`The Pearl` Alexander Valley

Sonoma County

San Lorenzo

The San Lorenzo vineyard was purchased by Pete Seghesio’s grandfather in 1896, with...

ten gold coins he had earned working as a cook for the gold mines. Old deeds suggest that the vineyard was planted before 1892. This ‘Pearl’ of a vineyard is adjacent to Pete’s home, which has a small cellar underneath. The blend for 'The Pearl' is a result of the century old field blend of 69% Zinfandel, 15% Petite Sirah, 5% Carignan and 10% mixed reds that include Grand Noir, Alicante, Negrette and Mataro.

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This ‘Pearl’ of a vineyard, orginally 2.8 hectares in size, has been added to over the years and today comprises 16 hectares. It is one of the most iconic vineyards in California, located alongside the Russian River, spanning both the Russian River Valley and Alexander Valley appellations. Its south facing slopes, rocky terraces and foggy mornings allow for a slow ripening of the grapes, making it ideal for grape growing.

Vintage Information

Following a very dry 2014, drought was a threat in California during the 2015 growing season. Luckily during February and April, sufficient rain fell which meant that the vines thrived. Problems at flowering and fruit-set lowered yields in some areas. Summer was sunny and fairly warm, which accelerated ripening and meant that by mid-August, harvest had begun. Although the yields were low, the quality was high and the wines from 2015 have lovely concentrated fruit.


The grapes were hand harvested at night and double sorted before entering the winery. The must was cold-soaked for five days at 13°C to extract aroma. Fermentation took place in open top tanks with indigenous yeasts. The Zinfandel is harvested earlier and fermented separately while the other grapes, which need more time to reach physiological ripeness, are fermented together. The wine was aged in 100% French oak barrels, 30% new, for 16 months.

Tasting Notes

The nose has layered complexity with black plums, raspberries and cigar box aromas. The palate is bountiful with finely textured tannins and refreshing acidity balancing the full body. With only 132 cases made – this is a very fine wine and has the potential for ageing for 5-10 years.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2015
Grape varieties 69% Zinfandel
15% Petite Sirah
10% Other red varieties
5% Carignano/Carignan
Region Sonoma County, California
Winemaker Pete Seghesio
Alcohol (ABV) 15.5%
Wine pH 3.6