St. Francis released its first Old Vine Zinfandel in 1990. The grapes were from a 75 year old vineyard in Sonoma County. Since that first release, St. Francis has added numerous small old vine vineyards to our Zinfandel family. All the vines are at least 50 years old and many are 80 to 100 years of age. All the vineyards are located in Sonoma County. Among these turn of the century Zinfandel vineyards are Petit Syrah and Alicante Bouchet vines which add to color and texture of the "field blend" wine. Due to the prodigious age of the vines, the different microclimates and dry farming, these parcels yield as little as one and not more than four tons per acre of exceptionally concentrated grapes. Harvest is timed so that when the grapes are picked, some of the clusters have become raisins, resulting in intensified varietal flavors.
The grapes are hand harvested and crushed into temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasts 12 to 18 days. The different lots are then racked into new American oak barrels, for an aging period of 12 to 15 months. The wine is assembled without fining or filtration, bottled and held for four to eight months prior to release.