When we say "old vines," we mean vines at least fifty and often over a hundred years old. The vines must also be head-trained and dry farmed to be included in our "Old Vines" Zinfandel program. St. Francis has found a series of small vineyards in Sonoma County that date back to the turn of the last century.
Because of their great age, these plots yield less than two tons per acre of exceptionally concentrated fruit. Carignane, Petite Sirah and Alicante Bouschet vines planted among the Zinfandel add texture and color to this "field blend." We hand-pick late so that some of the grapes have become raisins, further intensifying the varietal flavors. Once crushed, the wine is fermented in stainless steel tanks for twelve to eighteen days, then aged in new American oak barrels from twelve to fifteen months. The wine is held another four to eight months after bottling.
This distinct "old world style" of wine displays deep aromas of ripe black cherries and licorice, rich with spice and toasty oak notes that carry into a long luscious finish.