Pedroncelli Winery & Vineyards, Sonoma County

by Billy Guest on July 8, 2009

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romantic stained glass window in Pedroncelli tasting room

romantic stained glass window in Pedroncelli tasting room

The weirdcombos tasters went to Pedroncelli on a lark the other day. We had just finished tasting at the wonderful Trentadue and were looking for Yoakim Bridge which was suggested to us at “32.” I’d vaguely heard of Pedroncelli as a producer of some Italian varieties of wine, like at Jacuzzi, so I was kind of intrigued. The others were all hungry for our picnic lunch. So there you have it, Pedroncelli suddenly looked just right.

This winery is old for California. The attractive brochure I got from the place says that the Pedroncelli family has been making wine in Sonoma County since the repeal of Prohibition. They’re located in Dry Creek Valley, a perennial favorite of the weirdcombos. The tasting room is on a small hill overlooking a larger hill with steep planted grapevines. I understand that planting vines on hills is good for drainage and “straining” the plants. This in turns leads to higher quality wine.

a Pedroncelli ancestor in war uniform?

a Pedroncelli ancestor in war uniform?

Inside it was crowded with tasters. I liked the old pictures of what I assumed were Pedroncelli ancestors on the walls overlooking the tasting and wines for sale. Tasting there is free and unlimited, though they recommend that you don’t go overboard, I suppose as you’ll not be able to tell the difference in the wines after a while. Maybe they’re worried about drunk driving too? At first there was only Jon Brown behind the tasting bar so things were a little slow. While we were there, a few other staff showed up which moved it along a bit.

I for one was not that impressed with the wines or the service. To be fair, the other weirdcombos thought that the service was very good. Moreover, the tasting glasses were either very fragile or I’m a lot stronger than I thought because my cup broke in my hand while I was trying to help myself to some water. The glass punctured my left thumb, which was a real downer. They did have a BandAid and fortunately I was there with a nurse practitioner for help applying it. I guess that was the sign that I’d had enough as I wasn’t offered a new glass. Just as well…

2005 Sangiovese: This was a brownish red color with medium body and a peppery, most pucker taste.

2006 Merlot, Bench Vineyards: This was a medium purple color but tasted unremarkable.

Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel

Pedroncelli Mother Clone Zinfandel

2007 “friends.red:” This is a popular blend of Zinfandel, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It was dark red. We thought that it was a pleasant wine for Tuesday dinner drinking.

2006 Mother Clone Zinfandel: This is “the” classic wine from this producer. It was a medium red color but tasted tart. “I don’t like it.”

2000 Midnight Run Zinfandel: This wine is old for a zin. It had a brownish color. Carey thought “this is good.” I thought that it tasted metallic and bloody with a long finish. Deby just said “no.”

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Three Vineyards: This also has some Merlot and Cabrnet Franc, thus the “Three Vineyards” name. This also tasted too tart. One of us thought that this is the kind of wine you’d buy at Safeway.

2005 Syrah Estate Vineyard: This was dark red, meaty with medium body and a long finish. It was o.k. They ended up giving us some wine by the glass for our picnic. I had a glass of this one.

They offer a covered picnic area near a boche ball playing field. It was a lovely lunch, looking at the sunny Dry Creek Valley hills, visiting with the crew. I wouldn’t recommend this winery though.

Pedroncelli award winning zinfandel

Pedroncelli award winning zinfandel

our picnic overlooking Pedroncelli Winery

our picnic overlooking Pedroncelli Winery

Pedroncelli Winery sign

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