Tracking Down Old Vine Zinfandel


Written by:

Joe Becerra

Last updated:

Gnarly old vine Zinfandel
Lovely Old Vine Zinfandel

Old Vine Zinfandel

For zealots of Zinfandel, there are plenty of vineyards and wineries in California where you can see old vine Zinfandel vines and taste old vine Zinfandel wines. Zinfandel vines in many areas of California date back to over 100 years ago. They are still thriving and producing complex wines.

Old Vine Zinfandel at Forchini
Old-Vine Zinfandel – Forchini in Dry Creek

How old is Old Vine Zinfandel?

There is no legal definition of Old Vine Zinfandel. We have many Zinfandel Vineyards that are over 100 years old. There is a standard agreement among Vintners of Zinfandel that any vines 50 years or older are considered Old Vine Zinfandel. If you see a wine label that states Old Vine Zinfandel, what does it mean? Look at both the back and front labels to see if it specifies the age of the vines. If not, you have no idea of the age of the vines that went into making the wine. Buyer Beware.

Read below to find out Janelle and Joe’s favorite old-vine Zinfandel wineries and vineyards.

In Sonoma wine country Dry Creek Valley

east bench dry creek vineyard of old vine zinfandel
East Bench Dry Creek Valley. These vineyards belong to Ray Teldeschi

Ridge Lytton Springs Vineyard

Lytton Springs vineyard old vine Zinfandel
Ridge Lytton Springs Old Vine Zinfandel

Ridge Lytton Springs makes several Zinfandel wines. Just outside their tasting room in the Dry Creek Valley is the Lytton Springs Vineyard. It was first planted in the late 1800s. The Ridge Lytton Springs Zinfandels are known for their depth and complexity.


At Pedroncelli, the Mother Clone Zinfandel wine comes from vines replanted in the 1980’s from budwood for old-vine Zinfandel and from a small portion of the original over 100-year-old vines that are on the property. The Mother Clone Vineyard Zinfandel is excellent and sells for around $20 a bottle. Pedroncelli is a fun winery to visit. 

Joe at Pedroncelli's old vine Zinfandel vineyard
Joe in the 100 plus year-old Pedroncelli Zinfandel vineyard

Other Dry Creek Wineries and Old Vine Zinfandel

Amador County

Grandpere Vineyard

Original Grandpère Vineyard was planted in 1869. This Vineyard is home to some of the oldest Zinfandel vines in California, and its grapes are dry farmed. Terri Scott owns the Vineyard and, because of legal issues, the Vineyard is now named Vineyard 1869. Terri currently sells the grapes to three Amador wineries. These wineries are Scott Harvey (Terri’s ex-husband), Vino Noceto, and Andis Winery. Although the Vineyard is not open to the public, you can view the Vineyard from the roadside. The historic Vineyard 1869 is on Steiner Road behind the Rombauer winery. Asks the locals how to find the Vineyard.


Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel
Old Vine Zinfandel vineyard in Lodi

Mohr-Fry Ranches

The Zinfandel vineyards at Mohr-Fry are some of the oldest Zinfandel grapes in California. The first planting of Zinfandel at Mohr-Fry dates back to 1901. The Zinfandel vines are head pruned. That means no trellis system. Mohr-Fry doesn’t make any Zinfandel but sells its fruit to many wineries in Lodi and elsewhere. Here is a link to view the winery producing wine from the Mohr Fry Ranch.

Jessie’s Grove Winery

Jessie’s Grove is a historic winery in Lodi that produces several old vine Zinfandel wines, including their Ancient Vine Zinfandel, which is sourced from over 130-year-old vines.

Harney Lane Winery

Harney Lane is a family-owned winery in Lodi that produces several old vine Zinfandel wines, including their Lizzy James Vineyard Zinfandel, which is sourced from over 100-year-old vines.

Lodi Old Vine Zinfandel

  • Joe Becerra

    Joe Becerra has been traveling to wine country and enjoying wine since 1965. He is a retired educator, and now have the time the opportunity to share his wine travel experiences through this Website.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.