POSTED ON March 16, 2013 | IN Russian River Wine Country - Sonoma Cty. | BY joe

Our wine country getaway to Battaglini Winery

image of Battaglini Winery

Battaglini Estate Winery

Battaglini Winery is a hidden gem in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County. In this wine region there are many gorgeous wineries, fancy tasting rooms, and state-of-the art wine making facilities. At the Battaglini Winery, things are done the old-fashioned way. Italian native Joe Battaglini is the owner and winemaker. Joe and his wife Lucia purchased the then-abandoned winery in 1988 and produced their first vintage in 1994. Joe Battaglini learned how to make wine from his father as he was growing up in Lucca, Italy. Even the vines at Battaglini are old fashioned, and by that I mean 127 years old. There are 25 acres of these vines consisting of old Zinfandel and Petit Syrah. These 127-year-old vines are still producing, although the yields are small. The fruit is concentrated, with flavors that produce wonderful wine.

image of Joe Battaglini

Owner and winemaker Joe Battaglini

image of petite sirah old vine

127 year-old Petite Sirah

The tasting room is small and funky and adorned with memorabilia from Lucca. Joe usually pours in the tasting room, and if you ask you can get a quick tour of the old vineyards. The vines are fascinating to look at. Joe even has names for a few of them. What a kick to be out in the fields with Joe Battaglini.

Joe opened several Zinfandel wines for us dating from 2002 to 2009. We were amazed at how well the older vintages held up, rich and delicious. Yes, they had mellowed, but the fruit was still there to enjoy and savor. Joe also makes an unfiltered Chardonnay and an oaky Chardonnay. They were good but not as impressive as the Zin and Petite. Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines are aged in a mix of new and old French barrels for 18 months. Once bottled, the wines sit for 2 years before being released.

Joe has recently begun to experiment with Pinot Noir. After all the Russian River Valley is famous for Pinot Noir, so why not try and see what he can do with this grape? The vines were recently planted, so we won’t be able to taste any Pinot Noir for a few years.

Other Nearby Wineries

For more wine tasting, leave Battaglini Winery, make a left turn and continue along Piner Road to Olivet Road. Here you’ll find DeLoach, Harvest Moon, Hook & Ladder and others. Olivet Lane Wine Trail

Lodging and Restaurants

For this wine country getaway, we stayed at the Vintners Inn in Santa Rosa just a short hop from Battaglini Winery and the Olivet Road wineries. We ate dinner at the Jon Ash Restaurant that is located in the Vintners Inn. There is also plenty of other lodging in Santa Rosa and a little further north in Healdsburg.

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