After a cold, dark, wet winter, Sonoma Valley comes to life in March. As days grow longer and temperatures rise into the 60s, sap begins to rise in grapevines that have been dormant throughout the winter. Old vine zinfandels like this one in Kunde’s Shaw vineyard are the last to awaken, so on this frosty March morning, while vineyard crews attend to the younger vines, the star of our show waits patiently for her turn.
Wine grapes have been grown on the Kunde's land since 1879, when two pioneers by the names of James Shaw and Capt. John Drummond imported vines from Chateaux Margaux and Lafite Rothschild. They planted their vines in the style of the times, mixing Zinfandels, Alicante Bouschet, Petite Sirah and Carignane in the same vineyards. Grapes from these so-called field blends were picked together and thrown into one fermenting tank where they aged together nicely into rich Sonoma Valley red wines.