Trentadue Winery Review
Address: 19170 Geyserville Avenue Geyserville,California 95441.
Phone Number: 707-433-3104
Tasting Hours: 10:00-5:00
Region: Sonoma County, Alexander Valley AVA, California
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Review Date: 5/1/2016
Reviewer: Elizabeth Smith
Beginning in 2008, I was working for a wine sales and marketing company as their business travel manager. The owner of that business arranged for me tastings and tours in Napa and Sonoma for my spring break in March 2009. During that trip, I visited my first Sonoma County winery, Trentadue. Shortly thereafter, I became their business travel manager. I would return to Trentadue annually through 2013 and continued managing their travel until I started my new career in the wine business in 2014. Earlier this year, I decided to join Trentadues wine club as a show of support for their role in my journey, as well as to have an excuse to purchase their wines and visit again.
Many people outside of this area may not know of Trentadue, but Leo and Evelyn Trentadue are well known in Northern California as farming and winegrowing pioneers since the 1950s. In addition to introducing dry farming and modern irrigation practices, the Trentadues were the first to plant new grapevines in Sonoma County since Prohibition. In 1962, they added new carignane vines to complete 68 acres of carignane, some of the oldest carignane vines in the United States. In 1969, they began producing their own wines under the Trentadue brand. Other grapes were planted at the estate in the early 1970s, including sangiovese, which led to the release of the first 100% sangiovese varietal wine in the United States in 1984. In addition to these wines, Trentadue is primarily known for producing Bordeaux-style varietal wines and blends like cabernet sauvignon and merlot as well as zinfandel, petite sirah, and syrah, and also a selection of port-style and fortified dessert wines. They also source grapes from the Russian River Valley to produce sauvignon blanc and pinot noir.
Since I had not visited Trentadue in three years, I didnt know what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the winery has not changed that much from the consumer perspective. The tasting fees of $10 for the Trentadue wines and $15 for their La Storia Reserve wines remain some of the most reasonable in the area. Part of the reason I was able to join Trentadues wine club is because their price points continue to be accessible, with wine prices ranging from $15 to $45 per bottle.
The approach to the winery is one of the most beautiful in all of Sonoma County. A long, tree-lined driveway leads to the winery buildings, which have an Italian villa feel. The 200 acres of vineyards extend as far as the eye can see, with the Mayacamas Mountains in the distance.
The tasting room ambiance has always been friendly and welcoming and this visit was no exception. My friends and I were guided through our tasting by Carlos, a wine club member turned tasting room associate who has only been working at Trentadue for a couple of months. His positive attitude and his excitement about working for Trentadue were infectious. He led us through a very thorough tasting, including Trentadue’s Grand Cuvée Sparkling Wine (made of colombard from Mendocino and Lodi in the Charmat method, grandfathered to be called California Champagne), 2015 Sauvignon Blanc, 2015 Rosato di Sangiovese, 2014 La Storia Chardonnay, 2013 Trentadue Sangiovese, 2013 Trentadue and La Storia Zinfandels side by side, 2013 Trentadue and La Storia Merlots side by side, and a couple of the La Storia Cuvées, 2013 Cuvée 32 and 2012 Evelyna. In the middle of the tasting, Junior, another Trentadue employee, came into the tasting room. Carlos told us it was his birthday the following day, so all of us in the tasting room sang happy birthday to Junior. We concluded our visit with a tasting of a few of the dessert wines, including the 2007 Trentadue Angelica (crafted from California mission grapes), the non-vintage Chocolate Amore (a chocolate infused, port-style merlot), and the 2012 port-style zinfandel and merlot.
My personal favorite has always been the La Storia Zinfandel, the first zinfandel I ever tasted back in 2009. Primarily zinfandel with a small percentage of petite sirah, this wine exhibits aromas and flavors of black cherry, blackcurrant, blueberry, and spice. The use of Eastern European oak aging adds flavor characteristics like baking spices and vanilla. The wines vibrant acidity and integrated tannins complete the wine, a perfect accompaniment to food, family, and friends. I am happy that the 2014 vintage of this wine is part of my spring wine club shipment.
My friends and I didnt leave Trentadue empty handed. In fact, in addition to my six wine club bottles, we purchased another seventeen bottles. Always the consummate host, Carlos found a hand cart to transport and load our purchases. The tasting experience was beyond my expectations, abundant and comprehensive. Trentadue is a winery that still feels like family. It offers wines for every palate and wallet, ensuring that visitors leave with something to sip and fond memories of a happy, historical, and educational experience.