Robert Renzoni Vineyards celebrated its second year anniversary this past Sunday. Robert has been praised for making some of the best Italian style wines and has been producing these wines at his Temecula Valley boutique winery since April, 18th 2008. However, what most people may not know is that the Robert Renzoni’s family wine making history goes much further back…
The history of winemaking in the Renzoni family dates as far back as 1886, when Robert’s great-grandfather, Federico, began working in the vineyards near Fano, a small Italian village on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. While working in the vineyards, Federico and his father began making wine for family and friends. Federico later immigrated to the United States and started a wine import business. The family had also worked with some of the more famous winemakers in California, and included August Sebastiani, Lorenzo Cella (Roma Wines) and Cesare Mondavi (Charles Krug).
After many years, parts of the family were once again reunited in Temecula, when Robert and his parents each moved here in 2004. Once here they purchased property on the De Portola Wine Trail, which they planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, and Brunello, the premier clone of Sangiovese that is considered the Queen of Italian grape varietals.
Tasting Room and barrel room are currently housed in the same building. The entry is made up of a row of tasting counters, draped in black cloth with a large Robert Renzoni
Vineyards banner as the center piece between the two rows of barrels that establish the back drop of the wine tasting area. Painted tapestries drape the walls with images of fountains and floral scenes. Outside of the building, the 12 acre property is planted with vineyards, olive trees, and even has an intimate picnic grounds for guests to use.
The Picnic grounds are located on the upper part of the lot allowing a full view of the property’s vineyards and surrounding valley. Picnic tables, grass, and sitting areas are available for visitors. The area is easily accessible either by foot or for those that don’t want to walk up the hill, a short drive up to the picnic area. Parking is available around the picnic area.
After viewing the different sections of the property, the Taste of Temecula group went down to the main facility to enjoy the music from J.D. Priest, classic rock artist that was playing at Renzoni. The combination of wine, and music filled the conversation of the many visitors that were at the celebration. The music played by J.D. Priest had a mingling of Rock, Soul, and Blues making the music very delightful. At times a little hint of Bluegrass permeated the classic rock music. This unique combination of sound provided a nice compilation to J.D. Priest’s style. As the music continued to play, the group started the tasting with Pinot Grigio.
2008 Pinot Grigio is fragrant and mildly floral with subtle notes of apple, lemon and honeysuckle, with a refreshing finish. The flavors last long on the pallet and leave a lingering green apple finish. This is a delightful wine that would work great as a refreshing pool side wine.
2008 Barile Chardonnay. Barile means barrel in Italian. 100% Dijon Clone Chardonnay.
Chardonnay grapes sourced from Stuart Vineyard were hand selected. This Chardonnay, showing color between straw and light gold, was aged in French oak barrels for 10 months, lending oak and butter element to the rich apple and honey, creating a wine which is big and complex with 75% malolactic fermentation. This produces a bright clean finish while still providing the creaminess on the palate.
2008 La Rosa (Rose of Sangiovese) has rich flavors of strawberry, citrus flavors, with hints of tropical fruits, pomegranate and pink grapefruit. This wine makes a great introductory wine for those just looking to learn about wines. It is very flavorful, lightly sweet, but yet still dry enough to be enjoyed by the most experienced.
2007 Sangiovese is a garnet to ruby colored wine with distinctive aromas of coffee and caramel, with notes of dark fruit and cherry, with a soft finish of nutmeg and spice. This wine is aged 18 months in 100% American Oak. The flavors go well with tomato based pasta sauces and should pair well with Italian foods.
Additionally, the Renzoni family is known for its sauce and olive oils. For example, their Mama Rosa’s Marinara Sauce is a family recipe passed down the generations from Robert’s grandmother. Their olives are grown on the property and pressed into fused and non-fused olive oils. Both olive oils are smooth with a fresh clean light taste. The garlic olive oil finishes with a light touch of garlic, while the non-fused has a light pepper finish.
When in Temecula, a stop at the Robert Renzoni winery is warranted. The wines are well made, not over priced, and are good examples of fine Italian wines. Robert and his family work hard to ensure that each person’s experience at this boutique winery is memorable, it was for us.