Did you know that Ram’s Gate Winery sources grapes from over nine of the most esteemed grape growers in Sonoma County? Most of these grapes are kept separate from each other throughout the winemaking process from vine to bottle, resulting in individual vineyard-designate bottlings with the integrity of each vineyard site preserved in each wine. Over the next few months, we invite you to join us here for a behind the vines introduction to our devoted growers, without whom we would not be able to craft each uniquely luscious wine.
The Sangiacomo Family has one of the longest legacies of high quality grape growing in Sonoma County. The first Sangiacomo to arrive in the United States was 17-year old Vittorio, who came over from rural Genoa on his father’s advice. It was the early 1900’s and like so many others at that time, he was a farmer from the old world coming to America in search of the proverbial ‘better life’. After working in San Francisco’s booming industrial region for many years, he eventually found his way back to the land and purchased his first orchard in 1927. With his new bride, Maria, also from Genoa, the young Sangiacomos built what quickly became the largest pear-producing farm in Sonoma County and welcomed four new Sangiacomos to the world.
In 1969, with decades of first-hand knowledge of the area’s growing conditions and a burgeoning wine scene starting to take shape around him Vittorio decided to give grapevines a try. He purchased a neighboring hay field and the Green Acres Vineyard, from which Ram’s Gate Winery crafts its Green Acres vineyard-designate Chardonnay, became the very first vineyard Vittorio planted.
The “Hill” block of the Green Acres Vineyard is planted to Old Wente clone Chardonnay, adored by winemakers for its diversity of berry size, higher skin to pulp ratio and resulting complexity imparted in the wine. The vines in the Hill block are over twenty years old and are reserved by six different wineries, each for vineyard-designate bottlings made from these premium grapes.
The Sangiacomos’ Roberts Road Vineyard, from which Ram’s Gate creates the Roberts Road vineyard-designate Pinot Noir, is another testament to the Sangiacomos’ pioneering spirit and willingness to take risks to discover something great. When the second generation of Sangiacomos found this property in 1998, there were but two other small vineyard plantings in the vicinity. The climate was on the cold side for grape-growing and industry peers thought it would never work. Now 15 years later, a waiting list of renowned winemakers hope to one day be able to receive fruit from this low yield, high quality site. Ram’s Gate Winery counts itself gratefully among the lucky few.
View the current-release Sangiacomo Chardonnay here.
For access to the tiny-production Roberts Road Pinot Noir, learn more about Ram’s Gate Membership here.