It’s not quite all about beautiful Sangiovese vineyards and wines at Vino Noceto. There is an extremely rare and classic Zinfandel to be found among the Tuscan-inspired beauties at this specialized winery estate in Amador County’s Shenandoah Valley. Jim and Suzy Gullet invested in rural country property for their dream home and vineyard in the 1980’s and after spending considerable time in the hills of Chianti, they decided to go all-in on a grape variety they knew would be ideally suited to the Sierra Foothills – Sangiovese.
As they settled into their new home and vineyards that once featured a walnut orchard (noceto in Italian) they started producing small lot estate wines in another winery with a Zinfandel guru who knew a thing or two about Amador – Scott Harvey. Then in 1999 they were able to move operations into their own facility on historic Shenandoah Road. It was through the Scott Harvey connection that they began sourcing Zinfandel grapes from the ancient and legendary Grandpere Vineyards, known today as the Original Grandpere Vineyard, which according to records, is the oldest Zinfandel vineyard in California, planted in 1869. Vino Noceto is one of only four wineries that are permitted to produce a Zinfandel from this historic patch of vines that were originally planted by Mahala Teter Upton and her family who had traveled to California by wagon train. Vino Noceto designates its version of the Original Grandpere Vineyard Zinfandel as “OGP” on its label.
A visit to Vino Noceto is a fun, relaxing, no-nonsense Sierra Foothills experience: enjoy a tasting of wines in the rustic tasting room or in the winery courtyard by the big red barn winery – that for 20 years has been under the direction of Amador winemaking veteran Rusty Folena. For a deeper dive, Vino Noceto also offers by appointment an in-depth “farm to glass” vineyard and winery tour.