Pack a picnic for the vineyard and have a glass under the umbrellas
Sarzotti Vineyard and Winery, established in 1999, is a small family-owned and operated vineyard with hands on-practices. The Italian Sarzotti family sticks to tradition, and they know by experience, what works best. From the planting, to the crushing, and producing the bottled nectar, they have been in the wine industry for several generations.
“More than a century ago our ancestors migrated from the fertile rolling hills of Tuscany, Italy,” says Cheryl Sarzotti. “Seeking opportunity in American, they settled in a little known southern California area called Rancho Cucamonga, where the land was inexpensive, the soil rich and water plentiful.
“Planting a vineyard was no easy task. A lot of hard work and love went into building their dream; it took time for the plants to mature. When the grapes were ready it took time for family and friends to pick them. Some of the grapes picked were delivered to the local winery. But many were made into wine in the barn behind the old ranch house.
“The wine was always shared with family and friends in what has inspired our family throughout the years. Today our fourth generation family now lives in Templeton, California. The warm days and cool nights are not that much different from that of Tuscany. The soil and climate are perfectly matched to grow the most incredible grapes for our family of fine wines.”
On any given year, the varieties change based on grapes they select. There are 7-1/2 planted acres, and the winery produces 2,500 to 3,000 cases annually. Sarzotti Winery is known for producing 12-15 varieties and 3-4 blends annually. The family also sources local grapes from other surrounding farms within 5-10 miles to produce the best possible bottle of wine.
The grapes are all hand-harvested without the use of machinery. Sarzotti Family reds, which are known for their richness, are delicious because they are never filtered. American and French oak barrels are used to enhance the flavors in the wine, and are specially selected to give it that perfect balance and aroma. The family recently released a rosé for the first time, made by blending cabernet sauvignon grapes, with a little viognier. The percentages they use are all based on taste and flavor profile, as blending the wine is just as much an art as it is a science.
When it comes to winemaking, the wines are made in the old Italian style, with very little done until the very end. The winery specializes in reds, bold and rich with flavor and the right balance of tannins. They are all very food-friendly, with a smooth finish, and won’t overwhelm your palate.
This Fall, they will be harvesting cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, viognier, sangiovese, cabernet franc, tempranillo, syrah, petite syrah, tannat, malbec, merlot, and petite verdot. Sarzotti ranch grapes have a beautiful color and award-winning wines. “Savor the passion, drink to life.”
Sarzotti Vineyard and Winery is located at 180 Bella Ranch Road in Templeton. For more information call (805)226-2022 or visit www.sarzottiwinery.com.
– Cassandra Frey