Along The Wine Road: Multigenerational Family Wineries

We love reading articles from Along The Wine Road, from there monthly varietals to their winery spotlights. That is why we are so excited to be featured in part 3 of their series on multigenerational family wineries. This series explores the history of family run operations such as Martinelli Winery, Porter Creek Vineyards, and Rued Winery.

Wine Club Schedule a Tasting

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Zins sweet spot: Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley may be the key to Zinfandel’s future

14 years ago today Doug Nalle was featured in Tim Teichgraeber’s SFGate article on Zin’s “sweet spot”… which is, of course #DryCreekValley.

The valley’s proliferation of family wineries has created a winemaking culture that has several generations of experience with Zinfandel, and that’s undoubtedly one of the secrets of the region’s success.

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What’s in the bottle?

Where do wineries get their grapes?

Nalle is estate grown and bottled, meaning we grow our own grapes and bottle at the winery. It might be hard to tell the difference when you see wines on the store shelf, but a lot of wines are outsourced fruit or pre-made juice that is bottled at some unknown facility before a label is just slapped on it. The fruit could be coming from all over California and just blended.

Nalle is a true taste of place. It is grapes from our 97-year-old estate vineyard, produced by our very own hands at the winery that sits on the vineyard, and bottled here too. However, because bottling requires an ultra-sterile environment, we use a mobile bottling line onsite to ensure quality. A lot of wineries do the same thing. Once we bottle, the wines must settle down and are left to rest for 6 months or so.

Our wine club is unique in the sense that the club shipments consist of our new release wines. So, our wines are bottled, rest, and then are released to the club. This ensures that the club gets the latest vintage as most everything sells out to the club. Click here to learn more about the Nalle club memberships. And because our wines are meant to age, we live by the rule of 3s: decant to drink one now, age one, and share the other with a friend. Bottle shape is a whole other discussion. There are burgundy style bottles, Bordeaux style, different colors, etc. Some of it is tradition based, some is for aging and some is stylistic. For example, we bottle our Pinot Noir in Burgundy style bottle. We also like glass that is tinted a darker color to protect from sunshine getting in and damaging the wine. I’m sure my husband could go on and on about why we choose the glass we do, bit this is my simple explanation.

About The Author

April earned her Masters of Viticulture from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Today she enjoys tending the Nalle estate old vine vineyards with love and sustainabile practices. Click here to learn more about April and the Nalle crew.