Renwood Estate Ranch Zinfandel 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Surrounded by some of America's oldest Zinfandel vineyards, Renwood Winery is located in the picturesque California foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Renwood produces world-class award-winning wines from Amador County. Founded in 1993, it reflects Amador County’s rich history of magnificent vineyards and winemaking. Owned by international vintner and entrepreneur, Alejandro Bulgheroni, the team undertook a thorough and painstaking replanting in 2014 to update each block of the Renwood Ranch vineyard for optimum health and efficiency.
Wine production has grown from 2,500 cases in 1993 to approximately 25,000 cases today, all from the Renwood Ranch Estate vineyard for the three wines they produce. Winemaker Joe Shebl has been at the property since 1999 and knows every square inch of the vineyard like a second home.
The Grandpere Zinfandel, which comes from its namesake block of the Estate vineyard is made from the oldest known clone of Zinfandel in America. All grapes are handpicked and fermented in small lots, then aged in French-only oak barrels to preserve the unique character of each parcel which strives to impart the texture, freshness, and finesse of which great Zinfandel is capable.
As the lower part of the greater Sierra Foothills appellation, Amador is roughly a plateau whose vineyards grow at 1,200 to 2,000 feet in elevation. It is 100 miles east of both San Francisco and Napa Valley. Most of its wineries are in the oak-studded rolling hillsides of Shenandoah Valley or east in Fiddletown, where elevations are slightly higher.
The Sierra Foothills growing area was among the largest wine producers in the state during the gold rush of the late 1800s. The local wine industry enjoyed great success until just after the turn of the century when fortune-seekers moved elsewhere and its population diminished. With Prohibition, winemaking was totally abandoned, along with its vineyards. But some of these, especially Zinfandel, still remain and are the treasure chest of the Sierra Foothills as we know them.
Most Amador vines are planted in volcanic soils derived primarily from sandy clay loam and decomposed granite. Summer days are hot but nighttime temperatures typically drop 30 degrees and the humidity is low, making this an ideal environment for grape growing. Because there is adequate rain throughout the year and even snow in the winter, dry farming is possible.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel has secured its title as the darling of California vintners by adapting well to the state's diverse microclimates and landscapes. Born in Croatia, it later made its way to southern Italy where it was named Primitivo. Fortunately, the imperial nursery of Vienna catalogued specimens of the vine, and it later made its way to New England in 1829. Parading the true American spirit, Zinfandel found a new home in California during the Gold Rush of 1849. Somm Secret—California's ancient vines of Zinfandel are those that survived the neglect of Prohibition; today these vines produce the most concentrated, ethereal and complex examples.