A lot of the uniqueness of these wines has to do with when the grapes are picked. I was there mid-October, and they were already done picking. In fact, all the Zinfandel grapes arrived a month before I got there! Picking grapes at a lower ripeness means less sugar in the fruit. That ensures a lower potential alcohol level, as sugar is fuel for alcohol production. Doug explained the guiding thought behind the founding of Nalle Winery that holds true today: “We’ll make world-class, claret-style Zinfandel under 14% [alcohol] that can age well.”

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