2019 Rockpile Zinfandel

Wine Notes

2019 Rockpile ZinfandelVintage:


Our Rockpile Zinfandel heralds from the Thomas Vineyard, owned by Edward and Carrie Thomas. Prior to purchasing the vineyard in 2015 Edward was COO for Triton Container International and Carrie was a nurse, though both are now full-time ranchers – spending their days outdoors caring for their land and their two beautiful Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The vineyard is celebrating its 25th vintage in 2021, having been planted in 1996 by Jack Florence, Jr. with whom we’ve been working since 2017.

Rockpile Appellation rests higher, thus cooler, than its neighboring Dry Creek Valley. It is about 15 miles inland from the Pacific so receives afternoon breezes, but the preceding ridges block the fog. Rockpile Ridge runs generally east-west. The elevation is 1250’. Slopes on each side are steep. The Thomas vineyard has a warm southerly exposure, which Zinfandel needs. The vineyard soils are of 2 types. Half is VERY rocky: requiring bars for planting instead of shovels. Thus, these vines are low vigor and low yielding. The other half of the vineyard is a clay loam, much easier to farm with growth and yield more normal; 3 tons/acre.

In the very rocky area a vigorous stock was used: 1103 Paulson. In the loamy area 110 Richter was used. Both rootstocks are resistant to phylloxera. The Zinfandel clone on top is the famous “St. Peters Church”, from a small plot owned by a church in Cloverdale. It is very old and has the huge advantage of being virus (leaf roll) free. The wines are generally dark and have a typical “red fruit” profile. Spice and the “pepper complex” are hallmarks. Tannins are moderate and provide good aging structure.

Vintage Notes:
The winter of 2019 yielded well over 50” of rain in Sonoma County. Spring started late, in mid-May, and was cool and compressed. As a result, fruit set was reduced, the crop was lowered and the grape quality increased. Summer weather was “normal” but hot, dry fall winds were hard on the canopy. Fortunately, the canopy was ample and did shade the berries from sunburn. Thus, wine quality was excellent.

Fermentation & Aging:
Coming Soon

Production & Availability:
Available as a futures release with only 60 cases to be produced. Contact us now to order yours.

Call (707) 963-0114 or email.