A Connection to the Soil
Grapes Expressed in the Glass
The roots of a good wine begin in the soil- wines are first and foremost about the farmers, who coax the best from the soil into the fruit. In 1906 Pietro planted his orchard from seeds, and his vineyard from cuttings from his neighbor’s vines. We do not know which varietals they were, but they were a part of his farming and he related personally to them. The wine made from them were part of the fiber of his life and perhaps the family longevity- Pietro lived happily to a healthy 88 years and his wife, Grandmother Angelina, who enjoyed a glass of red wine every day, lived to be 109! He was an impeccable farmer, winemaker and person, and his memory is an ongoing inspiration.
The grapes for Pietro Family Cellar wines are grown at family farms in Napa Valley, Russian River in Sonoma County, Lake County and Mendocino. This is why we chose these regions:
Lake County is one of the oldest premium California wine growing areas, dating well into the 1800s. It lies 15 miles northeast from Napa Valley, supporting vineyards with rich volcanic soil at elevations ranging from 1300-1700 feet. The result is deep structure, great acidity and crisp rich flavors, allowing us to produce wines that are flavorful to sip and balanced to pair with food.
Russian River Valley Sonoma
The vineyard is located near Sebastopol in the Russian River Valley Appellation, Sonoma Valley. The nearby Pacific Ocean provides nightly fog rolling in to cool the air, allowing the grapes to rest and form beautiful acidity that ends up watering your mouth in anticipation of food and wine flavors. The Russian River Valley became an American Viticultural Area (AVA) in 1983 and covers approximately 150 square miles within Sonoma County. It is influenced by two key factors — weather and geology. A deep Pacific Ocean marine layer of fog moves into the region during the summer growing season providing natural air-conditioning. The grapes develop to full maturity, retaining natural acidity that otherwise is lost in heat spikes. The second most important factor is the region’s wide variety of alluvial soils- weathered sandstone, gravel, loam and sandy soils have been deposited along the river’s path. This complex soil is expressed as layers of minerality and fruitiness.
Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
The Oak Knoll Appellation lies in the southern end of Napa Valley, between the towns of Yountville and Napa. The area enjoys the cooling breezes off the San Francisco Bay to assure beautiful acidity, but is north enough from the Bay to have midday heat in the upper 80’s during the growing season, assuring bright fruitiness. The area is considered a sweet spot in Napa Valley, allowing us to produce both Cabernet and Chardonnay from its vineyards- warm enough to bring out seductive flavors of longer ripening cabernet sauvignon and cool enough to maintain great acidity. The result is wine that is well balanced- ideal for our classical winemaking style. This makes a great food wine in the French tradition.