Legendary Zinfandel Producer Helped Define the All-American Grape and Continues to Redefine its Own Historic Legacy
HEALDSBURG, Calif. (October 14, 2020) – Seghesio Family Vineyards announced a historic milestone as it celebrates its 125th harvest in Sonoma County this fall. Representing the past, present and future of old vine Zinfandel, Seghesio is best associated with the historic role it played in creating a spiritual home for its flagship grape. A unique variety with no prior old-world benchmark, Seghesio helped define Zinfandel as what has become the all-American wine.
Established in 1895 when Edoardo Seghesio planted his first Zinfandel vineyard in the Alexander Valley, Seghesio is now one of the oldest winemaking names in Sonoma—five generations of the Seghesio family have weathered earthquakes, Prohibition, the Great Depression, droughts and fires to establish themselves today as Sonoma’s preeminent Zinfandel specialists.
Five generations and 125 vintages later, Seghesio Family Vineyards continues to pioneer the highest quality Zinfandel along with a treasured collection of Italian varietal wines. In the cellar, Winemaker Andy Robinson takes an old-world approach, crafting every wine from small lots that are meticulously harvested, sorted, and fermented individually to ensure that each wine is true expression of the vintage, vineyard, and varietal. The dedicated vineyard team, led by Viticultural Director and fifth generation Seghesio family member Ned Neumiller, maintains several blocks of 100+ year old vine Zinfandel including the original vines that the founders planted in 1895 at Home Ranch in Alexander Valley.
“Our intention is to make wines that celebrate the work done in the vineyard and we insist on participating in every aspect of a wine’s life. We strive to produce elegant and balanced Zinfandels of character that offer the fullest expression of each vineyard or region,” said Robinson. “Our roots, just like those of the old vines we tend, run deep in Sonoma County and we have a responsibility to the Seghesio family name to make wines that celebrate the American dream of our founders—Italian immigrants who came to this country to build a family and a future. As we’ve evolved, so too has our idea of family to include not just the one you’re born into, but also the one you choose. This is the inclusive and welcoming spirit that inspires everything we do.”
Neumiller oversees more than 300 acres of sustainably farmed estate vineyards planted across the Alexander, Dry Creek, and Russian River Valleys—all of which are considered Sonoma County’s premier growing regions for Zinfandel. Neumiller brings a breadth and depth of Zinfandel expertise that is unmatched in the industry and is proud to serve as the guardian of some of Sonoma County’s most cherished old vine sites. On this point, Seghesio is especially bullish. In 2011, the winery purchased the historic Montafi Vineyard in the Russian River Valley specifically to ensure that the Zinfandel vines, planted in 1926, would stay in the ground.
Although “old vine” is an unregulated term, Seghesio applies it exclusively to vines that have reached at least 50 years, though the estate exceeds even its own strict guidelines with its flagship Old Vine Zinfandel, produced from vineyards whose ages average closer to 75 years. And while Seghesio’s old vine Zinfandels rely on those deep roots for their inimitable complexity and structural integrity, Robinson ensures that the work doesn’t stop in the vineyard, employing exacting methods in the cellar more commonly associated with First Growth Bordeaux or Grand Cru Burgundy than with California Zinfandel.
After rigorous sorting, Robinson employs the use of open-top fermenters—more commonly used for Pinot Noir than for Zinfandel and oversaw the identification and selection of an indigenous yeast strain from Home Ranch Vineyard that is now used exclusively for the wines made from that particular estate.
These painstaking winemaking techniques push the Seghesio Family Vineyards team, vintage after vintage, to re-set its own high bar for what it means to make great Zinfandel. A grape that spent decades overlooked or dismissed (or both), Zinfandel found its highest expression on American soil. For this reason, Zinfandel is often considered “America’s Grape”—there is no old-world benchmark for Zinfandel, because Seghesio Family Vineyards has set the benchmark here—in Sonoma County.
About Seghesio Family Vineyards
At Seghesio Family Vineyards, the key word is family. Our story begins in 1895 when our founders planted Zinfandel vines deep in Sonoma County soil and set down roots that, five generations and 125 vintages later, are still growing strong. Today, Seghesio Family Vineyards encompasses over 300 acres in preeminent Sonoma growing regions including the Alexander, Dry Creek and Russian River Valleys.
Seghesio Family Vineyards is one of Sonoma County’s landmark houses for Zinfandel, and Winemaker Andy Robinson showcases his experience with and respect for the grape in each bottle produced. Robinson works closely with the vineyard team, led by Viticultural Director Ned Neumiller who represents the Seghesio family’s fifth generation of winegrowers, and balances generations of experience with the most advanced modern viticultural practices. Seghesio’s celebrated, food-friendly wines have a timeless sensibility and are made with elegance, balance, and purity that are crafted to carve out more moments for wine lovers to slow down, breathe, and savor life, family-style.
The historic winery and tasting room are located in Healdsburg, Ca. For more information regarding Seghesio Family Vineyards, please visit www.seghesio.com.