Dateline:     August 23, 2016

Happy 20th Birthday Forchini Winery
We all know time doesn’t stand still but it is hard to believe we are celebrating our 20th year in winemaking production.  It started on 9/10/96 when we picked 4.49 tons of Zinfandel from Dry Creek at 25.0 Brix, 3.60 ph and .526 total acidity.   It had been a hot dry summer with very little fog and harvest was earlier than normal.  To adjust for the high sugar/acid ratio and ph, second crop Zin, Carignane & Cabernet was picked 9/26, fermented dry and added to the mix.  The overall blend was 83% Zin and was aged in used French Oak barrels.  426 cases of this 96 vintage was bottled on 1/30/98 in Italian import glass with bartop finish at 14.1% and the wine was labeled Papa Nonno Zinfandel, Old Vine Clone, Dry Creek Valley.   Lucky for us the wine went on to win a Gold Medal in the West Coast Wine Competition and we thought this was too easy so we decided to boost our production.   In 1997 we produced 299 cases of Zinfandel, 276 cases of Cabernet, 150 cases of Pinot Noir and 192 cases of Paradiso Rose.   The 97 Zin was rated as 5 stars by renowned critics Tim Fish & Leslie Sbrocco of Wine and was awarded 94 pts, Best Wine of the North Coast at the 1999 California State Fair.  The phone was starting to jump off the hook and we were now on a roll and very bullish about our direction.  In 2002 we produced two more new wines....157 cases of Chardonnay and the name Papa Nonno was resurrected once again to produce 314 cases of a blend we called Old Vine Red Wine.  The use of “Old Vine Red” , however, was challenged by another winery so rather than fight their claim and spend a lot of money on legal issues we changed the 2003 label to read Papa Nonno Tuscan Style Red and produced 325 cases in addition to producing  459 cases of the BeauSierra Bordeaux Blend which became the last wines of our portfolio.

In 1996 there was only one winery on Dry Creek Rd between Highway 101 exit and Canyon Road and 15 wineries in Dry Creek Valley with public tasting rooms.  Today there are 23 wineries on this same stretch of road and over 70 wineries in Dry Creek Valley.  It has been a wonderful and exhilarating experience over the past 20 years, albeit very challenging.

Vintage 2016 Harvest Notes
Harvest got off to an early start with our first pick of Pinot Noir for a winery customer on 8/12 & 8/20.  Over the past 4 years we have been picking Pinot in August whereas between 2009-2012 Pinot was picked in September.  Climate change and our past history of drought no doubt has had a hand is this earlier ripening, but also better management of the vines and lower desired alcohol levels for Pinot have also had an influence.  The weather has cooled down since 8/20 but remains favorable with lingering morning fog combined with warm mid 80 temperatures in the afternoon and cooling in the night to mid 50s.  We expect to pick our estate Pinot grapes soon and the crop is very  good with clean sound fruit across the board.                                
We are anticipating a good harvest barring any change in weather patterns.

Winery News
We are offering some great special pricing in the tasting room on our 2012 Pinot Noir, Cabernet and BeauSierra for those customers that are visiting during the harvest season.  These are very attractive specials on these delicious multiple gold medal winning wines.  For Club Members only who live far out, call  (707) 431-8886 or email to get special pricing or to place an order.  Our 2013 Zinfandel is near depletion with only 10 cases remaining.  Hurry if you want  this Double Gold wine from the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition.   Bottling of the 2014 Zinfandel and Cabernet was finished on 8/11 which completes the bottling of all the 2014 wines for the year.  Those customers who bought futures on the 2014 wines may pick them up or have shipped although we currently are on a weather delay due to high temperatures across the country to certain destinations.  We are happy to hold and ship when cooler temperatures prevail upon your notification.  Our Pinot Noir & Papa Nonno was selected by San Francisco Bay Boat Cruise for serving on their charter wine cruises around the Bay.  If you’d like to sip our Pinot in a different environment, go to to reserve your space.  They have many choices which also includes a stopover at McCovey Cove when the Giants are playing and you might be caught on TV or see a ball plunk in the water.

With the extended outlook for moderate temperatures, we should have excellent hang time and great chemistry for producing some very fine wines in 2016.  Hope to see you at the winery soon.  Fall is a great time to visit and observed the multiple yellow green and red colors of the Sonoma County vineyards.  Cheers!

Editor:  J. Forchini