Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
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Matt Wood
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#301 Post by Matt Wood » March 11th, 2020, 11:28 am

It's sad to see the Sandy lane vineyard for sale Drew, thanks for pointing it out. I've gotten grapes from there a couple times, I think there are photos posted upthread of picks I've done from there. I hate to see the land sold but I also understand the economics and when a vineyard that size is being picked by home winemakers like myself it's not really sustainable. If I remember correctly a lot of the grapes went into Bogle wines recently. I may not have my facts totally straight but it might be farmed by the same family or extended family as the Salvador vineyard.

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#302 Post by Drew Goin » March 12th, 2020, 2:04 pm

Martinez is located outside the usual area of focus of this thread. Here is a snapshot of one family's contribution to early CoCo winegrowing:


Martinez History
"The Upham Family of Alhambra Valley"

by Rich Sandvick


"...Bradford and Gertrude visited Contra Costa County for the first time in 1874. Starting in 1885, for four successive years they camped during the summer on a friend’s ranch in Alhambra Valley. During that time Bradford learned of the diversity of the county’s climate, soil, landscape, and water distribution. In 1889, with the help of his father-in-law, Bradford purchased 400 acres of the “best land in the Alhambra Valley.” He was now ready to plant grapes and start up a winery.

"He had one problem: He purchased his root stock from the wrong man in the wrong place. On February 4th his neighbors, signing themselves “Vineyardists,” wrote to him that he had “bought and rooted here, rooted vines grown in Napa County a place so infested in that dreaded scourge, the Phylloxera” and advising him to “have them burned root and branch.” The next day Bradford’s father-in-law wrote to him with a similar concern. The educator John Swett, who with his son Frank was growing grapes in Alhambra Valley, had visited him after speaking with other growers: Henry Raap, who had 68 acres and 20 varieties of grapes and John Muir, the naturalist, who had 100 acres of grapes. Eventually Bradford got the right root stock and planted his vineyard, built a winery, and began selling his products. He was so successful that in 1897 he was asked to contribute an article to a special, promotional edition of the Contra Costa News.

"Bradford named his vineyards Loma Vista (Hillview) and Glorieta, and the ranch became known as the Glorieta Ranch. The grapes he grew were selected varieties of European vines of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Southern France, Italian, and Hungarian types. Most of these had proved to be ideal in the soil and climate of Alhambra Valley...".

uphamcalicorchards.jpg
Upham family property - from Martinez History website

The family ultimately switched to growing apples for cider and vinegar before moving to Napa Valley some years later.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#303 Post by Drew Goin » March 12th, 2020, 3:35 pm

0019Bweb.jpg
Image from Jensen's article

Soundings Magazine
"Oakley Through Time"

by Carol A. Jensen
June 28, 2019


"...Transformation of Oakley from an exclusively agricultural community to a bedroom community supporting industrial Antioch caused community change in the late 1950s. Unincorporated Oakley and the Contra Costa Planning Commission responded to the new housing demands with post WWII tract homes, a precursor to the modern suburb, which were built to house engineers and blue-collar workers employed at the Crown Zellerbach paper plant and DuPont Chemical Works. Similar to earlier 'company towns', these enclaves of blue-collar workers and their families lived a life apart from traditional rural families. The children of immigrants were moving up… and out.

"The development boom in the run up to the 'mortgage meltdown' of 2009 was analogous to Randolph Marsh’s land speculation in the 1890s. Eastern Contra Costa County and Oakley in particular was ripe for land speculation and housing development from the 1980s forward. Housing developers acquired acres of vineyards, almond trees, and grassland as the area’s longtime residents sought retirement income or lacked an interested heir to take over their farm. Developers and long-time landholders both saw eight houses to the acre as an attractive farm production 'yield'. A new group of migrants has arrived to enjoy suburban life in Oakley while commuting as far as Silicon Valley to return home with a new 'harvest'."

007Bweb.jpg
Oakley feature from author's article

"Editor’s Note: Oakley Through Time, the new book by Carol A. Jensen, East Contra Costa Historical Society, contributor, provides a local history of a town, plus insights into our immigrant culture and California identity. Presented in vintage photographs from state and local historical society archives is the evolving and endearing community of Oakley. Combined with Jensen’s prose, these images showcase the progression of a small California town in the era of real estate speculation, horse farms, and railroad produce terminals to self-sustaining San Francisco Bay Area suburb."

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#304 Post by James Kennedy » April 6th, 2020, 2:38 pm

Drew, thanks for starting and updating such a thorough thread on this fascinating region. I'm infatuated with the wines from this region and geeked out with all of the articles and experts chiming in.

Based on the information in this thread I put together a google map layer to visualize the location of vineyards throughout Oakley and Antioch. All the ones in red are 90+ year old vines. Ones in black I'm not 100% sure of age. This is by no means the authority on vineyard locations (it's tough to figure out lot lines, let alone vineyard names and locations) - please provide feedback and edits and I'll update accordingly.

Oakley and Antioch Vineyards Map - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ERG5a ... sp=sharing

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#305 Post by Drew Goin » April 15th, 2020, 3:39 pm

James Kennedy wrote:
April 6th, 2020, 2:38 pm
Drew, thanks for starting and updating such a thorough thread on this fascinating region. I'm infatuated with the wines from this region and geeked out with all of the articles and experts chiming in.

Based on the information in this thread I put together a google map layer to visualize the location of vineyards throughout Oakley and Antioch. All the ones in red are 90+ year old vines. Ones in black I'm not 100% sure of age. This is by no means the authority on vineyard locations (it's tough to figure out lot lines, let alone vineyard names and locations) - please provide feedback and edits and I'll update accordingly.

Oakley and Antioch Vineyards Map - https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ERG5a ... sp=sharing

Very impressive efforts on your part, James!!!

I have an interactive Google Earth map from the Oakley City folks from 2013 that lists over 120 vineyard parcels in the town. I would be happy to email it to you.

Unfortunately, many of the Oakley 2013 ACVP mapped plots are now gone.

I believe that the large pyramid-shaped vineyard spot on Main Street's eastern curve is actually the "Favalora Vineyard", not a "Del Barba" property, but I am not certain.


Please send me a private message if you want to review the 2013 map and compare. You did a helluva job on yours!!!!

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#306 Post by Drew Goin » April 15th, 2020, 3:58 pm

From Antonio Galloni's Vinous website:

"Tuesday April 7: Tegan Passalacqua (Sandlands)

The history of California’s old-vine sites and the re-discovery of California’s heritage varieties are just two of many subjects we will explore in this seminar.
"






Contra Costa discussion begins around 31 minutes into the interview.

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Ken Zinns
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#307 Post by Ken Zinns » May 8th, 2020, 6:39 am

Don’t think this wine has been posted here yet.
2018 Rosé of Zinfandel from Del Barba Vineyard by Côte West Wine in Oakland. I help out there sometimes with bottling. Nice wine! Just opened a bottle yesterday evening.

E81C721D-3D77-4539-8BAB-5FCC9E9739F7.jpeg
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#308 Post by Matt Wood » May 8th, 2020, 11:47 am

Thanks Ken, I'll have to check Côte West out, I haven't tried any of their wines yet.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#309 Post by Drew Goin » May 15th, 2020, 10:24 am

Wine 1% Blog
"Mourvedre Suspended"

by Stephen McConnell
February 21, 2017

Dropout Wines 2015 "Castanho Vineyard" Mourvedre
wp-image-1402030397jpg.jpg
Dropout Mourvedre - from Wine1%

"...For years I’ve said Contra Costa County grows some of the best wines in the world in their bottomless sand and don’t forget: I just got back from a week in Nice, where Bandol reigns supreme. I’ve had some good Mourvedre lately, and this is right up there at the top. So many of the Central Coast versions of this variety are over-worked, flabby and terribly extracted–like they’re all trying to be Ballard Canyon Syrahs or South Edna Valley depth-charges. This version manages depth and layer without succumbing to these ills. It does show every inch of its 14-5, but does it delicately and with prettiness, never losing sight of fruit and focus...".


Dropout Wines website:
http://www.dropoutwines.com

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#310 Post by Drew Goin » May 16th, 2020, 9:12 am

Ken Zinns wrote:
May 8th, 2020, 6:39 am
Don’t think this wine has been posted here yet.
2018 Rosé of Zinfandel from Del Barba Vineyard by Côte West Wine in Oakland. I help out there sometimes with bottling. Nice wine! Just opened a bottle yesterday evening.

Thanks for posting this, Ken!

I was browsing Cellar Tracker listings of "Contra Costa" wines two or three days ago and saw Côte West wines in the lineup. I didn't know if these bottlings were nationally available or not, nor did I know what the story was behind them.


Côte West Wine website:
https://www.cotewestwine.com/


It seems you have a hand (literally) in most of CA's small-production wineries!!!

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#311 Post by Ken Zinns » July 19th, 2020, 7:59 pm

Another from Del Barba Vineyard - Claire Hill Mourvèdre, bottled today in San Francisco.

F670F887-8EB9-41F6-8E92-2232700BFF40.jpeg
81DE926C-724C-4FB6-B32B-3C3230EC3B02.jpeg

Also bottled today - a new vintage of Perfusion Pinot Noir, from the estate vineyard in western Contra Costa, in the hills above Richmond.

BD42DC5A-D238-4901-A1C5-BB5A9B396C3E.jpeg
A37F8CCC-D0F7-4915-BC23-0FE0980AF619.jpeg
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#312 Post by Drew Goin » August 12th, 2020, 1:40 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
February 12th, 2019, 5:59 pm
I found a winery that offers a couple of single-vineyard bottlings from the "Duarte Vineyard" of Oakley, CA. I am still trying to determine where the actual growing site is located.


"Enoteca Five 2017 'Wanderlust' Chardonnay, 'Duarte Vineyards'

"Located in the Sacramento River Delta community of Oakley, CA, this Heritage Vineyard is home predominantly to old vine Zinfandel grown is sandy soils resembling that like one sees at the beach. Seven rows in the vineyard are dedicated to Chardonnay...."



Enoteca Five website:
http://www.enoteca5.com/

I noticed that the Enoteca Five website includes a bit more information about the "Duarte Vineyard":


"Vineyard Partners:

"...Duarte Vineyards - Oakley, CA (Contra Costa AVA)
Duarte Vineyards the O'hara | Carpenter Block, a Heritage Vineyard located in the Sacramento River Delta City of Oakley, sees little to no irrigation, featuring 46 year old clones from neighboring ancient vine | heritage vineyards of Del Barba, Evanghelo, and Big Break, which together result in an intense, big fruit, chocolate style Zin. We split the vineyards with V. Sattui of Napa...".

http://www.enoteca5.com/partners.html

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#313 Post by Adam Frisch » August 12th, 2020, 9:10 pm

Just signed to take some fruit from Sandy Lane, so it's not sold or gone yet. 130 year old vines.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker (with a little help) 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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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#314 Post by Drew Goin » August 12th, 2020, 11:07 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
August 12th, 2020, 9:10 pm
Just signed to take some fruit from Sandy Lane, so it's not sold or gone yet. 130 year old vines.
Yeah, have seen some recent bottlings of Sandy Lane fruit, so I don't know what is going on...?

Can you divulge what your hopes are regarding which variety/ies to bottle?

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#315 Post by Matt Wood » August 13th, 2020, 9:56 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
August 12th, 2020, 9:10 pm
Just signed to take some fruit from Sandy Lane, so it's not sold or gone yet. 130 year old vines.
That's great Adam. What are you picking from there? Those are real cool old vines.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#316 Post by Drew Goin » August 13th, 2020, 1:45 pm

I noticed that Ridge harvested grapes from "Sandy Lane Vineyard" in 2019:




Lusu Cellars, Sunce, Birdhorse, ThereAfter, Post & Vine, and other are offering wines from "Sandy Lane". I don't know whether the vineyard listed above on Sandy Lane is THE "Sandy Lane Vineyard" for certain. I will need to consult my Google Maps file.


As Matt actually has walked the grounds of the property, I would assume that he would know better than I.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#317 Post by Adam Frisch » August 13th, 2020, 4:31 pm

My lips are sealed, but a variety that starts with a Z. [wink.gif]

And what's interesting is that it's ready to pick already, pretty much. I don't have tons of of harvests under my belt, but that's the earliest I've ever picked anything so far, even whites. Just one of those early years, it seems.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker (with a little help) 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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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#318 Post by Matt Wood » August 13th, 2020, 4:49 pm

Nice choice Adam. Harvest is always early out there but seems extra early this year. I've heard it's because there isn't the frost pressure that other areas get because it's so close to the bay/river that bud break and everything start early. I enjoy picking that vineyard when I can for home winemaking.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#319 Post by Al Osterheld » August 13th, 2020, 7:10 pm

I believe it's going to be freaking hot up there for the next week plus. If it's ready, don't dally.

-Al

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#320 Post by Adam Frisch » August 13th, 2020, 8:01 pm

Thanks Matt, Al. Yeah, it's gona be 104 in the week, apparently. I'm trying to get it in mid-week or as soon as I can. But honestly, wasn't prepared for it to be this early, so scrambling a bit to get my ducks in a row.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker (with a little help) 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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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#321 Post by Wes Barton » August 13th, 2020, 10:22 pm

Ridge picked their Evangelo Carrignane two days ago.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#322 Post by Drew Goin » August 14th, 2020, 11:59 am

Wes Barton wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 10:22 pm
Ridge picked their Evangelo Carrignane two days ago.

Thanks for the info, Wes! Do you know if these grapes go into a blend or are to be vineyard-designated bottling(s)?

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#323 Post by Rich Brown » August 14th, 2020, 1:59 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 4:31 pm
My lips are sealed, but a variety that starts with a Z. [wink.gif]

And what's interesting is that it's ready to pick already, pretty much. I don't have tons of of harvests under my belt, but that's the earliest I've ever picked anything so far, even whites. Just one of those early years, it seems.
Good for you! I figured you were looking to produce a zin given some of the past 'fact finding' threads you started on the grape. Hope it goes well!

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#324 Post by Wes Barton » August 14th, 2020, 7:41 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
August 14th, 2020, 11:59 am
Wes Barton wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 10:22 pm
Ridge picked their Evangelo Carrignane two days ago.

Thanks for the info, Wes! Do you know if these grapes go into a blend or are to be vineyard-designated bottling(s)?
Nope. Got that from their facebook feed. Hadn't heard of them getting Carignane from there before.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#325 Post by Adam Frisch » August 15th, 2020, 12:13 am

Rich Brown wrote:
August 14th, 2020, 1:59 pm

Good for you! I figured you were looking to produce a zin given some of the past 'fact finding' threads you started on the grape. Hope it goes well!
Thanks! There's a considerable fraction of winemakers who think that Zin is just not a good performer below a certain sugar level. That it only comes into itself after a certain maturity. And you know what - they might be absolutely right. I'm kinda finding my way as I go. My aim here is for a 22 brix level, which is very lean for a Z. Curious to see if it will live happily there. [cheers.gif]
Last edited by Adam Frisch on August 15th, 2020, 5:08 am, edited 3 times in total.
Sabelli-Frisch Wines

Owner, proprietor and winemaker (with a little help) 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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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#326 Post by Drew Goin » August 15th, 2020, 1:54 am

Adam, I think it's exciting that you're working with such awesome fruit!! Contra Costa is home to some special vineyards.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#327 Post by Drew Goin » August 15th, 2020, 1:57 am

YouTube video:
Dirty & Rowdy Family Wines
"Evangehlo 2020 Pick BIG"



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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#328 Post by Drew Goin » August 15th, 2020, 11:20 am

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

mapImg.png
https://assr.parcelquest.com/Home/Details/0
*Update*:

I discovered that the vineyard site described in the attached posts is slated for imminent development.


From the "Phase I Cultural and Paleontological Resource Assessment: Vines at Oakley Project":
June 18, 2019


"The 9.87-acre project site is located in the City of Oakley, Contra Costa County, California (Exhibit 1). The project site is located on the Brentwood, California USGS 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle, Township 2 North, Range 2 East, Section 27 (Exhibit 2). The rectangular project site is located on Oakley Road with Beldin Lane to the east, Live Oak Avenue to the west, and Holly Creek Park to the south (Exhibit 3).

"MLC Holdings proposes to subdivide and develop 68 residential lots, a bioretention basin, and 50 parking spaces."


This old vineyard was owned by the Gonsalves family, and I still believe that this particular location was the elusive "Salvador Vineyard" (not the Gonsalves property on Sandy Lane Dr).

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#329 Post by Wes Barton » August 15th, 2020, 12:54 pm

Adam Frisch wrote:
August 15th, 2020, 12:13 am
Rich Brown wrote:
August 14th, 2020, 1:59 pm

Good for you! I figured you were looking to produce a zin given some of the past 'fact finding' threads you started on the grape. Hope it goes well!
Thanks! There's a considerable fraction of winemakers who think that Zin is just not a good performer below a certain sugar level. That it only comes into itself after a certain maturity. And you know what - they might be absolutely right. I'm kinda finding my way as I go. My aim here is for a 22 brix level, which is very lean for a Z. Curious to see if it will live happily there. [cheers.gif]
Search Cellar Rats for Berry Crawford. He was starting a project making low ABV Zins. Haven't heard anything for a long time, other than he's who hooked up Eric Lundblad with a source. I think you've seen thread mentioning some including the Ladd, Broc, etc.

Paul Draper's general statement is flavor development in Zin comes at about 1% ABV higher than Cab. But, that's in the context of Ridge not picking by sugar, so their ABVs are all over the place. A vertical of a long running site will show an ABV range of 2.5-3.0%. I've certainly had Ridge Zins under 12% ABV.

How evenly the berries ripen can vary. Taste the least ripe berries and figure their role in the mix. Harsh green? Beautifully floral? "Free acid"? Don't get too caught up on brix. If you end up with enough clusters that are less ripe than you'd like, think about using them for a rose.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#330 Post by Adam Frisch » August 16th, 2020, 1:16 pm

Thanks Wes. I would like to pick on acid, but it's not feasible when I'm so far away. Here the estates and the producers that get their fruit locally have an advantage.
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#331 Post by Ken Zinns » August 17th, 2020, 6:22 pm

Helped bottle this today at the winery in Oakland.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#332 Post by Drew Goin » August 24th, 2020, 3:35 pm

Very cool, Ken! I have often enjoyed old-vine CoCo Carignan.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#333 Post by Drew Goin » September 1st, 2020, 2:52 pm

2016-new-273.jpg
Oakley Harvest - from Romick in Oakley Blog

Romick in Oakley Blog
"The 2020 Harvest has Started in Oakley"

August 21, 2020


"Have you seen those vines burdened with a heavy load of grapes? Yep, they’re ready to harvest and it appears like another good year for California wine. Generally the harvest starts around Labor Day in Oakley, the August heat wave has pushed the start of the harvest ahead a bit. Growers and winemakers are checking sugar content daily to determine which vineyard will be picked next.

"...Nearly 80 percent of Oakley’s roughly 500 acres of vineyards are planted in Zinfandel, a variety of red wine grape. Other varieties of grapes in Oakley include: Mourvèdre, a grape used to make both strong, dark red wines and rosés; Carignane, another red wine grape, is one of the world’s most widely available grapes. These three varieties also make up most of Oakley’s ancient vines (80 – 120 years old)...".

oakley-harvest.jpg
2 Oakley Harvest - from Romick in Oakley Blog

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#334 Post by Drew Goin » September 2nd, 2020, 11:05 am

Tulocay Winery, based in Napa Valley, is a small-production vintner focused on typical Coombsville AVA bottlings (Cab Sauv, Chard, Pinot, etc). Over the years, the winery's Zinfandel wines have been sourced from across the state. Currently, Tulocay has two wines created from old-vine Contra Costa grapes.


"2019 Tulocay Rosé of Mourvèdre, Contra Costa County.

"This is our second year working with these century-old, own-rooted mourvèdre vines planted in soils so sandy you feel like you're at the beach. We whole-cluster pressed the grapes and fermented cool, preserving the aromatics and elegance."



"2018 Tulocay Planchon Vineyard Zinfandel, Contra Costa County.

"A food-friendly Zinfandel, delicious with Italian or lighter beef dishes. 14.3% alcohol. Only 47 cases bottled.

"'About the Planchon Vineyard from the Historic Vineyard Society website:

"'The 6.65-acre vineyard on Empire Avenue is what remains from the original 40-acre homestead planted by Joseph Planchon, in 1902. According to the family oral history, he paid a $10 gold coin for the land “bought from the railroad.” The vineyard is planted in alluvial sands; Zinfandel primary, some Merlot and Barbera, that thrive in the hot summer days and cooler nights with the Delta breeze. One of the most inland vineyards in Oakley it tends to be a warmer site than the vineyards situated closer to the delta. The roots grow deep in the sand, finding scarce water in a drought. The old gnarly zinfandel vines are old world head pruned on their original root stock, producing grapes that tend to be bold and stout, full of flavor.'

"By the way, our Zins are no longer the Zins of the father but of the daughter, Brie. Skippy says you'll find that Brie is just as good a Zinner as Bill is."



Tulocay website:
https://www.tulocay.com/index.html

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#335 Post by Drew Goin » September 6th, 2020, 1:58 pm

Erggelet Brothers is a winery that has recently popped up on my radar.

PhotoEmmaKMorris-09992.jpg
Julian & Sebastian Erggelet - Emma K. Morris Photography

From the website:

"...Farming

"Our approach to farming our vineyard is part of a greater farm philosophy. Julian and his wife Alli run a diverse organic farm project called The Urban Edge in Brentwood, CA. As strong advocates of intentional farming, organic polyculture and quality food, their main focus is on soil building, diverse ecosystems and a healthy triple bottom line. Besides farming our 'Cecchini Family Vineyard', they grow 25 acres of delicious mixed stone fruit, 5 acres of mixed vegetables, 5 acres of asparagus, and a healthy flock of ducks, chickens, goats, sheep and rabbits."

IMG_7158.jpeg
Cecchini Vineyard - from Erggelet Winery website

"Cecchini Family Vineyard / Knightsen / Contra Costa County

"Julian’s wife Alli (née Cecchini) was born on this farm and the Cecchini Family has been farming this land in Knightsen for nearly a century. While the north side of the property is Delhi sand, the center piece is Silty Clay Loam with more Brentwood Clay Loam towards the south. Once an almond orchard, the 25 acre vineyard was planted to Chardonnay, Muscat Canelli, Malvasia, Roussanne, Marsanne and Malbec in the early 2000s. We pulled out the Chardonnay and Malbec in 2019, got CCOF certified in early 2020 and are planning an interesting vineyard redesign with some nerdy viticulture experiments starting fall 2020 in collaboration with other natural winemakers and farmers.

"We currently source our Malvasia from this vineyard."


Erggelet Winery also purchases fruit from the "Del Barba Vineyard" in Oakley:


"Del Barba Vineyard / Oakley / Contra Costa County

"The Del Barba Family has been farming vineyards in and around Oakley since the early 1900s. Our good friend Tom Del Barba farms his vineyards in pure Delhi sand with little intervention and even less water. The old Del Barba Ranch on Rose Avenue in Oakley, with its centennial center block of Carignane, Mataro (otherwise known as Mourvèdre) and Zinfandel, is surrounded by a block of ‘juvenile’ 30 year old Zinfandel. This is where we pick our Carignane and Zinfandel. The fruit for our Rosé comes from this vineyard as well.

"In 2020 we started shifting this vineyard around, grafting some more Mataro on existing rootstock as well as grafting over the first acres to Grenache.

"Tom’s dad, Fred Del Barba, lives just down the road and is a genuine shepherd of his legendary 5-acre block of ancient Mataro. We have been making wine from this block since 2016. We love the small clusters of these hundred year old vines and we always stay for Nonna Del Barba’s invitation for coffee and homemade biscotti."

IMG_5857.jpeg
Del Barba - from Erggelet Brothers website

The Erggelet Brothers Winery produces a handful of Contra Costa County wines: a Malvasia white wine, a skin-contact Malvasia, a Carignan-based Rosé, a Carignan red wine, as well as a Mourvédre. There is an Oregon-grown Pinot Noir available, too.


Erggelet Brothers Winery website:
https://www.erggeletwine.com/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#336 Post by Drew Goin » September 11th, 2020, 4:27 pm

From the Zinfandel Advocates & Producers website:


"Legendary Zinfandel Vineyards of the Contra Costa County AVA"
by Shana Bull
June 16, 2020


"Evangelho Vineyard

"Morgan’s label Bedrock Wine Co. makes two different Zins from this legendary vineyard (they bought 10 acres of Evangelho back in 2017): a Bedrock Wine Company California Old Vine Zinfandel and a Heritage Wine Zinfandel blend. Both can be purchased through their mailing list with allotments coming out three times per year.

Jesses-Vineyard-Grapes_web-768x576.jpg
Jesse's Vineyard Grapes - from ZAP site

"Jesse's Vineyard

"Also in Oakley, Jesse’s Vineyard is named after the original farmer who owned and farmed the vineyard. Both he and his son (also named Jesse) have passed away, and the legendary vineyard has sold off 58 of its original 60 acres of old vines. Shauna Rousenblum, winemaker at Rock Wall Wine Company in Almada considers herself lucky to be one of the wineries that sources their grapes from the Zinfandel vines at Jesse’s Vineyard.


"Live Oak Vineyard

"The Live Oak vineyard is separated by Live Oak Road in Oakley, making up two small vineyards under the same name. The Mazzoni block is made up of mostly Zinfandel vineyards, but much like many other older Contra Costa County vineyards, the block is home to Petite Sirah, Carignane, Mataro, and Alicante Bouschet, with a few vines of Muscat of Alexandria as well. The one-and-a-half-acre Live Oak block across the street is 100% Zinfandel. Their [Three Wine Company's] 2015 Zinfandel Live Oak Contra Costa County can be found online...".


"ZAP Regions: Bay Area"

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#337 Post by Drew Goin » September 11th, 2020, 4:53 pm

I don't think I addressed this before, but the origin of Rosenblum's "Dobleman Vineyard" Zinfandel has had me scratching my head for a while...


The Press.Net
"Oakley’s Sandy Zin Vineyards"
by Harry Stoll
December 14, 2013


"...Oakley, with its sandy soil and cooling breezes from the Delta, is perfect for growing zinfandel. When I told John Dobleman, winemaker and co-owner of Wedl Cellars, of the two zins I was writing about, he pointed out that my choices came from Oakley’s oldest and youngest zin vineyards.

"Dobleman wanted to plant grapes. His research showed the typical Oakley sandy soil in his 1.5 acre backyard was best suited to zinfandel, so that’s what he planted in 2001...".


From another website:

"Even though we are closed, you can still taste wine made from our grapes: Rosenblum Cellars is offering their 2017 Dobleman Vineyard Zinfandel, but it's $40/bottle. So for those of you who enjoyed our wines, thanks, and think of the deal you got."


A Google Maps search of 400 Tate Ln in Oakley appears to reveal that the vines were ripped out.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#338 Post by Drew Goin » September 14th, 2020, 12:20 am

Dante Robere is a Livermore-based winery that often bottles Contra Costa AVA wines.


From the Dante Robere website:


"...2019 Rose` of Mourvedre - Contra Costa County $26

"With strawberry, watermelon and rose petal. Medium-bodied, clean, light and aromatic, this hugely versatile Rose` will stand up to big flavors or can be enjoyed all on its own on a warm sunny day. An ideal wine to drink with many dishes including tapenades, paella, grilled chicken, fish or lamb with herbs. Also, an excellent wine for your summer barbecue or happy hour with charcuterie & cheese. Aged in stainless steel. (88 Cases Produced)


"...2017 Carignane - Contra Costa County $36

"Dark Red Plum, Dried Cranberries, Caramel, Sandalwood, Mild Tannins (168 cases produced)

Aged 28 months in French Oak"


Dante Robere website:
https://danterobere.com/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#339 Post by Drew Goin » September 19th, 2020, 10:25 am

The City of Oakley is counting down the days until the old Dow Chemical property becomes an enormous Amazon fulfillment center...


East County Today
"City of Oakley Officially Announces Amazon Coming to Contra Costa Logistics Center"

September 18, 2020


"...According to the city, the Amazon Fulfillment Center will occupy the 150,000-square-foot Building #1 at the Contra Costa Logistics Center Complex located at 6000 Bridgehead Road. Once the project is complete (which is anticipated within four years) five buildings, totaling 2 million-square-feet will house a variety of light industrial and logistics uses, providing nearly 2,000 jobs to the community.

"...The city says the plan calls for five buildings to be constructed on a 143-acres along the southwest portion of the site, with the additional 232 acres remaining natural.

"The project will also provide several roadway improvements in the following areas:

-Wilbur Avenue and Bridghead Road
-Bridgehead Road and Neroly Road
-Main Street and Empire
-Big Break Road at Main Street...".

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#340 Post by Matt Wood » September 19th, 2020, 12:44 pm

Hey Drew, This vineyard is still there, You can see it next to the house on the left hand side and then it wraps around the back. I got some grapes from there this year during the morning of the crazy lightning storms. In 2016 I got some Zin from here also. It's a bit more inland than a lot of the old vine vineyards and seems to ripen pretty early. I was really happy with the wine it made in 2016, this year I was a little less impressed with the quality of the grapes (riper than I would like) but decided to blend it with a couple other things and I think it will come together nicely.
Drew Goin wrote:
September 11th, 2020, 4:53 pm
I don't think I addressed this before, but the origin of Rosenblum's "Dobleman Vineyard" Zinfandel has had me scratching my head for a while...


The Press.Net
"Oakley’s Sandy Zin Vineyards"
by Harry Stoll
December 14, 2013


"...Oakley, with its sandy soil and cooling breezes from the Delta, is perfect for growing zinfandel. When I told John Dobleman, winemaker and co-owner of Wedl Cellars, of the two zins I was writing about, he pointed out that my choices came from Oakley’s oldest and youngest zin vineyards.

"Dobleman wanted to plant grapes. His research showed the typical Oakley sandy soil in his 1.5 acre backyard was best suited to zinfandel, so that’s what he planted in 2001...".


From another website:

"Even though we are closed, you can still taste wine made from our grapes: Rosenblum Cellars is offering their 2017 Dobleman Vineyard Zinfandel, but it's $40/bottle. So for those of you who enjoyed our wines, thanks, and think of the deal you got."


A Google Maps search of 400 Tate Ln in Oakley appears to reveal that the vines were ripped out.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#341 Post by Drew Goin » September 19th, 2020, 2:59 pm

Thanks Matt!

It can be challenging assessing vineyards from 2,000 miles away!

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#342 Post by Matt Wood » September 19th, 2020, 4:39 pm

haha it can be hard from 30 miles away. I never would have known about that vineyard if I hadn't been there. I had no idea it had a name or went into commercial wines until I saw your post and started to read about it.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#343 Post by Drew Goin » September 27th, 2020, 12:15 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
August 15th, 2020, 11:20 am
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

mapImg.png
https://assr.parcelquest.com/Home/Details/0
*Update*:

I discovered that the vineyard site described in the attached posts is slated for imminent development.


From the "Phase I Cultural and Paleontological Resource Assessment: Vines at Oakley Project":
June 18, 2019


"The 9.87-acre project site is located in the City of Oakley, Contra Costa County, California (Exhibit 1). The project site is located on the Brentwood, California USGS 7.5-minute topographic quadrangle, Township 2 North, Range 2 East, Section 27 (Exhibit 2). The rectangular project site is located on Oakley Road with Beldin Lane to the east, Live Oak Avenue to the west, and Holly Creek Park to the south (Exhibit 3).

"MLC Holdings proposes to subdivide and develop 68 residential lots, a bioretention basin, and 50 parking spaces."


This old vineyard was owned by the Gonsalves family, and I still believe that this particular location was the elusive "Salvador Vineyard" (not the Gonsalves property on Sandy Lane Dr).

Here is more information about the property at 2371 Oakley Road, once a Gonsalves family property (most likely the "Salvador Vineyard"), which is destined for development into a residential area.


From the "Phase I Cultural and Paleontological Resource Assessment: Vines at Oakley Project":
June 18, 2019

"...CRHR and Local Listing Eligibility Evaluation

"The residence at 2371 Oakley Road is part of the overall agricultural development and increased urbanization of the area immediately following World War II. This was due in part to satisfy the enormous postwar demand for new housing, and the continuing development of Oakley’s viticulture industry that began in the late 1800s. The subject property is therefore part of that process of postwar transition and growth in the area, but does not meet Criterion 1: Event, as it is one of many unremarkable examples of small-scale, residential buildings from the period.

"The building is associated with Marion and Manuel Gonsalves, who immigrated to Oakley from the Madeira Islands in 1938. The property is also associated with Ruth and Steven Gonsalves, and Marianne and Steven Harder. These individuals were thoroughly researched at the Contra Costa Records Office, archives at the Contra Costa Historical Society, and through a search of the California Digital Newspaper Collection. The relative absence of these individuals from published accounts of the history of the City of Oakley indicates that they did not achieve a level of historic importance for the property to be considered eligible under Criterion 2: Person.

"The residence, built by unknown architects, displays many features of the gabled contemporary style: a low-pitched roof, close-cropped eaves with exposed rafters, modern elements such as the large 16-lite windows, and a combination of brick and stucco cladding (McAlester and McAlester 2004). The residence is a standard, undistinguished example of common construction design and techniques from the immediate postwar period, and appears to have been renovated in recent years with some minor modifications made to the original design including the addition of a garage. As such, the building does not appear to be eligible for listing on the CRHR under Criteria 3: Architecture.

"Criterion 4: Information Potential, is most often used to evaluate archaeological sites or buildings that employ unusual building techniques. There is no evidence that the building in question exhibits any unusual construction features, or has the ability to contribute significant information to the overall history of Oakley...".


I included what may be considered too much information from the report in hopes of pointing out that the viticultural history of a site does not appear to weigh into the considerations of modern developing efforts in the region.

The future of Oakley's vineyards is in danger. As most land-holdings are typically categorized as small residential properties, the need for new, more densely packed housing will outweigh any arguments for the preservation of single-dwellings on lands with tiny vineyards.

Only those vineyard owners who possess greater-sized parcels will hold out longer against the tide of urbanization. If a property owner has enough land to donate a portion for nature conservation purposes, the vineyard on said property might stand for decades to come. Unfortunately, the unique layout of Oakley's heritage vineyards precludes most sites from qualifying.

Indeed, I cannot think of any case where an old vineyard, within the city limits, is >5-acres, has an owner who has previously expressed interest in adopting such measures to guarantee the future of his/her old-vine holding.

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#344 Post by Drew Goin » September 29th, 2020, 1:22 pm

From the Ridge Vineyards August 9, 2020, Twitter post:


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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#345 Post by Drew Goin » September 29th, 2020, 3:39 pm

I received an email today from Bonny Doon Vineyards featuring the 2018 release of the "Old Telegram" Mourvedre.


Bonny Doon Vineyards
2018 Old Telegram



"Tasting Notes

"From the nose, one scents licorice, blood(!) (make that very rare meat), blackberries (both berry and leaf), wet earth. There is a definite scent of beef bouillon, one of the absolute true signifiers of (proper) Mourvèdre. On the palate, the tannins are very plush and soft, almost a sense of sweetness (emphatically no R.S. in this), but with a really vibrant acidity and very great length. We somehow skirted the peril of over- ripeness and raisination, which is always a bit of a peril in the sunny climes of Antioch, CA. The wine is rich but also quite elegant at the same time.


"Vineyard Notes

"We have purchased grapes from the Enea Vineyard in the sandy terroirs of Antioch for many years and have always found this shy-yielding vineyard to ripen as much as two weeks earlier than the other Mourvèdre vines in the neighborhood. I suspect that there is substantially less clay underlying the sand, resulting in diminished water-holding capacity and hence a bit more hydrologic stress on the vines, with resultant concentration in the fruit itself. A high percentage of sand in the soil limits the viability of phylloxera, and these very old (100+ year) vines have never seen rootstock.


"Production Notes

"Now it can be told. As much as we love the fruit from the Enea vineyard - it is always the most concentrated and vibrant Mourvèdre we see - we have been habitually plagued by some of the ambient bacterial flora that hitches a ride along with the grapes. As a result, even with reasonable use of SO2, we have with almost vintage seen volatile acidity levels mount during and immediately after fermentation. Not that a little bit of VA is necessarily a bad thing, but these grapes represented a unique challenge. This vintage we experimented with a technique of ozone treatment of the grapes before harvest, wiping out the indigenous microflora and inoculating both with cultured yeast and malolactic culture. I am as much for doing things naturally whenever possible, but in this instance, our enological intervention was certainly the wiser course. Volatile acidity well in hand without the need for major SO2 additions. Success!"

2addd562206faed392d30d3d0d71120a.jpg
Bonny Doon Instagram post image: "TBT to harvesting Mourvèdre just last week at Enea Vineyard in Antioch." Aug 31, 2017

While I have thoroughly enjoyed older vintages of this Contra Costa wine, my main purpose in sharing this information is due to my clueless state in deciphering its location. Many labels of Bonny Doon's prior bottlings from Contra Costa danced around the specific vineyard sources, and provided only visual clues or street names.


The Enea Vineyard is apparently found in Antioch, not Oakley. It is presumably an older viticultural site, too.

According to one "Antioch on the Move" website article:

"Perhaps of greatest importance is that Evangelho Vineyards is the last, and only vineyard in Antioch."

If that statement is true, then what about the "Enea Vineyard"?


If anyone knows precisely where the "Enea Vineyard" is, please lemme know!

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#346 Post by Drew Goin » September 29th, 2020, 3:43 pm

Here is another post from Bonny Doon Vineyards related to the mysterious "EneaVineyard" in Antioch...


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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#347 Post by Drew Goin » October 25th, 2020, 8:12 am

I received an email from Matt Cline's Three Wine Company in anticipation of "National Carignan Day". I noticed that the current vintage of his winery's Carignan is sourced not from the "Lucchesi Vineyard", but from the "Bigelow Vineyard":


"Marcus James Bigelow was a gentleman farmer and hoedown fiddler who enjoyed playing cards with friends more than farming. While he moved and worked slowly, he was reported to have been a very fast driver. Originally planted in the mid 1880’s, his vineyard on Neroly Road in Oakley is still producing a minuscule quantity of small berry Mataro, Carignane, and Zinfandel. This 130 year-old vineyard is dry-farmed and grown in Delhi Sand series loam soil, which is similar to beach sand. These vines produce a mere 2.5 to 3.5 tons of fruit per acre.

"The 2014 vintage will go down as one of the earliest harvest in over a decade. Despite an ongoing drought and
earthquake that rocked south Napa in late August crush was just getting underway. A mild winter and spring
caused early bud break, although the overall length of the growing season was similar to past years. A compacted harvest began in July for sparkling wines and started winding down by mid-October for later ripening varieties. The moderate temperatures allowed for even ripening, concentrated fruit and firm tannins.

"This Carignane is dark black and blue color to the edge, with aromas of cherry, baking spice, and black tea. This
savory wine rounds out the palate with dried cranberries, cherry, and supple tannins...".


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

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#348 Post by Drew Goin » November 5th, 2020, 12:34 am

Here is an interview with Mr John Viano, president of Contra Costa Winegrowers Association and owner of Viano Winery:





Originally posted to Brentwood Parkbench Blog

Contra Costa Winegrowers Association website:
https://cccwines.com/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#349 Post by Drew Goin » November 5th, 2020, 11:04 pm

Mr Joel Peterson of Once & Future Wine Company discusses his 2018 Contra Costa County "Oakley Road Vineyard" Mataro starting just after 17:30 in the following video:


A Life Well Drunk YouTube video:
"Conversation with Joel Peterson (Godfather of Zinfandel) of Once & Future Wines"
September 4, 2020





Once & Future Wines website:
https://www.onceandfuturewine.com/

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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#350 Post by Drew Goin » November 9th, 2020, 6:31 am

I have another vineyard mystery with which I could use some help!

Has anyone heard of the "Horse Ranch Vineyard" in Antioch, owned by Mr Gary Gonsalves?


I found two wineries whose fruit was sourced from this location...



Tulocay Winery - 2019 Rosé of Mourvedre

"These grapes hail from century-old vines planted in the sandy soils of Contra Costa County. We picked early for low Brix and high acid and whole cluster pressed (not saignee) to retain freshness and purity. The result is just what you want out of a warm-weather sipper—dry, crisp, elegant, and screw-cap for easy access.

"Vineyard

"These Mourvèdre (aka Mataro) grapes come from the sandy soils of Contra Costa County. Amidst the strip malls and power lines are some of the oldest vineyards in California. These vines are centuries-old, head trained, and own-rooted, and look very much like the vine muse on the Tulocay label. The grapes are from a vineyard known as Horse Ranch (yea, next to some horses), where we also source our Carignane...".


Revolution Winery & Kitchen - 2018 Alicante Bouschet, 750 ml

"Revolution's first natural wine to hit the market!

"Vineyard Notes: Gary Gonsalves farms approximately 100 acres of grapes in Contra Costa County, many of them 100+ year old plantings of intermixed Carignane, Cinsault, Mourvedre, Petite Sirah, Grenache & Alicante Bouschet, among others. Horse Ranch Vineyard lies within the city of Antioch, less than a mile from the famous Evangelho Vineyard & on the same dry sandy soil. Alicante itself is an interesting grape - one of the few teinturier varieties, meaning the flesh of the grape is also red. This gives it an intensity of color that is hard to match...".

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