Robert Biale Zinfandel Napa Valley Grande Vineyard 2006

Winemaker's Notes:

In 1921, Theodosio Grande planted a vineyard along Napa’s Silverado Trail. Having traveled from the region near Venice, Italy, several years before, Theodosio did what so many immigrants to California from so many countries did in those days – raised vegetables, chickens and eggs and planted walnut and fruit trees and the ever-popular Zinfandel. Years later, Theodosio’s daughter, Dorothy, married Giusti (Gus) Rossi and it was Gus and Dorothy who tended the vineyard and worked the ranch after Theo’s passing. Gus became known for his talents as a winemaker with a special interest in what we used to call Champagne but now refer to as Sparkling Wine. Today, where the handmade sign at the drive-way still advertises “prunes”, an old barn still houses a wagon and the pickers’ crates, and the big tank in the oak tree still serves as the water supply for the farmhouse, Dorothy and her son Anthony work day to day caring for Theo’s original vines along with the orchard and younger vineyards on the family ranch. When Biale started making Zinfandel from the old vines in 2002, we named the wine “Grande Vineyard” after Dorothy’s father in tribute to his devotion and the family’s immigrant spirit. And, as we are known to say, “Grande indeed.” Fruit from this dry-farmed head-trained vineyard on the border of the Oak Knoll District not far from our winery, has what we call “old fashioned” Zinfandel characteristics: wild blackberries, dried plum, baking spices, and a twist of black pepper. On the palate, this Zinfandel is mouth-filling with good zesty acidity to balance the impact of the huge fruit. Bold, rich and spicy but gentle to the touch, this Grande is a rare treat for lovers of Zinfandel. Just 400 cases made.

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Robert Biale Vineyards:
The Biale family, immigrants from Northern Italy, began growing grapes in Napa in the 1930’s – Zinfandel only. Zinfandel, California’s adopted grape, was widely planted by immigrants throughout the State’s history as a highly flavorful red grape well-suited for the climate. Each harvest, the Biale’s fruit was routinely sold for bulk wine. For decades before the global demand for Napa Valley win... Read more
The Biale family, immigrants from Northern Italy, began growing grapes in Napa in the 1930’s – Zinfandel only. Zinfandel, California’s adopted grape, was widely planted by immigrants throughout the State’s history as a highly flavorful red grape well-suited for the climate. Each harvest, the Biale’s fruit was routinely sold for bulk wine. For decades before the global demand for Napa Valley wine, one winery, the Napa Valley Co-Op winery, processed almost half of Napa’s grapes. Before big companies moved in, most of Napa’s fruit was grown by local farmers like the Biales. In fact, prunes and walnuts were as valuable as grapes in those days, and the Biale farm produced its share along with eggs and vegetables. Committed to the tradition of farming grapes, the Biales decided in 1991 to form a partnership with the goal of producing a world-class wine from the oldest Zinfandel vines on the ranch. The team: Al Perry, winemaking; Dave Pramuk, Marketing; Aldo and Bob Biale farming. The wine, named after longtime farmer Aldo Biale, was called “Aldo’s Vineyard”. The inaugural wine was a quantity of 400 cases produced from about 8 acres of 60-year-old vines. Now, twelve years later, Biale is recognized internationally as being among California’s very finest producers of Zinfandel. Today, a family of wines of distinctly different personalities is produced, with the goal of capturing the ultimate expressions of their sites. Each wine is vineyard designated only in years when it is outstanding. Wines not grown on the Biale ranch are from grapes grown through farming contracts with small independent growers in Napa, Sonoma, Lodi and Contra Costa. In several cases, vineyards are parcels adjacent to the owner’s home. This involves the Biale/Perry tandem going beyond the normal “tons per acre” agreements to the extent of specifying farming techniques on each site and working personally with the growers to do the careful handwork necessary to ensure uniformly ripe and mature bunches of grapes. Good wines are made but great wines are grown. Biale’s richness, refinement, elegance and balance make the wines a memorable experience with a diverse range of food. And while the wines will age gracefully, Zinfandel is one of the best wines for drinking young. Read less

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In 1921, Theodosio Grande planted a vineyard along Napa’s Silverado Trail. Having traveled from the region near Venice, Italy, several years before, Theodosio did what so many immigrants to California from so many countries did in those days – raised vegetables, chickens and eggs and planted walnut and fruit trees and the ever-popular Zinfandel. Years later, Theodosio’s daughter, Dorothy, married Giusti (Gus) Rossi and it was Gus and Dorothy who tended the vineyard and worked the ranch after Theo’s passing. Gus became known for his talents as a winemaker with a special interest in what we used to call Champagne but now refer to as Sparkling Wine. Today, where the handmade sign at the drive-way still advertises “prunes”, an old barn still houses a wagon and the pickers’ crates, and the big tank in the oak tree still serves as the water supply for the farmhouse, Dorothy and her son Anthony work day to day caring for Theo’s original vines along with the orchard and younger vineyards on the family ranch. When Biale started making Zinfandel from the old vines in 2002, we named the wine “Grande Vineyard” after Dorothy’s father in tribute to his devotion and the family’s immigrant spirit. And, as we are known to say, “Grande indeed.” Fruit from this dry-farmed head-trained vineyard on the border of the Oak Knoll District not far from our winery, has what we call “old fashioned” Zinfandel characteristics: wild blackberries, dried plum, baking spices, and a twist of black pepper. On the palate, this Zinfandel is mouth-filling with good zesty acidity to balance the impact of the huge fruit. Bold, rich and spicy but gentle to the touch, this Grande is a rare treat for lovers of Zinfandel. Just 400 cases made.

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