The Launch Site
Aldo’s father Pietro Biale, an immigrant from a village near Genoa, began farming Zinfandel on Mt. Veeder at the Gier Ranch during prohibition, then several years later on his own property in Napa in 1937. Sadly, Pietro died not long thereafter in an accident while working at a rock quarry – leaving young Aldo and his mother, Cristina, to run the ranch. For decades, Aldo, Cristina and the Biale family kept their Zinfandel tradition going by preserving and nurturing these nearly 80-year-old vines in what is now Napa Valley’s Oak Knoll District. These are the oldest vines in Oak Knoll and are close by to where Captain Osborne was the first to plant Zinfandel in Napa Valley in 1860.
Throughout the season, cane by cane, shoot by shoot, leaf by leaf and bunch by bunch, each vine is tended by hand to ensure grapes of integrity, evenness of color, full ripeness and pure Zinfandel flavors. As was the practice in the old days, a sprinkling of other varieties are found throughout the vineyard: Petite Sirah, Abouriou, Carignane, Grand noir, Tempranillo, Refosco, Gamay, and even Golden Chasselas.
Winemaker’s Tasting Notes: A classic example of an Oak Knoll Zinfandel, the wine has a nose rich with bramble fruit, cocoa powder, black plum, star anise, and violet. Displaying the vineyard’s classic plushness, the palate shows generous weight with notes of black cherry, graham cracker, boysenberry, and baking spices, all framed by fine grained tannins.