanni and Julia Pedroncelli purchased a shuttered winery, a vineyard and a home.
Working together they initiated a family business which has spanned four generations.

They have quite a few “firsts” to their credit, including the first rosé from Zinfandel, putting Sonoma County on the label and the first in the region to plant Cabernet Sauvignon.

We were eager to “uncork” the Pedroncelli Winery during our recent Wine Studio educational session.

Making “Friends” With Sonoma County

Our first Pedroncelli wine was the approachable 2017 friends.white Sonoma County white blend. The winery offers both a red and white blend designed to be casual and easy drinking fare.

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The Green Dragon prepared a tasting menu to enjoy this white wine. We had grilled chicken breast with a teriyaki ginger glaze and fresh pineapple and Fresno pepper sauce accompanied by purple potatoes with an herbed Feta topping.

I unscrewed the top and poured a couple of glasses. Two things struck me. First, the cap has a smiling “old school” emoji of a winking smile (which is also on the label). Second, After I set down the bottle, there was a playful gaggle of large bubbles in the bottle that caused me to smile.

friends.white is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. The two grapes are balanced nicely. To start, Friends is focused on the Sauvignon Blanc, with nice rounded tropical fruit notes. It was only later that the Gewürztraminer hallmark floral aroma and flavors began to surface.

friends.white is an enjoyable casual wine that paired nicely with our unique chicken dish. This is a great $14 buy!

A Visit From “Mother”

Our exploration of Pedroncelli vino continued with the 2015 “Mother Clone” Zinfandel, Dry Creek Valley. This is a wine we are familiar with, tasting it first when we bought a bottle while volunteering at the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland.

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The Pedroncelli historic Zinfandel vineyards were first planted to the grape in 1904. A second generation was cloned from these old vines and replanted block by block starting in the 1980s. Fruit from the new vineyard along with a small amount of fruit from the remaining over 100-year-old vines make up Mother Clone Zin.

This wine, priced at $19, is one of the best Zinfandel bargains out there. There are many “gimmick” Zinfandels, with labels that play off “Zin” and “sin,” glutting the market. Mother Clone, though, is the real deal. It delivers Dry Creek Valley goodness at an amazing price.

Speaking of amazing, Green Dragon prepared a tasty meal to accompany our Zin. We enjoyed sliced filet of beef with a Zinfandel and mushroom reduction sauce served with a spinach, avocado, bacon and egg salad.
Mother Clone Zin is an enjoyable mélange of red and black berries accented with spice notes. It has 14.9% alcohol, but the tannins and acidity balance so well that there is no “heat” to this sipper. 

Broiled meat and Mother Clone is a great pairing. It’s a great wine solo, as well. In fact, this is not only high on the QPR (quality price ratio) list, but is a wine that is sure to be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of your friends. No special wine knowledge is needed to appreciate this Zin.
Pedroncelli also has a line of small lot and vineyard designated wines as well as reserve and limited production wines. We haven’t yet tasted these, but give them a hearty recommendation based on the two we sampled from their entry level.

Ninety years and going strong, the Pedroncelli roots run deep. We encourage you to pick up a bottle or two and get to know the family.

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