I ended my review of Mark Edward Wines 2015 Ceja Vineyard Zinfandel saying, “I can’t wait to taste what else Mark Edward Wines produces.” Well I didn’t have to wait long. 2015 celebrates the first vintage owner and winemaker Mark Flowers began his partnership with Jesus Ceja of Ceja Farms Vineyard, who allowed the young winemaker to purchase his iconic organic fruit and create his second vintage of Petite Sirah.
Zinfandel was one of the first grapes planted in California when folks migrated to California during the Gold Rush era. And while there’s no real legal definition for the term “old vine,” vintners take great pride when their vineyard source can boast true roots to those first plantings. Pedroncelli’s estate vineyards have been planted to Zinfandel since 1904. Today the vineyard blocks contain a second generation vineyard cloned from the original “Mother” vines, which were replanted in the 1980s. The Pedroncelli ‘Mother Clone Zinfandel’ is so named because a small portion of fruit from the remaining over 100-plus-year-old vines is harvested and blended into this exquisite old-soul of a wine.
The story of Mark Edward Wines is the story of a man who took what he knew — entrepreneurial business — and combined it with what he loved — wine. In the summer 2014 Mark Flowers took the plunge and fully immersed himself in the wine industry, taking on an internship under the tutelage under the collective winemakers at Sheldon, Two Shepherds and Krutz Family Cellars. It wasn’t long after that that Mark began making his own wines, connecting with prestigious vineyards and sourcing some of the best fruit Sonoma has to offer. And I can tell you right now, the moral of this wine story: Good things come in small batches…
Sunce Winery is a family-run business through and through. Husband and wife team Frane and Janae Franicevic have been working together for 26 vintages. With his winemaking abilities, her marketing skills, and their dual passion for turning great grapes into great wine, Sunce Winery receives consistent accolades year after year. While three out of four acres in their estate vineyard (called Zora after one of their three daughters) is planted to Pinot Noir, the family sources 39 different varietals from throughout California to create a full portfolio of wine offerings. In 2013 the family turned to the Russian River Valley — home to some of the oldest and boldest Zinfandel grapes.(more…)
Raeburn is a name you’ll see on the shelves of your local grocer — but did you know that the name Raeburn comes from an Olde English word meaning “the river where one goes to drink?” And so I think it is fitting that this Pinot Noir represents the Russian River Valley in my Pinot Noir style spectrum. Characterized by its cool, maritime climate that’s funneled in through the Petaluma Gap from the Pacific Ocean, the Russian River is an idyllic place for picky Pinot. The AVA is also home to some unique soil types, including the Goldridge Soil (volcanic rich soil), Sebastapol Soil (clay rich soil), as well as alluvial soils along the benchland — meaning the Russian River, itself, can have an interesting range of Pinot Noirs.