Dry Creek Valley Winery Spotlight: Simoncini Vineyards
Simoncini Vineyards is a small, family-owned, destination winery built solely by local artisans with vision, passion and attention to detail. At Simoncini, handcrafted wine is celebrated, along with the beauty and uniqueness of surrounding Dry Creek Valley. It’s also a place to connect with winemakers and fellow wine lovers and unplug from the hectic outside world of busy schedules, chiming smartphones and exploding inboxes. Here is where the intimacy, warm hospitality and artisanal personality that is Sonoma County winemaking comes to life.
The Simoncini family has roots in Sonoma County dating back to 1907, when the first Simoncini arrived to this sundrenched valley from Genoa, Italy and settled accompanied by his brothers, Carlo and Freddy. Just like many of the other valley farmers of the time, the Simoncini brothers primarily farmed peaches and prunes, with select areas designated for wine grapes.
The next generation planted the first estate vineyards in the rich red soil on the rolling hillsides of Dry Creek Valley with St. George rootstock and field grafted with 100 year old St. Peter’s Church bud wood. Their Estate Zinfandel is truly an artisan wine that is hand farmed, hand-picked, whole berry fermented, and made with free run juice and aged in new French Oak barrels.
Simoncini Winery’s commitment to producing high-quality wines worth merit requires they source premium fruit in the region — vineyards where grapes are hand-farmed and hand-picked. They source their Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel grapes from vineyards not only in Dry Creek Valley, but also in the nearby Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Rockpile AVA. To see their current selections available for purchase, visit the products page on their website.
Winery Visits and Purchases
Simoncini Winery is open for tastings weekly, Thursday-Sunday, 11-4pm. Additional days and times can be made available to accommodate groups of 6 or more, special events and private parties. Arrangements for outside catering can also be made from the winery. Many visitors enjoy tasting wine in their wine cave amongst the barrels or in the picnic area by the winter creek or in their intimate tasting room bar.
They also offer boxed picnic lunches in the picnic area. It’s $65 for non-wine club members and $45 for wine club members. The picnic includes a five-wine tasting in the cave and tour. In addition, there is a tasting fee of $25 for a cave tour and tasting of 5 wines that is waived for wine club members and their guests (up to 3 guests). If you’re planning ahead, be sure to visit Simoncini’s website to make reservations.
The “Cicheti Experience”
Simoncini Vineyard’s “Cicheti” (Chee-keh-tee) experience is based upon an old Venetian custom called “Andar a Cicheti“, when Venice’s famished and thirsty flock to cozy, cave-like canteens called bácaros for a glass of wine and bite-size delicacies like stuffed olives, Sopressata, or Polpette. It’s how many Venetians take a pause during an activity-fraught day, whether study, work or play, and a tradition that is considered essential to life and well-being.
With this spirit in mind, Simoncini Vineyards has imported their very own version of this custom right here in the heart of Sonoma County wine country. “Cicheti” is served inside their warm, atmospheric wine cave (a great double for a bácaro) and features five wine and food pairings; additionally there is always a Chef’s surprise and pairing when you first arrive. Available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm or 3pm and a menu that changes seasonally (what Italians call Le Quattro Stagioni), the “Cicheti” experience at Simoncini Vineyards is an intimate, personable way to quench your thirst on amazing Simoncini wine and palate-pleasurable food in a relaxed setting.
The “Cicheti” summer menu is available now through September 21, 2014.
Wines For Purchase
Their limited production and library wines are available exclusively to wine club members and direct from the winery. If you would like to join their wine club, purchase wines , or plan a private party or special event at the winery, you can contact them directly through their website.
Wine isn’t the only story at Simoncini Vineyards. They also produce their own Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil and incredible Zinfandel Jelly! Their Tuscan style extra virgin olive oil is blended from Leccino, Frantoio, Maurino and Pendolino varietals. Their olives are usually harvested by hand in early December each year and pressed the same day under the weight of a four-ton granite frantoio.
Their Estate Grown Zinfandel Jelly is made from the juice of the Estate grown zinfandel grapes and concentrated with flavors of black cherry and blackberry. Trust us, your PB&J will never be the same with a nice spread of this; or you can use it complement that warm morning scone and cup of coffee or tea.
On your next trip to Dry Creek Valley, give Simoncini Vineyards a try… terrific wines, a wonderful venue and a friendly, four-legged greeter that you can pet. It doesn’t get much better than this.