Valsecchi Vineyard, Carneros, Sonoma County

Located next to the Vineburg Post Office on Eight Street, this is one of those unassuming little vineyards you might drive by without noticing…This vineyard is one of Biale’s little gems–a beautiful Zinfandel from a small inconspicuous site just outside the town of Sonoma. Technically this vineyard lies just within the northern boundary of the Carneros Appellation which makes it very rare indeed–one of only a few Zinfandels and certainly the oldest existing vineyard within this AVA (American Viticultural Appellation).

Carneros (meaning “rams” in Spanish), is just north of the San Pablo Bay, has a particularly cool, breezy and foggy maritime climate with soils that were formed millennia ago when it once was submerged by an inland sea. Occasionally fossilized seashells can be found among the rocks and soils of Carneros vineyards. Easy access for barges and boats and excellent agricultural conditions made Carneros a prime source for all types of produce and meats that were supplied to early San Francisco–grapes being among the most in demand.

The Valsecchi Vineyard is named for John Valsecchi, who after a life of dairy work, retired to farm the old Zinfandel vineyard near Sonoma he had purchased that was planted around 1900. Under the prideful and loving care of Valsecchi’s grandson, Ron Mick, the vineyard has survived with its ton or two of grapes going to Biale since 1995. Hidden behind a farmhouse, you would never notice this patch of twisting and weathered old vines. It is a similar story to the Barbera vineyard, where Bob was driving by and noticed the old, gnarly vines and decided to knock on the owner’s door.