This title should pretty much stop everyone dead in their tracks from reading this very interesting article by KatherineCole (who she?) on the rise of the Trinchero family to power:
from their humble SutterHomeFamily origins. It's actually a quite interesting read and I learned a lot I'd never known before.

SutterHome is, of course, the wnry that rode the WhiteZin horse to fame. Which now, of course, earns them the derision of anybody w/ a serious interested in wine. It shouldn't be that way.
Should I mention I followed SH from the very start?? Sort of. When they started SH after prohibition, Bob & Mario Trinchero specialized in bulk wines sold out of the barn across from LouisMartiniWnry on Hwy 29. I never had any of those bulk wines. NapaVlly folks would show up at SH, gallon jugs in hand, and fill-er-up from the spigot there. In the early '60's, SH started bottling their own wine.

In the late '60's, BobTrinchero, always the pinch penny (Darrell recounts how Bob used to buy his ill-fiting suits at MongomeryWard's aka as MonkeyWards, but now buys Brook'sBros suits), was complaining to DarrellCorti about the rising cost to buy NapaVlly grapes for his cheap wine. Darrell had, several yrs earlier, tried CharlieMeyer's AmadorZin from KenDeaver's OV vnyd and was impressed. He suggested Bob buy a ton of Zin from Ken, which he did. And, as they say, the rest is history. That '68 DeaverVnyd Zin was outstanding and set AmadorCnty on the path to the success it now enjoys. Those early ('68-'75) SH Amador Zins were amazingly good. And cheap.

In '71, Darrell suggested to Bob that he make a wine from the saignee juice, that he was dumping down the drain, and label it Oeil de Perdrix (Eye of the Partridge). It was totally dry, very spicy, and actually quite delicious. In '75, their OdP/White Zin fermentation stuck, but they bttld it off-dry. It sold out of the tasting room like hotcakes and the rest is history. They rode that sweet WhiteZin train out of the station and into millions of $$$'s. And that's pretty much when I kissed off SutterHome for good.

Back in the middle '70's, SH made what they called SH TripleCream Apertif. The base was very old CreamSherry from EastSideWnry/Lodi stocks, tarted all up w/ spices like OrrisRoot and OrangePeel. It was an outstanding dessert wine. When EastSideWnry closed, they lost that source of CreamSherry and their TripleCreamApertif plummeted in quality. Don't know if they still make that or not.

In 1981, a psychiatrist couple founded a wnry just north of StHelena, Folie a Deux (Folly of Two). The wines were decent...just that. The label was a Rorsach ink plot of a couple dancing. In the late '80's or early '90's, the wnry was purchased by ScottHarvey and DickPeterson and run for a number of yrs. They invented a second label, Menage a Trois, with a wink & a nod. In 2006, Scott & Dick sold both labels to the Trincheros. This is now the location of the TrincheroFamilyWines tasting room. Don't know what they use there of the wnry and the aging caves below.
In the late '60's, I wrote an article for Vintage magazine on Zins of the DeaverVnyd. Did an interview w/ Ken Deaver (Sr) up there in Amador and walked the vnyd w/ him. The high point of the interview was when Ken took me down to his pig pen (at the bend in the road across from the ShenandoahSchool) and introduced me to his family of pigs. From all the squealing going on, you'd have thought they'd found their soulmate. (I got the same response when CaseyHartlip introduced me to his two pigs, James & Bob. I love pigs and not just for the their cute little tails). They were fed his leftover grapes and his pigs were regarded as the best pork chops in all Amador...being used by JohnLasich/sausage maker in Plymouth and AliceWaters/Berkeley. On that same trip, I also did a visit w/ BobTrinchero there at SH. Liked the guy quite a lot...even in his MontgomeryWard's garb. Very straightforward and down-to-earth. And, at the time, his Orleans process vinegar (made in a shed out back, not in the winery) was some of the best vinegar you could find.
Since then, the Trincheros have bought several other labels. Including the NeyersFamily label. As best as I can tell, the Neyers wines are just as good as they've ever been.

I'm thinking that, since I blew off SH so many yrs ago, I should revisit them. I'll try some (but not the White Zin), including the TFV, the Folie a Deux, the Menage a Trois, and report back here. Takin' one for the team it's called.

Anyway, that's my SutterHome story & I'm stickin' to it.

Also anyway, the article is worth reading...even if you don't like SutterHome, for whatever lame reason.

Edited by TomHill (01-05-2018 13:35:23)