There are strict criteria in the vineyard for fruit to qualify as old vines Zinfandel. The vines must be at least 50 years old (many are as old as 100) and they must be dry farmed and head trained without the benefit of trellising. These ancient, head-pruned vines tend to produce small quantities of exceptionally concentrated fruit. The grapes are handpicked, crushed and then fermented in stainless steel tanks. After pressing, the wine is pumped into French and American oak barrels for aging, with additional bottle aging before release.TASTING NOTEDeep aromas and flavors of ripe black cherries are laced with spice and toasted oak notes in this full-bodied wine of velvet tannins and a long finish.FOOD PAIRINGPair with barbecue, blue cheese and cheeseburgers.POINTS OF DISTINCTIONA classic old vines Zinfandel-fruit comes from 50- to 100-year-old vinesMatured for 12 to 15 months in oak barrels for a complex flavorExcellent with barbecue
POINTS OF DISTINCTIONSt. Francis Winery has created hand-crafted wines from Sonoma County's best appellations for more than 30 years.A pioneer in helping to define the vineyards and grape varieties Sonoma is known for today; first to plant Merlot in Sonoma ValleyA regional leader in green practices, including initiatives in recycled packaging and water and energy conservationOwners of over 415 acres of vineyard land in prime AVAs including Sonoma and Russian River ValleysFruit-forward, luscious and well-balanced wines made from 100% handpicked fruitSt. Francis wines are food-friendly and ready to drinkTHE FOUNDINGIn 1971, businessman Joe Martin and his wife, Emma, purchased a 100-acre vineyard known as Behler Ranch in the Sonoma Valley town of Kenwood. The fruit from this vineyard was sold to area wineries until 1979, when a winery was built to produce estate-bottled wine. St. Francis Winery was named after St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and protector of the natural world.DEFINING SONOMAAt the time when St. Francis Winery was beginning to bottle its own wine, there were only a handful of wineries in Sonoma and the region was searching for an identity. The arrival of winemaker Tom Mackey in 1983 was the beginning of important growth at St. Francis and in Sonoma, as he and St. Francis helped to pioneer a Sonoma Valley style and pinpoint the varieties that were ideally suited to Sonoma soils. St. Francis was the first in the region to plant and bottle Merlot, and soon introduced Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel wines to the portfolio. The winery's first "Old Vines" Zinfandel was released in 1989, establishing one of its star varietal offerings and contributing to Sonoma County's growing reputation for top-quality Zinfandel. Today, a team of winemakers, including Christopher Louton and Katie Madigan, play an integral role in continuing St. Francis' success.
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