Rodgers Vineyards Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley

A Piece of the Chicken

a black chicken in front of the hen house

The core of the Black Chicken comes from the Biale home ranch and the vines around the winery, but we source grapes from other vineyards, as well. We’d like to introduce you to one of them: Rodgers Vineyards. This is a family-run farming operation that does justice to its heritage and its goals of environmental sustainability.

The ancestors of the current stewards of the vineyards all hail from different islands in the Azores. Once they came to Napa, Sonoma, and Solano Counties in the 1870s, they started many businesses, as industrious immigrants are famous for doing. We’re talking cattle raising, dairy farming, bottled water and soda producing, and even a petting zoo! But most enduringly: farming.

Serious grape planting began in the 1960s. As Anna Hickey—direct descendant, CEO, and Vineyard Manager—puts it: Rodgers Vineyards is a “True Quilt”. With 140 acres planted to grapes in the Oak Knoll District, they grow 7 varieties. Gratefully, one of them—recently—is Zin. In the past few years Biale has acquired some of this prized fruit for the Black Chicken bottling.

Their Zinfandel vineyard shares the rocky soil gifted by ancient riverbeds and the perfect balance of warm and cool weather modulated by the San Pablo Bay that our core Black Chicken vineyards enjoy. Their vineyard stewards also share the personal and farming values that Bob Biale and his father Aldo founded Robert Biale vineyards with. We are grateful to partner with such a family.

Saúde. (That’s Portuguese for Salute, which is Italian for… you get it).