Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

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

#351 Post by Adam Frisch » November 10th, 2020, 6:22 am

Drew - Gary Gonsalves and his family owns Sandy Lane vineyard. They have quite a few parcels spread out. Lots of old vine Zin and interplanted stuff. In fact, one of the vineyards that is interplanted is right next to Evanghelo and is from same era. I took old vine Zin from him this year and we walked the old vineyard at night that's next to Evanghelo. Mourvedre, Carignan and Zin interplanted. All sandy soils, almost like walking on the beach. Let me know if you need his number.
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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#352 Post by Drew Goin » November 10th, 2020, 7:15 am

Adam Frisch wrote:
November 10th, 2020, 6:22 am
Drew - Gary Gonsalves and his family owns Sandy Lane vineyard. They have quite a few parcels spread out. Lots of old vine Zin and interplanted stuff. In fact, one of the vineyards that is interplanted is right next to Evanghelo and is from same era. I took old vine Zin from him this year and we walked the old vineyard at night that's next to Evanghelo. Mourvedre, Carignan and Zin interplanted. All sandy soils, almost like walking on the beach. Let me know if you need his number.

Thanks for the info, Adam!

I know that the Gonsalves family owns many acres of land, and I recognize that their Oakley vineyard has gone by several names. However, I always have struggled verifying the names/locations of viticultural sites specific to Antioch.


A recent article from a City of Antioch publication indicated that the "Evangehlo Vineyard" is the sole old-vine parcel in the city. That had me scratching my head. IF "Evangehlo" is the only old vineyard in Antioch, what about the "Enea Vineyard" used by Bonny Doon? The "Trembath Vineyard" (Nottingham Cellars/Vasco Urbano)? And now, the "Horse Ranch Vineyard"(Tulocay, Revolution)?

I understand that wineries are prone to adopting proprietary designations for certain single-vineyard bottlings. This had previously led me to wonder whether any of the above sites were from the "Evangehlo Vineyard", but labeled otherwise (for one reason or another).


In my years of "investigating" the locations/names/ownership of eastern Contra Costa's ancient vineyards, I found a handful of online articles that were of assistance.* The problem is that almost every piece was written over 5 years ago. If you search for more up-to-date newspaper articles or blog posts, nearly all of them are about the "Evangehlo Vineyard".

As for contacting Mr Gonsalves personally - I would love any help you might be able to provide!!! I live in Louisiana, so it is virtually impossible for me to verify any of the stuff I share on this thread through a primary source.



* I must mention that the City of Oakley's 2013 ACVP vineyard map was of immense help. Again, as the details are 7 years old, some of the survey data is prone to obsolescence. Many of the vineyard plots are owned by land development companies, and it is heartbreaking to compare the Google Earth images of 2013 with those of today. It's as though they paved paradise and...well, you know.

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seanr
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#353 Post by seanr » November 11th, 2020, 9:36 am

I was listening to the Bedrock 2020 Winter release podcast and they brought up that the Salvador vineyard (RIP) produced a 98 point (Parker) wine with the 2013 Turley Salvador. Aside from being bummed out that the vineyard was ripped up, it got me thinking about scores from Contra Costa. Is 98 the highest score ever for a CC wine?

Great note from RP by the way....

RP98 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Zinfandel Salvador Vineyard comes from another ancient, organically farmed vineyard, this one in Contra Costa. Its vines were planted in 1896, and the soils are pure sand. An absolutely amazing Zinfandel, this gorgeously proportioned, super-rich wine crosses the palate with a surprisingly unnoticeable 16.1% alcohol. Good acidity, a corpulent, full-bodied, multi-dimensional mouthfeel with blueberry and blackberry jam, some cassis, earth and forest floor notes are all present in this spectacular wine that again will transport a blind taster to the South of France rather than the backwaters of California. I suppose if the FX series “Sons of Anarchy” had a house wine after a long ride on their choppers, this would be it. This is pedal-to-the-metal, full-throttle Zinfandel at its greatest, what California does so well and what no other region in the world can produce. This is killer stuff and a tribute to our early immigrants, who had the foresight to plant these vines at this remarkable site. Drink it over the next decade.

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#354 Post by Drew Goin » November 11th, 2020, 2:31 pm

seanr wrote:
November 11th, 2020, 9:36 am
I was listening to the Bedrock 2020 Winter release podcast and they brought up that the Salvador vineyard (RIP) produced a 98 point (Parker) wine with the 2013 Turley Salvador. Aside from being bummed out that the vineyard was ripped up, it got me thinking about scores from Contra Costa. Is 98 the highest score ever for a CC wine?

Great note from RP by the way....

Jeez, way to rub it in there, Sean! [cry.gif]


I never have had a subscription to the WA, but the scores of CoCo wines in Wine & Spirits have been few and far between - never higher than perhaps 88-90 points.

The highest score given to any Contra Costa wine in Wine Spectator has been 94 points, for the 2016 and 2017 vintages of Bedrock's "Evangehlo Vineyard" Heritage Wine. As a matter of fact, the top 4 rated Contra Costa bottlings are vintages of this wine.

The 2013 "Salvador", which Tim Fish gave 92 pts (along with the '14), isn't even the highest rated vintage of Turley's "Salvador Vineyard" Zin in Wine Spectator. The '16 bottling rated 93 pts.

Of corse, one could argue against numerical scores and differing preferences among critics, but that "Sons of Anarchy" metaphor really captivates the imagination, doesn't it!



Food and Wine
"The Battle for America's Oldest Vines"

by Ray Isle
October 31, 2015


"It would be easy to drive by the Salvador Vineyard in Oakley, California, without giving it a second thought. The plot is on a residential backstreet, 10 or so acres of widely spaced, low-growing vines. On one side, behind a wooden fence, is a cookie-cutter subdivision full of dun-colored suburban houses. On the other side, more houses. There's no office at Salvador Vineyard and certainly no winery, only a ramshackle, ranch-style building that the Gonsalves family, who own the property, use for storage. In fact, the Salvador Vineyard basically looks like a big, drab, sandy backyard, one that just happens to be filled with vines. It's the definition of unprepossessing.

"...The Salvador vines were planted by Portuguese immigrants in the late 1800s, like most of the old vineyards in Contra Costa County, a once-rural area that is now an East Bay commuter suburb. The soil they grow in is sandy, the texture of dunes; the stumpy, gray, knotted vines push their roots down through it, 40 feet or more, in order to produce tiny bunches of intensely flavorful grapes. Passalacqua uses those grapes for the Turley Salvador Vineyard Zinfandel, a fragrant red wine with a slightly feral spiciness that makes it unlike any other Zinfandel I've run into....".

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#355 Post by Drew Goin » November 11th, 2020, 5:51 pm

The Winter Release from Bedrock Wine Company includes the winery's other famous Contra Costa vineyard source - Pato Vineyard:

Bedrock-Wine-Company-2019-Pato-Vineyard-Heritage-Wine-product-image-412-large.jpg
Pato Vineyard label - Bedrock Wine Co

Bedrock Wine Company Notes:

"2019 Pato Vineyard Heritage Wine, Contra Costa County

"The 2019 Pato Heritage is perhaps my favorite we have made from the site. For the first time, it includes part of the vineyard planted in the 1940s we have historically sold to Turley for their great Duarte bottling that produces some dramatic and dense Zinfandel. This is blended with the old Mataro and Petite Sirah from the site to create a deeply fruited, dark and satisfying wine. As always, this shows off the richer and more unctuous side of Oakley and will be a great drinker on the earlier side with some decanting. From own-rooted vines planted in sand."


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

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Gabe Berk
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#356 Post by Gabe Berk » November 12th, 2020, 3:56 pm

seanr wrote:
November 11th, 2020, 9:36 am
I was listening to the Bedrock 2020 Winter release podcast and they brought up that the Salvador vineyard (RIP) produced a 98 point (Parker) wine with the 2013 Turley Salvador. Aside from being bummed out that the vineyard was ripped up, it got me thinking about scores from Contra Costa. Is 98 the highest score ever for a CC wine?

Great note from RP by the way....

RP98 Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Zinfandel Salvador Vineyard comes from another ancient, organically farmed vineyard, this one in Contra Costa. Its vines were planted in 1896, and the soils are pure sand. An absolutely amazing Zinfandel, this gorgeously proportioned, super-rich wine crosses the palate with a surprisingly unnoticeable 16.1% alcohol. Good acidity, a corpulent, full-bodied, multi-dimensional mouthfeel with blueberry and blackberry jam, some cassis, earth and forest floor notes are all present in this spectacular wine that again will transport a blind taster to the South of France rather than the backwaters of California. I suppose if the FX series “Sons of Anarchy” had a house wine after a long ride on their choppers, this would be it. This is pedal-to-the-metal, full-throttle Zinfandel at its greatest, what California does so well and what no other region in the world can produce. This is killer stuff and a tribute to our early immigrants, who had the foresight to plant these vines at this remarkable site. Drink it over the next decade.
RIP Indeed. I always buy a few bottle of Turley Salvador. It really is pedal to the metal full throttle wine which is kind of unique to CoCoCo. Reminds me of a Sonoma Valley, Napa Valley or Dry Creek kind of Zin but from the dry arid sandy soils of Antioch. I think 2019 is Turley's last vintage and I plan to buy as much as they'll let me.

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#357 Post by Drew Goin » November 13th, 2020, 8:55 am

Here's an older article that discusses Rosenblum Cellars and its use of Contra Costa fruit:

winebottleglass.png
Wine bottle & glass image - Pacific Sun

Pacific Sun of Marin
"Feature 3: Zin-mania: Spreading the Love for Zinfandel"

by Richard Paul Hinkle
May 7, 2015


"...One concern that [winemaker John] Kane faces is that some of the small vineyards Rosenblum draws from are increasingly impinged upon by the expanding demands of residential housing 'We recently lost half of one of our best vineyards (Carla’s Vineyard) in Contra Costa County when Kmart tried to buy the whole of it. We were able to retain half of the vineyard, but it was a close call. Another of our Contra Costa vineyards, Planchon in Oakley, is completely surrounded by a housing development, so we have to let the neighbors know to close their windows when we spray the vines'...".


Rosenblum Cellars currently bottles a "Carla's Reserve" Zinfandel, a "Rosie Rabbit" Petite Sirah, and an "Isabella Francesca" Malbec/Petite Sirah. A 2016 vintage "Rosie Rabbit" Alicante Bouschet is still available via retail sources.

The "Rosie Rabbit" designation may or may not be a single vineyard in CoCo. "Isabella Francesca" is a young vineyard in Brentwood that also serves as a grape source for Rock Wall Wine Company. The "Carla's Reserve" has me scratching my head.

In all appearances, the Meadows family's "Carla's Vineyard" in north-eastern Antioch, was paved over; a permanently-closed K-Mart and other commercial land occupies the spot where the vines once stood. That area is a California Designated Qualified Opportunity Zone ("Contra Costa #1 of 2": Census Tract 3060.02). The information from Rosenblum's website indicates that "Carla's Reserve" comes from a 16-year-old vineyard in Oakley. I don't know if they simply chose to rename a different site after the original vineyard or what.



Rosenblum Cellars website:
https://www.rosenblumcellars.com

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#358 Post by Drew Goin » November 13th, 2020, 12:15 pm

I found two articles featuring Cline Cellars and its winemaker Charlie Tsegeletos. Here's one of them...


Daily Chronicle
"Uncorked: Finding Ancient Vines in the Sands of Oakley"

by James Nokes
September 14, 2018


"...There’s beauty in the imperfections of Oakley, located in Contra Costa County.

"It’s a humble area that doesn’t have the panache of other wine grape-growing regions in California. But, it makes inspired wines from vineyards that are more than 100 years old. Planted by immigrants before the turn of the last century and preserved by Cline’s owner Fred Cline and others who have flocked to the sandy soils and sprawling vineyards that are frozen in time.

“'What amazes me about Oakley is it is just a whole different world,' Tsegeletos said. 'It only gets about 10 inches of rain per year. The rivers have deposited what looks like 30 inches of soil there over the years. It started in the early 1900s and it’s immune from phylloxera because it can’t walk through the sand. So the vines are still on their original rootstock. The fruit has developed an amazing concentration. It’s a wine that we don’t have to do a lot to. We don’t do any wine fining. We farm the vineyard like they would have 100 years ago.'

76njx3qnygjogxb7zhmq6kmvedsy2bx.jpeg
100+ year-old vines in Oakley - Daily Chronicle

"Because Cline and other wineries have supported vineyards like Oakley, the temptation to modernize has been avoided.

"'Some people think we should pull up the vineyards, put some wire out there for vines to grow on and increase the yields to turn a better profit,' Tsegeletos said. 'But these are unique wines that really over deliver. The extra work you have to do to harvest them is worth it.'"

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#359 Post by Drew Goin » November 15th, 2020, 2:42 pm

Photographs taken by Mr Kevin Romick of Oakley, California, and posted this morning to Facebook:

FB_IMG_1605479657874.jpg
Image 1 from Kevin Romick - vineyard in Oakley

FB_IMG_1605479677957.jpg
Image 2 from Kevin Romick - vineyard in Oakley

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#360 Post by Drew Goin » November 15th, 2020, 2:51 pm

The following is an article from Somm Journal posted to a reading-format website (issuu.com):


Somm Journal
"Sands of Vine: Cline Cellars Works to Preserve its Ancient Contra Costa County Treasures"

by Jonathan Cristaldi
June/July, 2019

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Drew Goin
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Re: Contra Costa County Wine Heritage

#361 Post by Drew Goin » November 21st, 2020, 10:02 pm

Drew Goin wrote:
August 13th, 2020, 1:45 pm
I noticed that Ridge harvested grapes from "Sandy Lane Vineyard" in 2019:



In addition to the above Twitter post, Ridge Vineyards has bottled and begun selling an "Evangehlo Vineyard" Red wine blend.

2018 Ridge "Evangehlo Vineyard":
(57% Carignane, 26% Mataro, 17% Zinfandel)

"Winemaker Tasting Notes: Dark garnet red color. Scented cherry and blueberry fruits, seductive, layered and deep. Opulent bramble fruit entry, sensuous tannins, rich and complex. EB (9/20)"


And, to confirm that this is not a one-off bottling...




Ridge Vineyards website
"2019 Harvest Report - Monte Bello"

by Eric Baugher
December, 2019

"...Our first pick was done on August 23rd, bringing in the old vine carignane from the Evangleho vineyard in Contra Costa County."

All "Evangehlo" bottlings from Ridge Vineyards: Link


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

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