Friday, December 7, 2007
Winemaker to Watch: Robert Pellegrini of Pellegrini Family Vineyards
Robert Pellegrini doesn't want people to drink his wines only at Christmas or other auspicious occasions. And if one of his wines is on your Christmas list, he hopes it will be in your glass, not under the tree.
Pellegrini, who oversees the vineyards and the winemaking for Pellegrini Family Vineyards near Santa Rosa, betrays his Tuscan heritage by the way he views wine - as an integral part of a meal.
The veteran Sonoma winemaker prides himself on top-quality wines, all produced from single vineyards, including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the family's Olivet Lane property in Russian River Valley; plus Cabernet Sauvignon from Cloverdale Ranch in Alexander Valley and Merlot, also from Cloverdale Ranch, that made this year's Chronicle Top 100. He is businessman enough to want a fair return on his investments. But he refuses to let prices go so high that only the wealthy can afford to crack open a bottle. His wines sell from about $14 to $45, a price range that allows most wine lovers to enjoy a bottle with a meal.
It's a traditional view of wine for someone who could charge dearly, considering that the Pellegrinis' grapes are sought after by prestigious winemakers like Merry Edwards. He could easily plant the acreage now devoted to Merlot with something flashier, but his loyalty to this traditional grape is yet another reminder that the Pellegrinis have been a part of Sonoma County's wine culture since before Pinot went hot and Merlot went cold.Read full article here...