125 Years of Seghesio

Next year will mark Seghesio’s 125th anniversary in Sonoma County. Over five generations, the Seghesio family has played an integral role in the history and evolution of viticulture in Sonoma County...

The winery was established in 1895, when Italian immigrant Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vines in what is now Seghesio’s ‘Home Ranch’ vineyard in Alexander Valley. Edoardo and his wife Angela continued growing vines during the Prohibition years, and were the only winery in the region to survive that era.

Seghesio’s reputation for world class Zinfandel was cemented under the guidance of third generation Pete Seghesio and his fourth generation cousin Ted Seghesio in the 1980s. Owned by Crimson Wine Group since 2011 (who also owns Pine Ridge in Napa Valley), today Seghesio remains focused on its family roots, with fifth generation family member Ned Neumiller in charge of viticulture and Ted Seghesio in the cellar alongside winemaker Andy Robinson, who has worked at Seghesio for almost two decades. Italian consultant winemaker Alberto Antonini has also helped improve the quality of the wines and his influence can be seen in the juicy, approachable style of Zinfandel that has become Seghesio's hallmark.

Seghesio owns 120 hectares of sustainably farmed vineyards across several renowned appellations in Sonoma, including Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Russian River Valley. In addition, they have long-standing relationships with local growers from both Sonoma and Mendocino counties. While Seghesio are primarily known for their red wines, they have been making an Arneis, a nod to their Italian heritage, since 1994. Located in the Russian River Valley, the ‘Keyhole Ranch’ vineyard’s microclimate is tempered by cooling ocean breezes and morning fog, making it ideal for growing aromatic white varieties. The Arneis displays honey blossom, lychee and peach perfumes, and has refreshing acidity and a zesty finish.

The Sonoma Zinfandel, regularly referred to by industry experts as California’s benchmark Zinfandel, is made from carefully selected vineyards across Dry Creek Valley, Alexander Valley and Mendocino county. It displays purity, balance and freshness. ‘Old Vines’ Zinfandel is made from 70 year-old bush vines from three vineyards in the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. It is powerful yet refined, with dark intense fruit, velvety tannins and refreshing acidity.

The grapes for ‘Cortina’ Zinfandel are primarily sourced from Chen’s vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. The dry farmed estate vineyard, planted in 1972, is influenced by cooling maritime breezes and is blanketed in fog most summer mornings, resulting in a longer growing season which allows the grapes to ripen steadily. The wine is named after the gravelly loam Cortina soil in Chen’s vineyard, and is an elegant and feminine expression of Zinfandel.

‘Home Ranch’ Zinfandel is made from Edoardo’s original 1895 planting in Alexander Valley. Long, warm days and very poor soils, composed of clay with underlying layers of basalt and sandstone, result in very low yields of highly concentrated fruit. Highly complex, with ripe bramble fruit, soft tannins and incredible length, ‘Home Ranch’ Zinfandel is deserving as one of California’s most revered expressions of premium Zinfandel.