Kunde Estate Zinfandel 2006
For over a century, five generations of the Kunde Family have farmed our 1,850 acre estate in the Sonoma Valley – a truly remarkable legacy in the modern age of California winemaking. A fervent, forward thinking vision of land stewardship and sustainability began over 100 years ago and has been shaped with each successive generation.
Our founder, Louis Kunde, who emigrated from Germany, acquired the Wildwood Vineyards ranch with its acclaimed iron-rich, ancient red volcanic soils in 1904. The vineyards on this land were first planted in 1879 by pioneer John Drummond with imported cuttings from Chateaux Margaux and Lafite Rothschild. Upon Louis’ death in 1922, the winery and vineyards were taken over by his son, Arthur “Big Boy” Kunde. Big Boy kept the winery open during the difficult times of Prohibition, but was forced to finally close the winery doors when his sons were drafted into service in World War II. Throughout the 1960’s and ‘70’s, two of Big Boy’s sons, Bob and Fred, greatly expanded the Kunde Estate, adding the esteemed Kinneybrook Ranch in 1997, which is where the winery now stands.
Today, Kunde Family Winery is still family owned and operated with a hands-on team of 4th and 5th generation family members at the helm. Every decision we make, every wine we craft, and every experience we provide honors the legacy of Great Grandfather, Louis Kunde. We remain committed to innovation in our vineyards and winery while maintaining a deep, personal commitment to sustainable winegrowing and preserving the land for generations to come.
Our winemaking mission is to craft elegant wines with a real sense of place – beautifully balanced and expressive of our dramatic vineyard landscape. Winemaker Zach Long, who came to Kunde in 2011, brought with him a wealth of international and domestic winemaking experience, having worked in some of the world’s most acclaimed wine regions including Bordeaux, New Zealand, and the Napa Valley. “Kunde Family Winery is one of the most unique properties in the Sonoma Valley. My goal is to not only produce the absolute best terroir-driven wines possible, but to also uphold the legacy of the Kunde family by letting the vineyards speak through each bottle of wine I craft,” says Long.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Unapologetically bold, spice-driven and jammy, Zinfandel is often thought of as California’s flagship grape. In fact it owns this title by having the ability to adapt to the states’ many microclimates and landscapes, producing unique expressions of the grape throughout. Zinfandel thrives in California’s Central Coast, as well throughout Sonoma County, parts of Napa Valley, the Sierra Foothills, Lodi and Paso Robles.
Zinfandel was born in Croatia and later made its way to southern Italy where it became known as Primitivo. The astute imperial nursery of Vienna collected specimens of the vine and acted as the source of its journey to New England, carried by George Gibbs circa 1829. Eventually, making its way to California around the Gold Rush of 1849, Zinfandel found its new home, parading the true American spirit.
Tasting Notes for Zinfandel
Zinfandel is a dry red wine, though typically forward in fruit. Notes of dark plum, blackberry, sweet spice, dark chocolate and licorice are common. Very ripe examples may express a dried fruit quakity like fig or prune. But Zinfandel grown in cooler, coastal zones often shows red fruit, black pepper and fresh herbal characteristics like juniper and menthol.
Perfect Food Pairings for Zinfandel
Zinfandel is a powerfully flavored wine, mingling happily with bold food like brisket, lamb shanks, pork ribs or anything barbecued. More delicate Zins work with pork, lamb curry and even Ceasar Salad or Salad Nicoise.
Sommelier Secrets for Zinfandel
Thanks to its popularity both for home winemaking and as communion wine, many Zinfandel vines were able to survive prohibition, leading to the abundance of "old vine" Zinfandels. These low-yielding, ancient vines tend to produce wine that is deeply concentrated, delicately perfumed and decidedly complex.