Seghesio Family Vineyards

by irene on September 13, 2009

Seghesio Family Vineyards

This article is one in a series of articles about our recent tour of California Wine Country. You can read about Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, the Summary, the Winery Dogs and the Restaurants as well.

Seghesio Family Vineyards
The history of wine in the Healdsburg area is pretty much the history of the Seghesio Family.  Eduoardo Seghesio immigrated to California in 1886 to work at the Italian Swiss Colony.  He married, bought land, and planted Zinfandel (not necessarily in that order).  Eventually the family under his widow, Angela, became the biggest producer of bulk wine in Sonoma County.  In the 1980′s, sensing a change in the market, they began to concentrate on wines sold under there own name from vineyards that they own, and by the end of the 1990′s the shift was complete, with production dropping from 130,000 cases to 30,000 cases.  They are now one of the top producers of Zinfandel.

The tasting room is in the original winery a few blocks from Healdsburg’s central plaza.  We had discovered Seghesio on our previous trip, becoming members of their wine club.  As such, we had received an invitation to one of their Family Table seatings, where wines are offered in conjunction with small tastes of food prepared using old family recipes.  An offer we couldn’t refuse.

As we waited for our group to assemble, we tasted a few of their wines in the tasting room.  The first of these is was a glass of Arneis, an obscure Italian white varietal of which Seghesio is the only grower in Sonoma County.  It is a delicious wine without the sweetness of a Riesling or the vegetal taste of a Chardonnay.  This was followed by a Pinot, three different Zin’s and a Petite Sirah.

Finally they were ready for our group which consisted of six people.  We were escorted to a private dining room upstairs where our host, a sales representative, described the history of the winery surrounded by pictures and artifacts.  Five wines were poured and a small plate of food was presented to each of us.  Each plate held four different samples, a fried squash blossom, a risotto, a lasagna, and a chicken breast with sage.  They were all good as was the wine.  I’m not sure we learned anything, but it was an enjoyable experience.

Wines sampled:
2008 Arneis
2007 Costura Pinot Noir
2006 Cortina Zinfandel
2006 Block 8 Zinfandel
2005 Home Ranch Zinfandel
2005 Home Ranch Petite Sirah

At the Family Table
2008 Pinot Grigio
2007 Barbera
2003 Old Vine Zinfandel
2006 Defiant – a Cabernet Sauvingon, Zinfandel Blend
2004 Dionigia Port made from equal parts Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Cabernet Sauvingon

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