Monday, August 8, 2011

Seghesio Family Vineyards: True Superstars!!!

I've been a huge fan of Seghesio Family Vineyards for awhile now. My love affair with their wines began in 2006, when I bought a bottle of their 2005 Sonoma County Zinfandel in a bargain bin at my local grocery store. When I asked how come it was marked down and was there something wrong with the bottle, the gentleman behind the counter said it was the only bottle they had left and they wouldn't be carrying it any longer. After opening the bottle, I thought to myself, "That store is crazy for no longer carrying this wine! They obviously don't know anything..." A year later, I was at a local wine club event and we were blind tasting wines. I won a corkscrew for accurately tasting the 2006 Sonoma County Zinfandel and guessing who made it and what varietal it was. I thought to myself, "These Seghesios sure have something special going on... This Zinfandel is pretty amazing." At that point, I had been discussing with friends how we should do another wine tasting trip to northern California soon. I really wanted to visit this winery! Fast forward to the Spring of 2008, I attended a local event at a wine shop here and the guest of honor was Peter Seghesio, the CEO of the winery. Listening to Peter talk about his family and his passion for the family's history and the winemaking process really touched me so in the Fall of 2008, I decided to take my group of friends out to Healdsburg, California to visit the winery for the first time.

The Seghesio family pulled all the stops! We had a wonderful time meeting family members, tasting wines and I even had the opportunity to crush some grapes!! Meeting Ted Seghesio, the winemaker (seen below) was a wonderful opportunity and one I shall not soon forget! He just makes amazing wines year after year. I know I sound like I'm gushing when I speak of his talent, but you have to try these wines and see for yourself! You will agree with me. The family's warmth and hospitality was genuine and the experience of visiting them would always remain a fond memory!

Well it's been nearly three long years since that first visit and on my trip to California last month, I decided to pop in to the Seghesio tasting room again and find out what was happening! I had heard and read stories about how the winery had been sold and I wanted to make sure that my worst fears would not be realized. Sometimes a winery sale can be a good thing for all involved. And while I don't know all the details of this particular event, I feel confident that this was the right move for them and the quality of their wines will not change at all. When I arrived on that warm Friday afternoon, I was greeted by my friend Brandye Alexander, who does marketing and social media for the winery. I tasted through some amazing wines that afternoon and I would like to share these wines with you!

Although the Seghesio Family is best known for their killer reds, they also put out three amazing whites using Italian varietals--Fiano, Arneis and Pinot Grigio. I have sampled all three many times and cannot say enough great things about them. The white I sampled at the winery that day was the 2010 Pinot Grigio. This is one of the most elegant whites I've ever sampled. It's a bit more full-bodied and full-flavored than most Pinot Grigios I've tried. I find a lot of them pretty lackluster but this one is tops! Highly recommended! $20.

Wow-za! Talk about a powerful Pinot Noir! The 2009 Costiera Pinot Noir is just that! It's huge, velvety, lush, I could go on... Recently, it received 93 points from Wine Spectator Magazine. I completely understand why. You will fall in love with this wine. I'm pretty speechless. I ended up taking a bottle home with me. I keep staring at it waiting for the perfect moment to open it up...It'll be soon, I'm tellin' ya! (I have no willpower!) $42.

What can I say about this next wine, except that your palate is about to go on a big adventure! This is rugged, earthy, jammy Zinfandel at its finest! The 2009 Rockpile Zinfandel is an amazing creature! You might have to sit down when you drink this because you will definitely be taken aback by its layers of complexity! It is to die for! The price point for this wine, at $38, is crazy. It is the yin to the next wine I tried, which I consider the complete opposite or the yang of this one!

The 2008 Cortina Zinfandel is elegant, sophisticated and the feminine counterpart of the Rockpile Zinfandel. Still bold in its flavor profile but smooth and silky as well. Very beautiful. $36.

When asked if I wanted to sample the 2009 Old Vine Carignane, I jumped at the chance. Not only did I not know that they were making one, but Carignane is one of those blending grapes and it's pretty rare to find a winery that makes one straight up like this. I was very excited! It was nearly perfect! Lots of rich blueberry and raspberry flavor and so smooth! I took one of those home too! $28.

While all of this was going on, Ted Seghesio's dad, Ed Seghesio, was making his rounds around the tasting room, telling stories, getting photographed with pretty ladies (he's definitely fond of the ladies!) and adding to the colorful atmosphere of the tasting room that day! I had a wonderful time meeting him! I highly recommend a visit to this winery anytime. They will make you feel very welcome and happy there! I will always support this winery as they hold a special place in my heart! I wish them the best of luck as they transition into the next chapter of their story. They deserve the best! Please visit them and you will find out why they are truly "SUPERSTARS!"

Seghesio Family Vineyards is open 10-5 daily and is located in Healdsburg, California. For more information on the winery, please visit their website at

I would like to thank Brandye Alexander, Ed Seghesio and the tasting room staff for the wonderful time I had last month! I'll be seeing you again very soon!

"You Saw It Here First"...This post was created solely for "Cellarmistress' Cellar Talk" by Grace Hoffman. Grace is an Italian-born, American-bred wine blogger/educator with an all-consuming passion for wine and all it encompasses.


  1. Hi Grace,
    You know, sometimes your blog articles annoy me. Here's this wino and wine blogger from Iowa always visiting some of the most interesting and respected wineries on the West coast. OK, annoy is not the right choice of words. Envy is more appropriate. OK ALREADY, JEALOUS.
    I love Seghesio wines. The Barbara, is excellent and the Zins are utterly Fantastic. Great post!

  2. I love to tell a good story and that's what most of my blog articles are about. For me, these visits are what I am most passionate about and there's going to be many more to come. I have upped the ante on visiting these places and going out a lot more often. I'm headed back again in a couple months. I even have plans to move out there in the works! I'm glad you enjoyed the story!