Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Drew Goin
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Gonsalves Vineyards (aka Sandy Lane Properties)

#401 Post by Drew Goin »

Sean, your previous 2 images/attachments are not showing up.

I dunno whether the issue rests with my phone or your posts.

[scratch.gif]

Like the Seeno (Planchon), Meadows, and Del Barba families, the Gonsalves' are multi-generational grape-growers that also lease and/or sell real estate.

Aside from the original "Sandy Lane Vineyard" (361 Sandy Ln, Oakley), I haven't had much luck identifying each location owned or leased by Sandy Lanes Properties LLC or The "B" Family Trust of Norma Gonsalves, LP.

In theory, any single-vineyard wine produced from Gonsalves family-grown fruit could feature "Sandy Lane Vineyard" or "Gonsalves Vineyard" on its label, though no wine drinker could determine precisely where the grapes originated.

In fact, according to one website, the Gonsalves' currently own or lease ~100 acres of grapevines in the area!



Members of the Gonsalves family are associated with least 3 separate addresses on Sandy Lane in Oakley.

Sandy Lane Properties owns or farms separate blocks of land in close proximity to the "Evangehlo Vyd". One location formerly served as a driving range for golfers; the remaining acreage is old vines. These parcels are listed on multiple realty company websites.

· LoopNet listing for 1699 Vineyard Dr, Antioch, CA 94509

"Two contiguous parcels (see also 2901 E 18th St, 20.18 AC, totaling 23.06 AC). Owner prefers sale of both parcels together." (data from 2021)
1699-Vineyard-Dr-Antioch-CA-Aerial_Oblique_Looking-West-1-Large.png
· Arivify listing for 2901 E 18th St, Antioch, CA 94509 (data from 2015)

"This parcel is owned by Sandy Lane Properties and can be described as a Commercial."
Antioch-2901+East+18th+Street+2.jpg
image source


The Contra Costa Assessors Office states that a local nonprofit organization is the current owner. I do not know whether the Gonsalves family is leasing this property to farm or is involved in brokering its sale.

The Gonsalves family's "Little Big Block Vyd", as it has been called by Birichino's Alex Krause, is an old-vine planting of Zinfandel, Mataro, and other grape varieties. It also is in Antioch, to the Northwest of the "Evangelho Vyd".


On a separate note, I found a 2020 listing of grapes for sale on the Sacramento Home Winemakers site:

"Grapes for Sale: Carignane, Mourvèdre, and Zinfandel.

"120-year old vines are dry-farmed by 3rd generation Sandy Lane grower in Oakley / Antioch area. Grapes from these vineyards have been purchased by Ridge Wine, Ledson Winery, and Boony Doon Vineyard"


EDIT: Several pieces of newer information have been added, and an effort has been made to more clearly express the facts in this post.

At this time, it should NOT be thought that the original "Sandy Lane Vineyard" has been uprooted. No evidence indicates that this has occurred.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#402 Post by seanr »

I updated my links - hopefully it works now.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#403 Post by Drew Goin »

Thanks, Sean! [berserker.gif]


The Ridge Vineyards team uploads its virtual winemaker roundtables to YouTube shortly after the event. Once the upcoming "Spring ATP Wines"tasting (May 6, 2021) is made available for viewing by non-ATP members, I will share their discussion of the "Gonsalves Vineyard" Carignan. I hope that they will elaborate on the vineyard source, perhaps helping us determine the specific location.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#404 Post by Drew Goin »

It's a late discovery, but a great read...


Press Reader: San Francisco Chronicle
"California's Most Unlikely Vineyard"

June 26, 2016

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#405 Post by Drew Goin »

From a February 12, 2020, Antioch Herald Facebook post:


"Antioch Chichibu Sister City Wine and Sake tasting at the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center, tonight with Mayor Sean Wright and Mayor Kuniyasu Kuki and a delegation from Chichibu, Japan, the Consul General of Japan in San Francisco, Ayumu Kashiwagi and representatives of the City of Antioch and members of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. Chris Cottrell of Bedrock Wine Co. presented a bottle of Evangelho Vineyard heritage wine to both mayors. The wine is made from grapes in the Antioch vineyards planted in the 1890’s off E. 18th Street and Wilbur Avenue. The visit is part of an effort to develop economic ties between the two cities and a three-city stop in the Bay Area by the Chichibu delegation."

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#406 Post by Drew Goin »

A collection of old photographs have been archived by the Coco Historical Society. They can only be viewed on the website, so interested parties will need to perform searches using the organization's internet portal. Print copies can be ordered as well, I believe.


Contra Costa Historical Society
Photograph Archives


A general search for "Oakley" provided only two images related to grape-growing:

· "Housing tracts back up to fields of grape vines"

(Source: Photo July 16, 1981. Contra Costa Times Friday July 24, 1981 Page 1B)

· "Workers picking grapes at J B Farms"

(Source: "How Long Will the Century Old Vines of Oakley Continue to Produce Quality Wine Grapes Before Being Uprooted by the Pressures of East County Suburbanization?" Photo August 5, 1992 by Karl Mondon. Contra Costa Times Sunday November 29, 1992 Page 4A)

If (unlike me) you have access to an internet-based newspaper archive, I would be willing to bet that the 1992 Contra Costa Times article would provide excellent reading material! Someone was trying to draw attention to the withering acreage of Contra Costa's centennarian vineyards 30 years ago.


> Anecdote:

The first wave of post-Prohibition winemakers to show interest in old-vine Zinfandel, Carignan, and Mataro from Antioch and Oakley were Ken Rosenblum (c. 1980), the Cline Brothers, and Randall Grahm. Other producers soon followed, including Ridge Vineyards and Turley Cellars.

Even as 1990's newspaper articles reported an increase in new vine plantings around the East Bay, older sites were under threat from swelling numbers of commuter communities.

In 1987, Stan Planchon, grape grower and member of the East County Regional Planning Commission, found himself powerless against changes accompanying Oakley's General Plan. A boundary expansion (South of Laurel Rd) threatened the ancient vines grown in his own yard and those on his late mother's property next door. His family's land, on the SE corner of Laurel and Empire Rd, formerly zoned for agricultural use, would be redesignated as "medium density, small family residential". His position in a governing body prevented him from initiating any motions to change the redistricting, as it would be a conflict of interest.

Mr Planchon passed away a few years ago. Today, the "Planchon Vineyard" still exists - with grapes available for interested parties. Unfortunately, the vines that once belonged to his mother were ripped out.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#407 Post by Drew Goin »

These descriptions of Contra Costa County town histories are from the Ray's Place regional history website. All three are sourced from the following book:

The History of Contra Costa County, California

Edited by: F. J. Hulaniski
The Elms Publishing Co., Inc.
Berkeley, California, 1917


· "Antioch, Part 1"
by Rudolph A. Wilson, of the Antioch Ledger Staff

· "Antioch, Part 2: Fraternal Societies"
by Rudolph A. Wilson, of the Antioch Ledger Staff

· "History of Oakley and Sand Lands"
by RC Marsh


> More Resources:

Histories of Cities and Towns in Contra Costa County, CA

Places in California with Online Biographies

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#408 Post by Drew Goin »

Ridge Vineyards' most recent online discussion of new wines included the inaugural release of the "Gonsalves" Carignan:


Ridge Vineyards YouTube video
"Virtual Winemaker Roundtable: Spring 2021 ATP Release"

May 7, 2021




2019 Gonsalves Carignan

3:18 David Gates: Description of Fruit Source

- "Gonsalves Vineyard" is an old-vine, own-rooted site in the Oakley/Antioch area of Contra Costa;

· interplanted with Zinfandel, Mataro, Carignan, Rosa de Peru ("Mission-type" variety), etc.

5:00 Gonsalves family has been in the area since the 1930s, farming and serving other roles in the community: Dan Gonsalves, for example, worked for the CoCo Water District

6:23 In eastern Contra Costa, PG&E indirectly has played a role in the preservation of agricultural sites;

· wide easements were granted for power transmission lines. The parcels initially were zoned for agriculture and, fittingly, often happened to be located on sandy soils that were appropriate for viticulture.

7:10 John Olney: Regional Expression of Carignan ("Gonsalves" vs "Buchignani")

- Carignan retains acidity, focused fruit, in warm and hot climates;

· Signature Contra Costa flavors: "rustic, dark fruit".

9:12 Mark Vernon: CoCo Vine Survival vs Phylloxera

11:26 Sandy areas were not affected by Phylloxera, and own-rooted vineyards were able to survive intact

David Gates: alluvial soil deposits
/Brentwood area - more clay in soils
\Oakley - more sandy dunes, soils

John Olney: own-rooted vines vs vines grafted onto rootstock - are own-rooted vineyards more expressive of site, more authentic?


Ridge Vineyards website:
https://www.ridgewine.com/

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Cline Cellars May Virtual Tasting

#409 Post by Drew Goin »

According to a recent email, Cline Cellars is hosting a ZOOM tasting event on May 19, 2021, at 5:00pm (Pacific Time):


"Cline Family Cellars May Virtual Tasting

"May 19, 2021 05:00 PM
Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 956 6676 8782

"Join winemaker Tom Gendall, second-generation vintner, Megan Cline, and tasting room manager, Erika Carter as they taste wines from our Oakley roots! We'll be trying our Bridgehead Zinfandel, Live Oak Zinfandel, and Big Break Grenache!"

"Register ahead of the event:
Cline ZOOM May Virtual Tasting


9149e83c-1bf6-281d-aa14-c860230e108a.jpg

"...Oakley Vineyards

"Our Oakley, California vineyards consistently produce some of our most complex, concentrated, and unique wines.

"The combination of hot sun, sandy soils, and a unique band of cooling air that flows from the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers influence Contra Costa's best vineyard sites. We are lucky to farm these special patches of soil where conditions are ideal for expressing the full character of our Zinfandel and Grenache grapes."


Cline Family Cellars website:
https://clinecellars.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#410 Post by Drew Goin »

Well, the folks at Wine and Spirits magazine are finally giving Contra Costa County some love.


Wine and Spirits
"Gone Tomorrow: Will Contra Costa's Centennarian Vines Survive?"

by Patrick J. Comiskey
June, 2021

The article opens with the sad tale of the destruction of the "Salvador Vineyard", once a fruit source for Turley Cellars. With approximately 600 acres of vines still in the ground, many eastern CoCo gov't officials seem ambivalent about the fate of their old-vine treasures. Kevin Romick (former mayor of Oakley and council member) provides a few insights into the pressures that threaten the area's viticultural heritage.

A review of Contra Costa's wine/grape history includes several prominent growers: Fred DelBarba, Greg Castanho, and Frank Evangehlo. Winemakers like Kent Rosenblum and the Cline brothers rejuvenated interest in the region in the 1980s.
2106-feature-contracosta-hdr.jpg

Tegan Passalacqua (Turley, Sandlands) offers the author a handful of insights on the sandy soils: Brenna Quigley, a geologist, explored the vineyards with him; John McPhee's book Assembling California also gave Passalacqua a deeper understanding of the formation of the Dehli Sands.

Morgan Twain-Peterson's (Bedrock Wine Co.) purchase/lease of the "Evangehlo Vineyard" is explored, serving to expand the number of producers who feature single-vineyard bottlings from the area.

The DelBarba's have forged a bond with Julian Erggelet (Urban Edge Farm), whose wife is Alli Cecchini. The Cecchini family grows grapes and produce in Brentwood. Erggelet helped several natural winemakers gain access to Delbarba fruit.

While Comiskey wraps up his portrait of a viticultural community teetering on the abyss, a glimpse of hope is provided when Erggelet shows him the Dutch Slough preserve's 13-acre vineyard. Whatever may become of other sites, these vines have been spared the threat of suburban sprawl.


Wine & Spirits article link:
https://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/ ... e-tomorrow
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#411 Post by Ken Zinns »

Helped bottle this yesterday. Don't know anything about the vineyard though.

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ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#412 Post by Drew Goin »

Ken Zinns wrote: May 22nd, 2021, 3:45 pm Helped bottle this yesterday. Don't know anything about the vineyard though.
Thanks for sharing, Ken!


Trilogy at the Vineyards is a Shea Homes residential development in Brentwood that includes a vineyard (surprise!).

The "Vineyards" part of Trilogy at the Vineyards refers to the "Vineyards at Marsh Creek":

"The Vineyards at Marsh Creek in the San Francisco Bay Area is comprised of 37 acres of red wine grapes on the hillsides east of Mount Diablo. The initial plantings in 2006 consisted of Syrah, Petite Sirah, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, and Aglianico. Cabernet Sauvignon was planted in 2017. The vineyards are maintained by Vista Diablo, a local vineyard management company.

"In 2005 Shea Homes began to develop Trilogy at the Vineyards, their new over 55 gated community in Brentwood, CA. UC Davis School of Viticulture and Enology evaluated the soil, climate, and geography of the community and developed planting recommendations. Shea negotiated with the city of Brentwood to allow Shea Homes to develop green space within the development by planting vines on land owned by the city but maintained by Trilogy as park space. In 2006 vines were then planted in accordance with the UC Davis Report. The Vineyards at Marsh Creek were born. In 2019, the Vineyards at Marsh Creek Homeowners Association assumed total control of the vineyards offering the grapes for sale. At the same time Estate Crush, a bonded winery in Lodi, CA, was hired to produce wine under the Vineyards at Marsh Creek label...".

> Vineyard Map of Vineyards at Trilogy

As time passes, more bottlings from newer plantings in Oakley, Brentwood, and Knightson will come to represent eastern Contra Costa viticulture:

· the battle to preserve old vineyards is a rear-guard action; only the vines nestled under PG&E power lines, situated on the Dutch Slough Preserve, or those under the care of a handful of die-hard landowners, will persevere against suburban sprawl;

· Communities South and East of Antioch/Oakley possess contiguous acreage zoned for agriculture in a manner that is consistent with the tenets of the Williamson Act. This reduces the likelihood of future pressure from urbanization.


While Brentwood and Knightson vineyards may attain old-vine status one day, Contra Costa's currently celebrated sites cannot be duplicated - own-rooted, head-trained, interplanted varieties in deep "arkosic" sand soils, influenced by the Delta Breeze.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#413 Post by Drew Goin »

On the "Economics vs Heritage" thread, I posted excerpts from two articles that detailed the late Frank Evangehlo's battle against an eminent domain claim from the City of Antioch:

Link
Click to see spoiler:
Primary Source: City of Antioch Council Regular Meeting notes, November 14, 2006

In 2007, the Sakurai Street business park plan in Antioch, CA, required construction of a sewer line running through the "Evangehlo Vineyard". Over 1,000 vines were uprooted, and 5% of the Evangelho family's vineyard acreage was claimed by the city. Frank fought to postpone the city's work until after he could harvest the grapes, but the the bulldozers proceeded without delay.

mapImg.png
pge_evangelho.png
pge_evangelho18.png

Today, Bedrock Wine Company's Morgan Twain-Peterson owns almost 1/3 of the "Evangehlo Vineyard"; PG&E leases the remaining vineyard land to Bedrock.

In Antioch and Oakley, electricity towers often protect the land beneath them from commercial development.


As pointed out by David Gates in a recent Ridge Vineyards virtual tasting session, this is a rare instance of a power company contributing to the preservation of old-growth vines. Bedrock Wine Company's "The Vines of Oakley" Case Study also identifies the unusual role utility providers have played in shielding viticultural sites from suburban encroachment.

evangelho1.jpg
Bedrock Wine Company website's Case Study:

· "The Vines of Oakley"

· "Evangehlo, Part 1"



Historic Vineyard Society profile: "Evangehlo Vineyard"
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Re: Gonsalves Vineyards

#414 Post by Drew Goin »

Drew Goin wrote: April 21st, 2021, 1:55 pm Apart from the "Sandy Lane Vineyard" in Oakley, I haven't experienced much luck identifying Gonsalves family vineyards in the area. According to one website, the Gonsalves' currently own or lease ~100 acres of grapevines in the area.

...Like the Seeno (Planchon), Meadows, and Del Barba families, the Gonsalves' are multi-generational grape-growers - they also appear to sell real estate.

Sandy Lane Properties was identified as the owner of some land adjacent to the "Evangehlo Vineyard" in Antioch. One plot recently was a driving range for golfers; the remaining acreage, old vines. These parcels are listed "for sale" on several realty sites.

· LoopNet listing for 1699 Vineyard Dr, Antioch, CA 94509

...Arivify listing for 2901 E 18th St, Antioch, CA 94509 (data from 2015)

"This parcel is owned by Sandy Lane Properties and can be described as a Commercial."

Also, are the vines pictured above part of what was labeled by Bonny Doon as the "Enea Vineyard"?

The following image is a Sandy Lane property to the West of a PG&E-owned parcel of the "Evangehlo Vineyard"...

mapImg.png
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#415 Post by Drew Goin »

Below is the Alcohol, Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) roster of wine producers and blenders for counties in California (alphabetical, A-M)*, including Contra Costa:

Click to see spoiler:
https://www.ttb.gov/images/pdfs/foia_xl ... nterey.htm
This tool can assist map nerds in determining the location of specific wineries, which producers are found in a certain town, etc.

I have found that it is easiest to perform a "find in page" internet browser search to locate wineries of interest.

For example, I will select "find in page" from my Chrome menu (on the top-right corner of the browser) and type in "Oakley" or "Contra Costa".


* List of Counties in this roster: Alameda, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Kern, lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Monterey

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#416 Post by Drew Goin »

Recently, I posted my notes on the al Dente blog's two-part exploration of Antioch and Oakley old-vine Mourvedre on the "What, No Mourvedre Appreciation Delegation?" thread.

Writer Tony Poer visited the "Oakley Road Vineyard" with Mr Joel Peterson of Once & Future Wines. He also spoke with Tom Del Barba and Tegan Passalacqua about the current state of eastern Coco viticulture.



al Dente blog
"Joel Peterson & Mataro: The Weird Orchard of Oakley, Part One"

by Tony Poer
April 9, 2021

al Dente blog
"Joel Peterson & Mataro: The Weird Orchard of Oakley, Part Two"

by Tony Poer
April 30, 2021


I encourage fans of old-vine Contra Costa wines to read the blog entries in their entirety (especially the second part).

Whenever I begin to feel hopeful about the future of Contra Costa ancient vineyards, I only need to look at photographs of trash dumped among the wizened vines.

Oakley-Road-12.png
Some locals have little regard for their area's agricultural heritage. Monuments to the perseverance of area growers are visited again and again by broken appliances, scattered pieces of litter, and old furniture.

The flotsam and jetsam of conspicuous consumption juxtaposed with icons of timeless regeneration.

And it's nothing new...

Click to see spoiler:
bonny-doon-beverage-warehouse-002.jpg
Bonny Doon Vineyards
"Keynote speech at Wines and Vines Packaging Conference, August 9th, 2018, Yountville, CA"

by Randall Grahm
August 15, 2018

"...I wanted to somehow capture the the sense of place of Oakley and Antioch, CA, and if you know the area at all, somehow this photograph of an abandoned couch in the vineyard very cogently expresses the je ne sais quoi of these (ahem) charming Delta towns."

Bonny-Doon-CON09C_label_300dpi_400pxw.jpg
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"Evangelho Vineyard" Question

#417 Post by Drew Goin »

In the above post, I shared parcel images that I believe make up the "Evangelho Vineyard".

To my understanding, the vineyard is approximately 36 acres in size. Bedrock Wine Company owns about 10 acres of the property, and leases the remainder from PG&E.

IF the above map images show the "Evangelho" in its entirety, then the math works out (more or less).


There is a 29.77 acre parcel* of vines just to the North of "Evangelho" owned by PG&E. Hunt & Sons (3030 Wilbur Ave) fuel/lubricant supply is situated immediately to the West of this vineyard. Wilbur Ave marks the parcel's northern border; railroad tracks frame its boundaries to the East and South.

pg&e_29.png
Is this property part of the "Evangehlo Vineyard"? If so, which parcels were misidentified in the other post?

Input from those familiar with the "Evangelho Vineyard's" physical location is most appreciated!

Click to see spoiler:
Parcel APN: 051032008

* EDIT *

This parcel was included in land annexed from the County of Contra Costa to the City of Antioch around 15-20 years ago. Though its old vines survive, the acreage serves as a conduit for municipal utilities. I do not recall whether PG&E now leases or owns the land.

The the old-vine plantings abutting Wilbur Ave are not part of the "Evangelho Vyd", though, historically-speaking, they likely share a common origin.

Screenshot_2021-09-19-09-33-51(1).png

I have mislaid the PDF detailing the official land transfer from Contra Costa County to the City of Antioch. I will add the link if I find it again.


City of Antioch Parcel Map: http://www.antiochprospector.com
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#418 Post by Drew Goin »

In 2018, I shared an article about Matt Cline's successful collaboration with locals to save an old-vine 13-acre Carignan planting situated in the newer "Dutch Slough Preserve" in North-East Oakley.

Apparently, the "José/Emerson/Lucchesi Vineyard" once was owned by Contra Costa County's last dairy farming family.



A Pileup of Words: My Life as a Journalist
"Last Dairy to Close Its Doors"

April 12, 2008

"Note: This is one of the few articles where you just feel that everything seemed to go right -- a rare occasion in this business. I worked hard on this, and was able to spend time with the farmer, who helped by being so candid with me.

"by Corey Lyons
Contra Costa Newspapers
March 3, 2002

"OAKLEY -- In the land of milk and money, Emerson Dairy has corralled a comfortable share of California's unrivaled dairy market.

"The sprawling dairy at the foot of Sellers Avenue includes a herd of about 2,000 producing cows that help milk a profit from a long-running family business.

"...Stan Emerson, who operates the 614-acre dairy with his older brother, Dale, is negotiating a deal to sell his valuable land. It will shutter a dairy business that began in 1913.

"The eventual closure of the farm underscores the swift changes in East Contra Costa, a rural region long identified by its rich agricultural history.

"It is a difficult and complex issue with which Stan Emerson has grappled for years.

"With few options, he has watched as large subdivisions crept up against his dairy from the west.

"...Three families -- the Emersons, Gilberts and Burroughs -- own 1,539 acres of Delta land, which they call the 'Cypress Corridor'. The combined property was once all used for dairy farming.

"The families are negotiating to sell about 1,200 acres to CalFed, the state-federal agency whose role includes protecting the Delta and improving water quality statewide.

"Before Oakley incorporated in 1999, the landowners entered into a development agreement with Contra Costa County. Now, Oakley city officials are wondering whether they need to renegotiate with the property owners over the more than 300 acres that would remain after a sale to CalFed.

"...But Emerson, who was born and raised in the area, understands that the fabric of a family legacy is unraveling.

"...The average age in the city is now 33, suggesting to Emerson that a new generation of residents may lack the historical perspective to appreciate farming.

"'A lot of people complain about the odor, and they don't even know where it came from. But it's been here long before they did,' said Emerson, the great-great-nephew of Silas Emerson, who settled into Oakley in 1849*.

"The increasing pressure from developers and new homeowners is difficult to ignore; it's a lingering strain that adds to the tension of operating a 35-employee dairy.

"...In Contra Costa, more than half of the county's farmland was lost to development between 1940 and 1970 as growing cities began to unfold across rural fields. As a result, the number of dairy farms dropped from 42 in 1945 to 25 in 1964. By 1992, there were only five.

"...'It's always a sad thing to see something stop. But with sad things there are new opportunities. And there has to be a right time and not a right time to do things -- this is approaching the right time.'"


Although the above article specifically addressed the experiences of a dairy farmer facing the end of his family's legacy, these same issues impact area grape growers.

* Silas Emerson not only owned and worked on the Oakley ranch (which included the dairy farm) he resided in Mountain View, CA. His descendants in the Los Altos area farmed a considerable amount of acreage inherited from Silas (~800 acres) before shifting their focus to land speculation.
Click to see spoiler:
The downloadable file below includes information about the family's history in Los Altos.

City of Los Altos
"Resolution No. 2019-12:
980 Covington Road Historic Landmark Designation and Historic Preservation Agreement
" (download)
The Oakley, CA, Emerson ranch once encompassed land spanning from E. Cypress/Sellers Ave all the way to the shore of the Bay/Delta. Over 540 residential properties and the Dutch Slough Preserve occupy the former ranch.

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"Lucchesi Vineyard" @ Oakley's Dutch Slough Preserve

#419 Post by Drew Goin »

Here are some images of the "Emerson/Lucchesi/José Vineyard" in Oakley, CA, mentioned in the above post. The 13-acre old-growth Carignan vineyard, now part of the Dutch Slough Preserve, is situated a few yards from the Delta shore.

These photographs are from the Three Wine Company Facebook page, dated April 17, 2009:


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The Vineyard with 3 Names:

· "Lucchesi Vineyard" - Three Wine Company pays homage to area vineyard manager and grower Alan Lucchesi by evoking his name on Carignan bottlings from the Dutch Slough vines;

· "Emerson Vineyard" - City of Oakley documents reference the Emerson family, historic cattle/dairy farmers and previous owners of 1/3 portion Dutch Slough Preserve which included the vineyard;

· "José Vineyard" - Local citizens occasionally use the name of Joaquin José, who is said to have planted the site, to refer to the vineyard.


Romick in Oakley blog
"Update: Dutch Slough Restoration Project"

February 21, 2020
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Environmental Protection Agency
"Emerson Parcel of Dutch Slough Tidal Marsh Restoration Project"

September 24, 2020


Three Wine Company website:
https://threewinecompany.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#420 Post by Drew Goin »

Ærena Wines, a special label from Blackbird, is a collaboration by two prominent Napa wine personalities: Aaron Pott and Kyle Mizuno.


Ærena Blog
"The Bay Area in a Bottle"

May 18, 2019

"...The land upon which ÆRENA’s Rosé is sourced boasts vines both 30-years-young and 135-years-old. The del Barba family, keeper of these vines’ stories, is down to earth and humble. Tom del Barba is a fourth-generation farmer. His family, and many in the area, came from the walled city of Lucca, in Tuscany. These original Bay Area immigrants planted the varieties of their homeland and because of the terroir, the vines are incredibly old. The soils are the sandy banks of the Bay Delta and very little can live in it, including the phylloxera root louse. It makes organic farming really easy. As a result, you find these gnarly old head-pruned bestats, own-rooted, standing like sentinels in a field.
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"For years, these vineyards supplied the likes of Bonny Doon and Turley and more recently, Morgan Twain Peterson of Bedrock and others of California’s nouveau winemaking class. These vines are 135-year-old Mourvedre and Carignan, locally known as Mataro and 'care-again' respectively. The vines are so old that in a good year, Tom gets one bunch per spur. In some years, a spur may not fruit at all. Such are the vagaries of old vine farming...".
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Ærena Wines website:
https://www.aerenawines.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#421 Post by M. Meer »

Adam Frisch wrote: March 7th, 2020, 2:15 pm
Wonderwerk is part of the new budding Los Angeles winemaker scene. Their Carignan/Riesling blend is a great wine and an absolute buy if anyone ever comes across it. Very rewarding little effervescent wonder.
I've re-upped on the Free Your Mind twice now. It's a fun wine, well-crafted and perfect for the summer. While calling it the best Lambrusco I've ever had might be damning it with faint praise, I think that's its closest spiritual sibling. And, well worth the tariff, imo.

I hope to test drive the skin-contact & mission/petite soon.
"I'm bound to wreck your body and say turn tha party out"
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#422 Post by Drew Goin »

As pointed out on other thread posts, Bonny Doon's latest lineup restructuring means that a fan favorite, the "Old Telegram" Contra Costa Mataro, is finis.

Nevertheless, here are a couple of older Facebook images from Bonny Doon Vineyards related to the "Enea Vineyard", source of one of Contra Costa County's earliest varietal Mourvèdre/Mataro wines:

Enea Vineyard Mourvedre
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Enea Vineyard Mourvedre
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Over the span of nearly four decades, Randall Grahm bought Zinfandel, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, and Mourvedre grapes from the Del Barba (sites on Laurel Rd and Rose Ave) and Gonsalves ("Enea Vyd", Antioch). I think that the late Frank Evangehlo sold fruit to Grahm at one point as well.

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According to a 2010 post on the old "CoCo-Fermented" blog:

"...I introduced myself to a gent in baseball cap and shades, who just happened to be Tom Del Barba, the latest generation of Oakley grape growers who’ve been farming the family old-vine estates for decades. And he turned out to be both welcoming and informative when it came to describing the ins and outs of the grape-growing biz.

"...The stuff being picked today at the Laurel property was a prime ingredient in Bonny Doon’s Cardinal Zin, and the relationship with CZ’s new owners, The Wine Group, continues the love. In fact, Bonny Doon founder/winemaker, Randall Grahm is a big fan of the Del Barba Mourvèdre, having used it for his Old Telegram and Le Cigare Volant projects."

The author also mentions that a tiny plot of ancient Mourvèdre and Alicante Bouschet vines, situated behind the Oakley post office (on Main Street), was long regarded by Mr Grahm as one of his favorite grape sources.
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Bonny Doon Vineyards
"Contra Contra or How I Lost my Marketing Mojo"

by Randall Grahm

"...I had accidentally discovered the brilliance of old vine Carignane in the old head-trained, sandy vineyards of Antioch and Oakley in Contra Costa County many years back when we began working with old-vine Mourvèdre for our Old Telegram and Cigare Volant wines. Indeed many if not most of the vineyards in Antioch and Oakley were interplanted—crazy-quilts of Carignane and Mourvèdre, often with Zinfandel and occasionally Alicanté in the mix. The vines were very old, even then—pushing eighty or ninety years of age at the time—not irrigated (who would spend money on irrigation?), non-grafted and pruned in the lovely goblet form...".

Finally, it should be noted that, in Mr Grahm's opinion, Carignan from Contra Costa was superior to old-vine examples from other parts of California:

"...Not all old-vine Carignane vines are created equal. Counter-intuitively, equally old vine Carignane from sites in Mendocino County, a cooler region than say, Antioch, generally fails to provide the same quality as grapes from Antioch vineyards. I’ve imagined that perhaps it was a question of clonal variability, but I now believe that it is likely a function of the fact that most of the Antioch vineyards are ungrafted whereas most of the vines in the Ukiah area are not. Alternately, maybe it’s the higher rainfall and heavier, richer soils of Ukiah that produce higher yielding vines. Whatever the case, the Carignane from the Antioch area is decidedly superior."
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#423 Post by Sean Devaney »

That 2013 Bonny Doon "Dewn" Mourvedre was outstanding a couple of years ago. Wish I had more.
...but I now believe that it is likely a function of the fact that most of the Antioch vineyards are ungrafted...
I have come to this same conclusion. It just seems most Contra Costa wines from old vines have a more earthy edge to them that I really dig.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#424 Post by Al Osterheld »

The vineyards also have very different soils (as mentioned). Of course, that's related to why they can be ungrafted but it makes it difficult to separate the reasons the wines are different.

-Al

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Wine & Spirits WotW: '18 Bedrock "Pato Vyd"

#425 Post by Drew Goin »

Bedrock Wine Company's other CoCo bottling has been garnering more praise from fans and critics recently. The "Pato Vineyard" ("paw-toe"), situated on land owned by the Contra Costa County Water District, reflects a darker, richer interpretation of old-vine Delta field blends.


Wine and Spirits website: Wine of the Week
"Contra Costa for a Weekend Roast"

by Patrick J. Comiskey
May 31, 2021

2018 Bedrock Wine Co. "Pato Vineyard" Heritage Wine
Click to see spoiler:
Morgan Twain-Peterson's notes on the 2018 "Pato" bottling:
from the Bedrock website ("Our Vintages):

"As always, Pato is the yin to the Evangelho yang of our Contra Costa County estate sites. While Evangelho tends to be more graceful, Pato is weightier, darker and maybe a bit more intense. If Evangelho is ballet, Pato is B-Boy: both cut from the same muscular cloth but Pato willing to pick up a little more dirt. What I love about Pato is how despite its richness (the vineyard is in a warmer site and has Petite Sirah while Evangelho has none), you can still see the burnished tannin provided by the sandy soils of the site. It is definitely worth opening this and an Evangelho side-by-side to see the two faces of Contra Costa County."
Bonus: Here is an Instagram post by Mr Comiskey offering a preview of his excellent Wine & Spirits article on the old vineyards of Antioch and Oakley, CA:



Wine and Spirits magazine website:
https://www.wineandspiritsmagazine.com/

Bedrock Wine Company website:
https://bedrockwineco.com/

Historic Vineyard Society profile: "Pato Vineyard"

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#426 Post by Drew Goin »

The California Agricultural Tourism website includes an interactive state map that allows users to view region-based rosters of farms


California Agricultural Tourism Directory:
San Francisco Bay Area


- Captain Vineyards

- Harvest Time Brentwood

"Harvest Time is a Non-Profit Organization that is dedicated to educating the general public and 'foodies' about farming and its products while improving Agri-tourism education in the Brentwood, California Region of East Contra Costa County. Each year, we produce an educational farm trail map that directs you to more than 40 growers who sell direct to the consumer!"


Wineries Directory

· Hannah Nicole Vineyards

· Co.Co.County Wine Co.

· McCauley Estate Vineyards

· Nunn Family Vineyards / Orchard & Vine

· Campos Family Vineyards

· Petersen Vineyards

· Tamayo Family Vineyards



HT_FarmMap_2021.pdf
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#427 Post by Drew Goin »

Below are two images of "Sophia Favalora Vineyard" Zinfandel vines, posted to Facebook by Shauna Rosenblum of Rock Wall Wine Company:


2017 - "Sophia Favalora Vineyard", Oakley, CA
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2018 - "Sophia Favalora Vineyard", Oakley, CA
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The "Sophia Favalora Vineyard" is a younger fruit source for Favalora Vineyards' single-vineyard Zinfandel wine. The site was planted using vine cuttings from the "Planchon Vineyard". Mr Frank Favalora, nephew of the late Stan and Gertie Planchon, operates his eponymous winery in Livermore, CA, using Oakley grapes.


Shauna Rosenblum produces a diverse selection of wines in Alameda's Rock Wall Wine Co. Her "Zin Nymph" (tasting notes - download) is a Zinfandel from the "Sophia Favalora Vineyard" in Oakley. In addition, Rock Wall bottles a "Pearl Hart Vineyard" Contra Costa Reserve Zinfandel. The 2016 "Jesse's Vineyard" and 2017 Reserve "Sven & Ole" Zinfandels also were made from Contra Costa grapes.


Winemaker Notes for Rock Wall's 2017 "Zin Nymph":

"Elegant, just like the elusive mermaid, this pretty pink wine smells like strawberry milkshake, fresh squeezed lemonade, hibiscus flower, and white pepper. Gorgeous flavors of blackberry, raspberry, peach, tangerine, Madagascar vanilla, and rose petal complete the experience.

"This wine is a chameleon and would be a fun one to taste in a black glass as I think it could masquerade as a red or white wine. I am super stoked about this wine! Cheers, and let the games begin."


Rock Wall Wine Company website:
https://rockwallwines.com/

Favalora Vineyards Facebook profile:
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100054347749272
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#428 Post by Drew Goin »

I am on a perpetual search for oral histories of grape growing and winemaking in Contra Costa County. I was excited to find this video recording of Mr Matt Cline from a 2017 ZAP event.

I strongly recommend CoCo wine fans watch the video!



Zinfandel Advocates & Producers
"ZinEX 2017- 'Flights' – Matt Cline"



"The Dirt, the Microclimate, and Don’t Screw it Up!

"Matt’s winemaking career can be traced back to Oakley in 1982 where he helped his brother establish Cline Cellars; in 1985 he became head winemaker at Cline Cellars. Matt’s wines won countless awards during his 16-year career at Cline Cellars. In 2001, Matt launched Trinitas Cellars, which he then sold in 2006. A year later, Matt established Three Wine Company with his wife, Erin, where they currently have a tasting room and production facility on the Sacramento River in Clarksburg. Matt concentrates on sourcing old vines from Northern California, particularly from Contra Costa County. When he’s is not racking and perfecting his winemaking techniques, Matt enjoys fly fishing and gardening, as well as relaxing at home in Sonoma with Erin and their three children."



Three Wine Company website:
https://threewinecompany.com/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#429 Post by Drew Goin »

Much of the future of Contra Costa County's wine grape-growing has been determined, short of any miraculous turns of fate.


Local News Matters
"Contra Costa Eyes More Recreational Uses for Agriculture Land"

by Sam Richards, Bay City News Foundation
February 14, 2020

"Though some specifics are still being debated, a burgeoning plan to update agricultural land use policy in Contra Costa County to make it easier for ag tourism, farm-to-table restaurants and other emerging commercial uses is getting support from farmers and others looking to do more than simply grow crops and graze cattle.

"The county Board of Supervisors this month accepted a report from the county’s Department of Conservation and Development with various recommendations for reforming and updating ag land use policies to 'improve both economic vitality and sustainability.'

"The report also recommends that the Board of Supervisors update Contra Costa’s winery ordinance and other rules to allow large 'farm dinner' events, various new types of lodging accommodations, including bed-and-breakfast businesses, farm stays for up to 90 days and camping/yurts/little houses on wheels.

"The report also addresses issues like illegal garbage dumping on ag lands, 'rural blight' from properties strewn with debris and/or in extreme disrepair, a possible noise ordinance and other situations resulting from encroaching development in the county’s more rural reaches.

“'This (report) isn’t perfect, but it’s going in a great direction,' said Supervisor Diane Burgis of Oakley.

"...The report has been developed after almost two years of public meetings, a dozen of them, mostly in the rural Knightsen area of East Contra Costa.

"...Several public speakers at this month’s Board of Supervisors meeting, including representatives of the environmental advocacy groups Save Mount Diablo and Greenbelt Alliance, told the supervisors they support the basic plan.

"Some had a few specific bones to pick; the most-mentioned one was a 40-acre minimum parcel size for some of the suggested new uses.

"Many areas have been subdivided into lots as small as 10 acres over the years, with an eye to development.


"Rebecca Courchesne, whose family operates Frog Hollow Farm on 10 acres near Brentwood, said a suggested 40-acre minimum to host a farm-to-table restaurant is impractical, given a preponderance of 10-acre parcels in the area and the high cost of land.

“'Having small parcels that are viable … the farm-to-table restaurant is a vital part of that,' Courchesne told the supervisors. 'The 10-acre parcels are ideal for beginning young farmers.'

"...John Viano, president of the Contra Costa County Farm Bureau and an owner of Viano Vineyards in Martinez, said the plan has come a long way in two years, but that issues like parcel size, structure placement on parcels to provide the best possible economics and avoiding actions 'that take away the rural effect' still need to be worked out...".

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The legislature establishing Contra Costa's Agriculture Core (Knightson, Brentwood area, Southeast of Oakley) and Urban Limit Lines each have influenced the protection and loss of local vineyards.

Many old-vine viticultural sites in eastern CoCo grow on parcels smaller than 10 acres. Therefore, they do not qualify for the protections afforded by agriculture conservation measures.

Oakley's Agriculture Conservation and Viticulture Preservation (ACVP) program could have shielded many ancient vineyards from the threat of commercial development, but the plan was terminated before its implementation.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#430 Post by Drew Goin »

The following images were posted to the "Sandy Lane Vineyard's" Facebook page during June & July of 2020:

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"Sandy Lane Vineyard" is owned by the Gonsalves family in Oakley, CA.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#431 Post by Drew Goin »

Mr Kevin Romick, Oakley city council member and former mayor, shares many excellent photographs that he takes of the Oakley area. He posted the following image on a Facebook post yesterday:

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"In viticulture, veraison is the onset of the ripening of the grapes. The official definition of veraison is 'change of color of the grape berries'. Veraison represents the transition from berry growth to berry ripening, and many changes in berry development occur at veraison."


"Romick in Oakley" blog website:
https://romickinoakley.wordpress.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#432 Post by Drew Goin »

Three Livermore-based wineries share a commercial space for public interaction. Rosa Fierro, Ehrenberg, and Favalora each produce at least one bottling sourced from Oakley-grown grapes.


Independent News
"The Many Adventures of Rosie, Chris and Frankie"

October 4, 2018


"...After a long search for a location where they could each have a place to serve their respective wines to customers as well as make their wines, Rosie Mangin (Rosa Fierro Cellars), Chris Ehrenberg (Ehrenberg Cellars and Schmidt), and Frankie Favalora (Favalora Vineyard Winery) have finally moved their respective brands into spacious new quarters at 346 Earhart Drive. In doing so, they’ve effectively expanded the boundaries of Livermore wine country westward.

"...What can you expect when you come here for a tasting? Well, in the case of Favalora, Zin, Barbera, and Carignane, from his estate vineyards and a couple of others in Contra Costa County. Rosie’s lineup features Chardonnay and Cabernet from Livermore, along with Zin from Frank and Merlot from Sonoma. Chris Ehrenberg gets Barbera, Carignane, and Zin from Frank, along with a bunch of cool stuff from Amador and Lodi.

"...Each brand offers a totally unique experience, in terms of varietals and in terms of style.

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"...For harvest 2018, Rosie plans to get Chardonnay from Tenuta, from which she will make both oaked and unoaked versions. She’ll source Cabernet from Thatcher for her rosé, Zin from Favalora Vineyard and hopefully, Merlot from Moon Mountain. She’d really love to get some Sachau Merlot at some point.

"Ehrenberg’s Schmidt brand will join his Ehrenberg label on the bar, along with the wines from the 14 barrels he bought from Emily Coyne, after Tom passed away. Ehrenberg started making wine at Rock Wall in 2008 and has been hooked ever since. His style is unapologetically big and fleshy.

"...Chris also has a Favalora Zin from Contra Costa, a Napa Cab (big and bold with lots of grilled pepper and good acid), as well as Zin, Barbera and Carignane from Lodi.

"Under the Schmidt label, which honors his father, Chris Ehrenberg also has a Syrah, Zin and Petite Sirah. He’s very excited about the ETC dessert wines that contain some of Tom’s juice. 'Emilee Coyne said I could use Tom’s name and picture on the label,' says Ehrenberg. The ETC late harvest Zin is a big fruity monster that would best be consumed seated in a comfortable chair you’re not planning to move from for a while. There’s also an ETC Cabernet port, sourced mostly from Tom Coyne’s legacy barrels.

"...Next it was time to dip into the Favalora selections. Athletic, handsome, with an easy-going demeanor and an LED smile, Frank got started in wine when he was 23. 'I lived in Antioch and I played basketball,' he says. Everything changed when he met his father-in-law, Stan Planchon, who asked him, 'Do you know anything about wine? With a name like Frankie Favalora, you need to know. I’m going to teach you.'

"Frank says Stan had tasted Chris’s wines and liked them, and encouraged the two to team up. Ironically, at an event at Rosenblum Cellars where Chris was making wine, Shauna, Kent Rosenblum’s daughter, came by and said to Frankie, 'You two need to get together!'

"...After years of growing —Frank planted his vineyard in 1999 using Zin cuttings from the Planchon vineyard of his parents-in-law, Gertie and Stan, which dates back to 1902—he figured it was time.

"...On the tasting bar, you’ll find his 2015 Carignane from Frank’s cousin’s 100-year old dry-farmed vineyard on Live Oak Road in Contra Costa. It clocks in at 16.7% and smells of Bing cherry. It’s big and fleshy, with superb tannins. Carignane is known for its generous texture and thick skin and it gets really ripe out here with lots of hang time. Frank also has a 2016 Carignane from the Del Barba Vineyard, another old Contra Costa gem, this one with more layers, enticing pepper on the finish and good acid, along with coca cola and root beer flavors. He lets it hang until October.

"If you’re a fan of ripe Zinfulness, Frank’s 2015 late harvest Zin from the St. Peter’s Church clone out of Manuel Madruga’s vineyard, also in Contra Costa, will ring your chimes. Frank says that Madruga planted the vineyard in 2000, at the urging of Kent Rosenblum, who was well-regarded as a master of Zin, who asked him to plant the St. Peter’s Church clone. Known for its big berries and elongated clusters, it has developed quite a reputation and following among Rosenblum devotees. Maybe it’s the power of suggestion, but to me it tasted like a sacramental wine, amped up by the addition of Late Harvest Petite Sirah from Tom Coyne’s stash...".


This article was hard to track down, but it provides two interesting bits of trivia:

· Chris Ehrenberg and Frank Favalora are working with several barrels of finished wine from the late Thomas Coyne, sourced from daughter Emily Coyne. It is used in blending their dessert/late harvest wines.

· Details are given as to which Zinfandel field selections or Clones make up newer Oakley vineyards: "Madruga Vineyard" is composed of "St Peter's Church" cuttings, "Sophia Favalora Vineyard" includes "Planchon Vineyard" vine material. Kent Rosenblum introduced new Zin clonal selections into the area (link).


Ehrenberg Cellars / Schmidt website:
https://ehrenbergcellars.com/

Favalora Vineyard Winery Facebook page:
https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100054347749272

Rosa Fierro Cellars website:
https://www.rosafierrocellars.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#433 Post by Drew Goin »

These photos were taken by Mr Kevin Romick of the Oakley vineyards near Big Break Regional Shoreline on Friday, July 2nd, 2021. Images were posted to his Facebook page.

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Big Break Regional Shoreline website:
https://www.ebparks.org/parks/big_break/
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Small-Production Contra Costa Wines

#434 Post by Drew Goin »

Resident Grape-Nutz reporter/reviewer Ken Zinns kindly shared images from when he assisted in bottling Côte West's Zinfandel Rosé and Claire Hill's Mourvedre.

These are among the handful of the newer small-scale producers who offer vineyard-designated wines from Contra Costa County.



Côte West Winery

Côte West is a tiny Oakland operation from husband-and-wife Brett and Kerrie Hogan (along with assistant winemaker Michael McCullough). The winery's Zinfandel rosé and red offerings are from the "Del Barba Vineyard" in Oakley. A new Carignan-Grenache blend includes 60% old-vine Contra Costa Carignan; the Grenache component is from a younger vineyard in Clarksburg.


Visit Oakland
Profile: "Côte West Winery"


"...Our wine grapes originate from distinct Californian sites with unique weather patterns, terrain, and soils that lend themselves to excellent wine. And yet our practices resemble those more commonly found in Burgundy: we pick early to ensure lively acidity and lower alcohol, and we minimize sulfur and other additions. We bring the best of these worlds together through Côte West."


Berkeley Side
"Chardonnay Haters: This Oakland Winery’s Old World-Take Tastes New"

by Kathryn Bowen
September 3, 2019


Claire Hill Wines

Claire Hill Wines produces a "Del Barba Vineyard" Mourvedre, as well as a small selection of single-vineyard wines from across California (not to mention one Côte-du-Rhône red). Her Contra Costa Mourvedre is surprisingly low in alcohol (12% ABV), and its delicate purity of expression has garnered praise from several knowledgeable trade professionals.


Food and Wine magazine
"Sommelier Vinny Eng’s California Winemaker Roll Call"
by Megan Krigbaum
August 22, 2019

"...Claire Hill, Claire Hill Wines: After working in California wineries, like Unti and Rhys as well as with Éric Texier in the Rhône, and a stint in the wine department at San Francisco’s exceptional BiRite market, Claire Hill struck out on her own. She’s working with Mourvèdre grapes from Contra Costa County to make what Eng calls 'the most delicious thing'. Mourvèdre can often be coarse and robust, but Eng loves Hill’s style for its smooth, elegant texture."

claire-hill-wines-del-barba-mourvedre.jpg

Edible San Francisco
"Claire Hill Wines, Del Barba Vineyard, Mourvèdre, Contra Costa 2019"

November 29, 2020

"...The first word that popped into our head while drinking this 2019 was 'elegant', which it’s safe to say, is a description not often applied to Mourvèdre. There’s plenty of that savory fruit so typical of the grape, but it’s painted in with a fine brush instead of a hammer. And that is apropos I guess, since Claire also painted the label...".


Flatiron Wines
"Producer: Claire Hill Wines"


"...Claire's wines are swoonworthy. They possess the focus and precision one would expect from someone doing this for a decade or more. They radiate with the energy of California sunshine while maintaining structure and acidity we tend to assign to cool climate European wines. Having had many wines from the vineyards she buys fruit from, we can say with confidence that these are the amongst the most transcendent wines that we’ve ever tasted from those sites."


Erggelet Brothers

The Erggelet Brothers source grapes from very different Contra Costa vineyards: the estate "Cecchini Family Vineyard", part of the Urban Edge Farm in Knightsen; two older "Del Barba" vineyards in Oakley. Julian and his wife Alli grow several crops utilizing sustainable CCOF methodologies at the Cecchini family's Urban Edge Farm.


Flatiron Wines - blog
"Naturally Elegant Wines from the Delta"


"...All the Malvasia is currently sourced from the CCOF-certified Checchini Family Vineyard in Knightsen. This is where Julian's wife Ali was born and her family has farmed there for several generations.

"Carignane and Zinfandel are both picked in Oakley, from fourth generation farming legend Tom Del Barba's fine sand vineyards. Specifically, their grapes come from a center block of his hundred year old vines.

"Lastly, the Mataro is sourced just down the road from a highly regarded, century-old, 5 acre block owned by Tom's dad, Fred Del Barba.

"The brothers farm or help farm all of the plots they work with.

​"Their meticulous farming is coupled with low intervention but intentional wine-making, which allows Julian and Sebastian to showcase their adopted homes’ world class terroir.

"...Their wines are delicious, exceptional and unique, light on their feet but with structure and acidity that point to ancient vines. It's clear that Julian and Sebastian are destined for wine-world super stardom...".

img_5420.jpeg

JB's Wine Talk
"Easygoing Malvasia Bianca From Contra Costa County"

by JB (?)
July 8, 2021


2015 profile of the "Cecchini Family Vineyard":
https://www.farmprogress.com/grapes/pro ... mile-about
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#435 Post by Drew Goin »

I often have overlooked vineyards and wineries in Western Contra Costa. The only subappellation in the county is the Lamorinda AVA, which, according to the article below, appears to be flourishing.


East Bay Magazine
"Garagiste Bay"

by Amy Glynn
September 21, 2020

"...Those wines are garagiste creations made within the American Viticultural Area that encompasses the fraternal-triplet municipalities of Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda. The portmanteau Lamorinda AVA encompasses 30,000 acres, with about 140 acres under vine across 46 vineyards. The typical Lamorinda winegrower is working with a backyard vineyard—the area’s rich in large-but-'unusable' steep-sloped parcels where vines find an agreeable, if complicated, home. Winemaking here is almost entirely micro-scale.

"...Contra Costa County is a land of tensions and counterpoints, physically, socially and culturally. It always has been. County boundaries encompass a human population of 1.2 million. Though it’s somehow perceived as an inland region, it has extensive waterfront on the San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun bays (the name literally translates to 'against the coast')—but Mount Diablo’s influence is also undeniable. The county’s a weird mix of wealthy bedroom communities and complicated urban centers, farmland and heavy industry—think Kensington and Blackhawk and Orinda, but also Antioch and Richmond; Brentwood cherry orchards and cornfields, but also Walnut Creek shopping malls, Martinez oil refineries and Clayton mercury mines. And certainly, grapes—there are hundred-year-old zinfandel, carignan and mourvedre plantings, artifacts from a prolific winemaking past before Prohibition turned growers’ attention to pears and walnuts.

"...Contra Costa’s microproducers have no particular reputation to live up to—it’s an unsexy region, considered a provincial backwater by many. Winemaking culture here is not established the way it is in Sonoma or Napa counties; we had it, but it died out during Prohibition.

"...Contra Costa County is re-embracing its winemaking past in spite of a high cost of living and producing, a 'residential' context especially in zones like Lamorinda...".


Producers mentioned in the article:

· Thal Vineyards

· Meadowview Winery

· Los Arabia Vineyards

· Raisin d'Etre Vineyards



Lamorinda Wine Growers Association website:
https://lamorindawinegrowers.com/

LWGA member wineries:
https://lamorindawinegrowers.com/153-2/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#436 Post by Drew Goin »

The USGS website's map database includes ~40 plates (downloadable gridmap images) documenting the uses of land in the San Francisco Bay area as of 1970. The maps were published in 1973.

I only wish that more recent maps were available!



USGS National Geologic Map Database
"Atlas of urban and regional change, San Francisco Bay region, California"
1973


"Map Scale: 1:62,500

North Latitude: 38° 50' 17" N (38.8380)
South Latitude: 36° 49' 26" N (36.8240)
East Longitude: 121° 2' 24" W (-121.0400)
West Longitude: 123° 30' 0" W (-123.5000)"


One possible use these 48-year-old maps today is that they could confirm (theoretically) whether a certain vineyard has existed since 1970. Keep in mind that these are official government documents


Detail of "Plate #3": NE Contra Costa (including Antioch, left of center, and Oakley, right)
Screenshot_2021-07-22-20-16-30(1).png
Can you find the "Evangelho Vineyard"?


Link for all 44 plates:
https://pubs.er.usgs.gov/publication/ofr73322

"Atlas of Urban and Regional Change, San Francisco Bay Region, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma Counties, California"
Open-File Report: 73-322
By: U.S. Geological Survey

Screenshot_2021-07-22-21-25-43(1).png

To my understanding, here is how each map was created:

Aerial images from 1970 first were copied. Then, all observed parcels were recorded on new maps with their respective "land use" recorded. Plots whose function had been redesignated were labeled with an asterisk.

Screenshot_2021-07-22-21-27-06(1).png
Parcels marked "L AV" are "Agriculture - Vineyard, Orchard", while "L AF" indicates "Agriculture - Field Crop", etc.

Click to see spoiler:
The "Evangelho Vineyard" is near the middle of the map, just to the left of the vertical line running down the image, marked with "L AV". At least two residential properties ("RS") are smack dab in the middle of the vines.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#437 Post by Drew Goin »

The Bedrock Wine Company's Fall Release included the 2020 vintage of "Evangelho Vineyard" Contra Costa red wine:

Bedrock-Wine-Company-2020-Evangelho-Heritage-Wine-product-image-436-large.jpg
"2020 Evangelho Vineyard Heritage Wine

"Over the course of thousands of years, granitic sand was deposited on the edge of the Sacramento River Delta in an area that stretches from the eastern edge of Antioch to the far side of Oakley. Over 130 years ago, people started planting grapevines, almonds, apricots, and other fruit in these deep, well-drained sands. In 1936, Manuel Evangelho purchased some of these grapevines, which he farmed his entire life before passing them to his son Frank. Frank farmed the vineyard with care and a rough-hewn tenderness until passing the torch to us in 2017. He passed away not long after, but I know he would be proud of the way the vineyard looks, the wines coming from it and its growing reputation. That the 2018 was recently on the pairing menu at the Michelin 3-star restaurant Le Bernardin in New York may have floored him, or he might have just smiled and said, 'it’s about time.' (Manuel and Frank were the two most recent from a long line of Azorean fisherman, so Evangelho being served at one of the greatest fish restaurants in the world seems poetically just.)

"In 2020, Evangelho cropped at the lowest levels in over twenty years, and the resulting wine is dense, deft, and full of energy. The natural freshness imparted by the afternoon winds and sandy soils drives through the wine, knitting the juiciness of the Zinfandel with the savory Mataro and bright Carignan. A classic Evangelho.

"Podcast minute mark: Part 1, 43:46 "


Bedrock Wine Company website:
https://bedrockwineco.com/
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#438 Post by Christine Courtney »

I just wanted to thank everyone for all the research and postings! I grew up in Antioch in Beede Park, which is Wilber and A Street, so I know the area well. Of course, at the time I had no idea the significance of these vineyards that I drove by with some frequency over the years, so I love being able to take a deep dive now with context. [thankyou.gif]

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Locals Love Us!

#439 Post by Drew Goin »

Christine Courtney wrote: July 31st, 2021, 8:46 am I just wanted to thank everyone for all the research and postings! I grew up in Antioch in Beede Park, which is Wilber and A Street, so I know the area well. Of course, at the time I had no idea the significance of these vineyards that I drove by with some frequency over the years, so I love being able to take a deep dive now with context.

Thanks for chiming in, Christine!! [cheers.gif]

If you happen to make another nostalgic amble through your old stomping grounds, please do take a few photos for us!!!

I love the contrast of wizened old vines and beach-like sand.

19657351_652197678319105_370217260637976790_n(1).jpg
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Mystery of the "Enea Vineyard" Solved?

#440 Post by Drew Goin »

Drew Goin wrote: September 29th, 2020, 3:43 pm Here is another post from Bonny Doon Vineyards related to the mysterious "Enea Vineyard" in Antioch...

Finally, I may have solved the mystery of the "Enea Vineyard's"
location
.


Compare the above image to the following street view captures from Google Maps:

Screenshot_2021-08-01-14-12-57(1).png
Screenshot_2021-08-01-13-34-52(1).png

All of the images face roughly North. The tall, thin "smoke stack" from Antioch's old industrial site can be seen along the horizon in Bonny Doon's Twitter photo and in my first screenshot. The red building is visible in my first and third street view.

Screenshot_2021-08-01-13-34-36(1).png

PG&E powerlines run North-South in the direction of the nearby "Evangelho Vineyard".

Two-story residential buildings (of the same color and general appearance) border the vineyard on the Western edge of the property.

Below is a Google Maps aerial view of the probable
location
of the "Enea Vineyard":

Screenshot_2021-08-01-13-35-23(1).png

The fact that power lines bisect the vineyard would suggest that this parcel, like several other old-vine plots in the Antioch/Oakley area, has been owned or under lease by PG&E since the 1950s.

As pointed out by Mr Gates on a recent Ridge Vineyards ZOOM roundtable/tasting, vines grown on utility easements have subsequently been protected from the ravages of suburban growth.

Sometimes, Bonny Doon Vineyards' "Old Telegram" Mataro/Mourvedre was composed entirely of "Enea Vineyard" grapes; in other years, two or more ancient Contra Costa sites were blended together. The 2018 vintage was the final bottling of this varietal red wine. In addition, several Bonny Doon blends, like its flagship "Le Cigare Volant", often included fruit from the "Enea Vineyard".
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Vineyards of the Late Dwight Meadows

#441 Post by Drew Goin »

The following is a deep-dive exploring the locations of vineyards owned or farmed by the late Mr Dwight Meadows of Oakley, CA. This effort was born from a post asserting that a 32-year-old bottle of Thomas Coyne "Contra Costa" Mourvedre was not only sound, but absolutely delicious!


For many years, the late Dwight Meadows sold grapes to Thomas Coyne. Over the years, Rosenblum, Cline Cellars, and Rock Wall also purchased fruit from the properties owned or farmed by Meadows.

According to the CoCo-Fermented blog, Dwight Meadows and his Diablo Vista Vineyards company tended at least 6 different vineyards across eastern CoCo:

· "Jesse's Vineyard" (401 Laurel)* - 6th generation area grower Joe Duarte's considerable vineyard holdings included a small subsection of the "Duarte Vineyard" called "Jesse's Vineyard", named after Dwight's father Jesse Meadows, who passed away about 3 years after Dwight. Almost all of the original "Duarte Vineyard" at the SE corner of Laurel Ave has been developed into residential properties.

· "Carla's Vineyard" - named in honor of Dwight Meadows' wife, Carla Cutino. The vineyard, located East of the "Evangehlo Vyd" in Antioch, was uprooted piecemeal to make space for a K-Mart and its parking lot, which was shuttered some years ago.

Rosenblum Cellars YouTube video:
"Carla's Vineyard"

November 8, 2012




· "Vineyard on Live Oak Rd" - I do not know which specific vineyard parcel on Live Oak was farmed by Meadows. He did not own the property.

· "Trilogy at the Vineyards" - a much newer planting, this senior residential community in Brentwood includes a commercial vineyard. At one point, Rosenblum Cellars took part in discussions to move the bulk of its operations from Alameda to this site. That plan fell through.


A July 25, 2018, "Contra Costa Wine Heritage" thread post lists Antioch and Oakley's most influential grape-growing families. With the passing of several figureheads the community's multigenerational farming traditions are falling by the wayside.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#442 Post by Gabe Berk »

Drew Goin wrote: February 14th, 2018, 1:12 pm
Ken Zinns wrote:Drew, I was watching some news on TV yesterday and saw a story about a proposed Islamic Community Center in Oakley. The reporter was standing in front of the site and there were lots of old vines behind her - I figured if anyone here would know that vineyard, it would be you. It's at the northwest corner of Oakley Road and Neroly Road, just east of the freeway. You may have posted about this site before, but it just came to my attention yesterday.

Google Maps satellite view
Google Street View

Story about the proposed project

Can you tell us what vineyard that is?
Ken, I am hoping that I may have some additional information forthcoming with the vineyard in your post.

I found this ~10-acre Zinfandel vineyard, planted in the 1880's, for sale today on the internet:


GetMedia.jpeg

"Subdividable, R-6 zoning for residential development; situated in one of Oakley's best locations; public park adjoins property; current subdivisions on several sides; organic Zinfandel producing vineyard; production under contract; vines planted in late 1800's. Close to shopping, public trans, fwy's and family neighborhoods."

APN:
041-100-035-9

Situs Address:
2371 OAKLEY RD
OAKLEY CA 94561-4131
Click to see spoiler:
Mailing Address*:
PO BOX ###
THE SEA RANCH CA 95497-0293
Legal Description:
POR SEC 27 T2N R2E
Use Type:
RESIDENTIAL
Year Assd: 2017
Land: $156,948
Structure(s): $23,979
Total Land and Improv: $180,927
HO Exempt?: N
Property Characteristics
Bldg/Liv Area: 1,020
Lot Acres: 9.735
Lot SqFt: 424,057
Recent Sale History
Recording Date: 06/17/2015
Document #: 123846
mapImg.png
https://assr.parcelquest.com/Home/Details/0

* This mailing address is associated with Ms Marianne Joye Harder and (the late?) Mr Steve Harder.


** Edit ** June 11, 2021

This was the "Salvador Vineyard", fruit source for Turley Cellars' single-vineyard "Salvador Vineyard" Zinfandel as well as a component of the "Duarte Vineyard" bottling, which included grapes from a few old Oakley plantings.

East County Today
"Oakley Could See Vineyard Turned Into 63 Homes"

September 8, 2019

The vines were uprooted and the property is being developed for housing.
Just got the mailer for the Turley fall release. Its the last vintage of the Salvador Vineyard from Oakley referenced above. So sad to see. I'm going to buy more than my usual amount partly due to commemorate, but also because the wine year in an year out was outstanding!

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The Fate of the "Salvador Vineyard"

#443 Post by Drew Goin »

Gabe Berk wrote: August 4th, 2021, 2:24 pm
Drew Goin wrote: February 14th, 2018, 1:12 pm ...I found this ~10-acre Zinfandel vineyard, planted in the 1880's, for sale today on the internet:[/b]

Situs Address:
2371 OAKLEY RD
OAKLEY CA 94561-4131

** Edit ** June 11, 2021

This was the "Salvador Vineyard", fruit source for Turley Cellars' single-vineyard "Salvador Vineyard" Zinfandel as well as a component of the "Duarte Vineyard" bottling, which included grapes from a few old Oakley plantings.

East County Today
"Oakley Could See Vineyard Turned Into 63 Homes"

September 8, 2019

The vines were uprooted and the property is being developed for housing.

Just got the mailer for the Turley fall release. Its the last vintage of the Salvador Vineyard from Oakley referenced above. So sad to see. I'm going to buy more than my usual amount partly due to commemorate, but also because the wine year in an year out was outstanding!
Screenshot_2021-08-04-17-43-29(1)(1).png

An article in the June, 2021, issue of Wine & Spirits magazine reviewed the history of eastern CoCo's ancient vineyards and explored the factors threatening their future:

Wine & Spirits
"Gone Tomorrow: Will Contra Costa's Centennarian Vines Survive?"

by Patrick J. Comiskey
June, 2021

"...Once upon a time, these were the head-trained vines of Salvador Vineyard, home to Carignane, Zinfandel, and Mataro. They were planted in 1896 on a berm of deep sand, less than two miles from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta. According to Tegan Passalacqua, winemaker at Turley and Sandlands, the vineyard was considered one of the finest in the area...".


Golden Gate Sotheby's International Realty YouTube video:
"2371 Oakley Road, Oakley, CA"

August 15, 2017




The heart-wrenching fate of the "Salvador Vineyard"...
Screenshot_2021-08-04-17-42-26(1).png
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#444 Post by Adam Frisch »

Sad.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker at Sabelli-Frisch Wines. I make wine from low-impact vineyards, focus on rare, forgotten, under-appreciated or historic grape varietals. Mission grape is my main red focus. IG: sabellifrisch

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Jacuzzi & Cline Families

#445 Post by Drew Goin »

The Cline family name has been associated with Contra Costa viticulture and winemaking for over three decades. The extended family's connection to the Antioch/Oakley area reaches back to the early 1900s.

V-Jacuzzi-vineyard.jpg

The Jacuzzi brothers invented the "toothpick propeller" for aircraft after WWI. Their patented jet pump for filtering wine found great acclaim when repurposed to provide a different source of comfort. A pump was submerged into a tub of hot water to offer relief for one family member suffering Rheumatoid Arthritis. The design eventually gave rise to the commercially successful Jacuzzi whirlpool tubs.

Today, the City of Antioch is dedicating a new park to the memory Matt and Fred Cline's maternal grandparents. The Valeriano and Guiseppina Jacuzzi Knolls Open Space and Park Ridge subdivision will occupy 25 acres. 525 homes will be built around the park.

Park-Ridge-Park-Open-Space-map-G-V-Jacuzzi-1536x768.jpg

Fred Cline established Cline Cellars in 1982 after purchasing the old Firpo Winery and some vineyard acreage in Oakley. The venture was funded by Fred's $10,000 inheritance from his maternal grandfather Valeriano Jacuzzi.

Younger brother Matt joined the company in 1985-6 after graduating UC Davis. Their winery played a major role in familiarizing the wine-drinking public with the old vineyards of Contra Costa County.

In 1991, Fred and his wife Nancy moved the winemaking facilities to Sonoma County. A new vineyard was planted to Burgundy and Rhône grape varieties, now farmed according to "Green String" principles. Jacuzzi Family Vineyards was created in 1997 in honor of the Valeriano, bottling several Italian-style wines.

In 2001, Matt left Cline Cellars and founded Trinitas with his wife Erin. Three Wine Company was started by Matt and Erin in 2006 after selling Trinitas. The first wine was released for sale in 2008.


Recently, each launched a new bottling composed of old-vine grapes:

· Cline Cellars 2019 "Tribute: Delta Sands" Zinfandel

"Our Tribute Delta Sands Zinfandel highlights the defining characteristic of Contra Costa County. The sandy deposits that make up the soils of our dry-farmed zinfandel vineyards in Oakley are the key to this growing region. When the sun reflects on these delta sands our grapes can ripen early and consistently, creating elegant wines that showcase power and grace simultaneously. The sands also allow the roots of these vines to dig nearly 40 feet deep in search of water, the final wine is richly concentrated with ripe boysenberry, caramel, and cooking spice and finishes with luscious tannins, a hint of bright raspberry, and perfect balance."


· Budwood 2019 "Ancient Vines", Own-Rooted Contra Costa Red Wine

"At the turn of the 20th century, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese immigrants, first drawn to California with the promise of the Gold Rush, had settled west of the gold fields, near the current city of Oakley, a few miles from the San Francisco Bay. As the reality set in that agriculture rather than gold mining was the key to their future, they travelled further west to the Sonoma Valley to collect the budwood that they would eventually plant in the sandy soils of their new home of Contra Costa County.

budwood-ancient-vines(1).jpg

"Little did they know that the phylloxera bug that would eventually wipe out most of the world’s vineyards, requiring any new vines to be grafted on bug resistant wild American grape root stock, couldn’t survive in the arid sands of Contra Costa. This has left these ancient vines of Carignane, Mataro, Zin and Alicante Bouschet as not only some of the oldest in the world but also some of the only ones with their own roots!

"Winemaker Matt Cline has always been drawn to these American heirloom vines starting in the mid-80s when he and his brother Fred founded Cline Cellars on the ability of these ancient vines of Oakley to produce massive concentration yet with silken texture and snappy vibrancy. This allegiance carried through his time with Cline Cellars and now with Three Wine Company. His latest venture honors the pioneers of this valley whose budwood fostered vineyards that still produce incredible wine, 136 years later."


Cline Cellars website:
https://clinecellars.com/

Three Wine Company website:
https://threewinecompany.com/
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CoCo Inquiry: Firpo Winery & John Eppler's Zoom

#446 Post by Drew Goin »

I am curious whether anyone has additional info about the old Firpo Winery or the Contra Costa-sourced wines from Eppler.


Firpo Winery:

Julius Firpo Winery is included in the Wine Label Library's online catalog. However, the "O" next to its entry means that the WLL has no physical bottle labels or photos of Firpo wines.

Julius D. Firpo of Oakley, CA, appears as a licensed processor and dispenser for the year 1936 in Commercial Fertilizers Agricultural Minerals, #'s 139; 146; 156. This, sadly, doesn't shed any light on the winery's work.

The Internet Archive has a digital copy of the 1950 - Liberty Lion: 40 Year Reunion, a reunion mini-yearbook from Liberty High School, Brentwood, CA. Two women are listed with the maiden name "Firpo", but this doesn't help my search.


Zoom Winery / John Robert Eppler (JRE):

Much more recently, Mr John Eppler produced red wines from Contra Costa County. According to searches on Cellartracker and the "out-of-stock" K&L product list, Zoom made Zinfandel from a >100-year-old vineyard in Contra Costa between 1996-98.

From a K&L website description of the 1996 Zoom Zinfandel (14.3% alc):

"This wine was the sleeper of the famous Zap tasting. A delicious wine from 102 year old vineyard in Contra Costa, CA. Dense and dark jammy fruit but not overly heavy or over-extracted. Very attractive fruit and beautiful balance - perfect! Tiny (300 case) production levels by an extremely talented enologist named John Eppler (Robert Mondavi and Rosenblum Cellars). The wine is exceptional - this is one Zin you don't want to miss! UPDATE… 89 points from Robert Parker…".

According to Cellartracker and an archived Honolulu Star Bulletin article, a "Ghidossi Vineyard"* Petite Sirah was bottled between 2002-2004 under the John Robert Eppler label.


* The "Ghidossi Vineyard" is composed of younger Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah vines, interspersed among houses and a ski-lake. Ledson produced a couple of Petite Sirahs from this site a few years ago.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#447 Post by Ken Zinns »

Helped yesterday with sorting about four tons of Mourvèdre for rosé (about half direct press and half pressed after a few hours on the skins after foot-treading) for Doren Wines at the Treasure Island Wines facility in San Francisco. The fruit was from the Marsh Creek (Trilogy) Vineyard near Brentwood in Contra Costa County. This will go into the 2021 "Josie" Rosé for Doren Wines.

doren mourvedre for rose 080821 b.jpg
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ITB, Harrington Wines & Eno Wines, and Grape-Nutz.com

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J. Doran Vineyards

#448 Post by Drew Goin »

Ken Zinns wrote: August 9th, 2021, 10:53 am Helped yesterday with sorting about four tons of Mourvèdre for rosé (about half direct press and half pressed after a few hours on the skins after foot-treading) for Doren Wines at the Treasure Island Wines facility in San Francisco. The fruit was from the Marsh Creek (Trilogy) Vineyard near Brentwood in Contra Costa County. This will go into the 2021 "Josie" Rosé for Doren Wines.

Thanks for sharing, Ken!!


I took notice of J. Doran Vineyards a few weeks back, but there sadly isn't much info out there about this producer.

A Contra Costa Zinfandel is offered on the winery website. Curiously, the juice is "pressed lightly over Yountville Napa Cabernet skins". What exactly does that achieve?


"J Doran Vineyards Zinfandel

"Our Contra Costa County Zin that started it all! Silver Medal Award winner in the Contra Costa Wine Competition. Contra Costa County vineyard planted in 2004, this Zinfandel has bold up front flavor, balanced fruit with a hint of white pepper on the mid palate. A classic Zinfandel that stands up to a wide variety of food. Crushed & given a 6% saignee, Cold soaked for 5 days prior to innoculation, pressed lightly over Yountville Napa Cabernet skins. Aged in French oak medium toast + barrels for 16 months. Alc. 14.64% by vol."

J. Doran Vineyards website:
http://www.jdoranvineyards.com/

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Re: J. Doran Vineyards

#449 Post by Ken Zinns »

Drew Goin wrote: August 9th, 2021, 7:50 pm
Ken Zinns wrote: August 9th, 2021, 10:53 am Helped yesterday with sorting about four tons of Mourvèdre for rosé (about half direct press and half pressed after a few hours on the skins after foot-treading) for Doren Wines at the Treasure Island Wines facility in San Francisco. The fruit was from the Marsh Creek (Trilogy) Vineyard near Brentwood in Contra Costa County. This will go into the 2021 "Josie" Rosé for Doren Wines.

Thanks for sharing, Ken!!


I took notice of J. Doran Vineyards a few weeks back, but there sadly isn't much info out there about this producer.

A Contra Costa Zinfandel is offered on the winery website. Curiously, the juice is "pressed lightly over Yountville Napa Cabernet skins". What exactly does that achieve?


"J Doran Vineyards Zinfandel

"Our Contra Costa County Zin that started it all! Silver Medal Award winner in the Contra Costa Wine Competition. Contra Costa County vineyard planted in 2004, this Zinfandel has bold up front flavor, balanced fruit with a hint of white pepper on the mid palate. A classic Zinfandel that stands up to a wide variety of food. Crushed & given a 6% saignee, Cold soaked for 5 days prior to innoculation, pressed lightly over Yountville Napa Cabernet skins. Aged in French oak medium toast + barrels for 16 months. Alc. 14.64% by vol."

J. Doran Vineyards website:
http://www.jdoranvineyards.com/
Drew, this is a different winery. The fruit I helped sort yesterday was for Doren (with an "e"). I believe this is their first time working with Contra Costa County fruit - they made the 2020 "Josie" Rosé" with fruit sourced from Love Ranch in Madera County in the lower Sierra Foothills. Doren website here: https://dorenwine.com/

I recall you found some good info on the Trilogy / Marsh Creek Vineyard back in late May after I helped bottle a Montepulciano from there, for Passaggio Wines.
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Doren Vineyards Rosé from Marsh Creek Vyds, CoCo

#450 Post by Drew Goin »

Ken Zinns wrote: August 9th, 2021, 8:10 pm
Drew Goin wrote: August 9th, 2021, 7:50 pm I took notice of J. Doran Vineyards a few weeks back, but there sadly isn't much info out there about this producer.
Drew, this is a different winery. The fruit I helped sort yesterday was for Doren (with an "e"). I believe this is their first time working with Contra Costa County fruit - they made the 2020 "Josie" Rosé" with fruit sourced from Love Ranch in Madera County in the lower Sierra Foothills. Doren website here: https://dorenwine.com/

I recall you found some good info on the Trilogy / Marsh Creek Vineyard...

My bad! I should have trusted your spelling abilities.

"Grape Varieties grown at Marsh Creek at the Vineyards: "Mourvedre:

"Village 'Bordeaux'
Clone 1
Rootstock 140R
Year Planted 2006
Spacing 5' x 8'
Acreage 2.0
Orientation North-South"

Mourvédre-Gallery-2-1024x683.jpg

Vineyards at Marsh Creek might apply to the broader neighborhood; Trinity at the Vineyards appears to be the designation for Club Los Meganos' +55 residential complex (a Shea Homes development project).

Perhaps wineries are contractually bound to use the "Trinity" name on their labels to add prestige to the housing community. Honestly, I use the names interchangeably.


Doren Wines s website:
https://dorenwine.com/

Vineyards at Marsh Creek website:
https://www.vineyardsatmarshcreek.com/

Trilogy at the Vineyards website:
https://www.mytrilogylife.com/vineyards/

Shea Homes' profile for Trilogy at the Vineyards:
https://www.sheahomes.com/new-homes/cal ... vineyards/

Trilogy-Vineyards-Map-w-clone-and-root-stock-Banner-Rev3-16-21-1081x1536(1).jpg
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