The Pellegrini family immigrated from Tuscany to Santa Rosa in 1915 and began making wine with grapes from Sonoma. They survived prohibition by shipping grapes throughout the United States for home winemaking. Upon the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, they were issued Winegrower License No.4. The family has been at this for a long, long time.
Alexia Pellegrini is the fourth generation building upon the Pellegrini family legacy. She oversees all operations of the business, with a significant portion of her time dedicated to working the land. Since her first harvest in 2000 at Penfolds in Australia, she has spent years working in each tier of the wine business. Charlie Fauroat is the winemaker, having worked his way up from cellar master. Feeling privileged to work with the stellar fruit of the family’s vineyards. He loves the art, science, hard work, and people of the wine world. In addition to having a great palate for wine, Charlie is a truly talented chef, specializing in meat curing & Asian cuisines.
Skin fermented white wine is a return to an old-world style of winemaking that has been out of fashion for decades. Experimenting with this method was a fun and risky adventure into the unknown. The wine spent 14 days fermenting with the skins in tanks before being pressed into barrels to complete the fermentation process. The result is a white wine with incredible color and rich tannic structure that is unlike anything you will find in a typical California Chardonnay.
In 1975, Vincent & Aida Pellegrini purchased a 70-acre plum and apple orchard on West Olivet Road near Santa Rosa that would become their home. The grapes for this Chardonnay were grown in the Bazzano Vineyard which is located two miles to the east. The hearty old vines are dry-farmed, thanks to heavy clay soils, lending great depth of fruit character. Hot afternoons are mitigated by a vigorous leaf canopy, allowing for precise acid retention and bright fruit tones. The vineyard is distinguished by the maritime fog that sweeps up from the Pacific through the Petaluma Gap and lingers through the morning. These cool nights extend the growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and reach their full flavor potential while retaining their acidity. It produces wines that are elegant and age worthy.
The 2019 Pellegrini Skin Fermented Chardonnay shows off the variety’s potential in a dramatic way. Unusual can also be delicious. The dark yellow hue in the glass previews aromas of hazelnut, nutmeg, redwood, and fresh cracked black pepper. Soft and round on the front of the tongue, lemon curd, graham cracker, dried orange peel, and basil help tame the rich tannin structure.
Malon chose this wine for the program because he wanted to showcase a unique style of Chardonnay that would cause people to say, “Wow!” Since most white wines see no skin contact, this wine will show different characteristics from what people drink most of the time. This is the first vintage and is a Blurred Vines exclusive. Malon called his partners and said, “You’ve got to come in and try this.”