by Fred McMillin
for December 9, 1998


Pedroncelli Power


1990—"John Pedroncelli is the winemaker, and he's a real pro."

...Jim Wood, S.F. Examiner

1990—We have established our single-vineyard program this year to showcase the vineyards that supply our top grapes. We expect the Pedroni-Bushnell Vineyard to produce some of our best Zinfandels.

...Winemaker John Pedroncelli

The Rest of the Story

John & Jim Pedroncelli
Co-owners: John Pedroncelli (L) with
brother Jim Pedroncelli (R).

John knew a lot about the vineyard that was being elevated to having its own Pedroncelli label. John Sr. had purchased the 20-acre, Dry Creek Valley property in 1945. A decade later it was sold to Al Pedroni, John Jr.'s brother-in-law. Al's daughter, Carol Bushnell, inherited the vineyard in l99O. Her husband, Jim Bushnell, is vineyard manager.

Is the vineyard living up to expectations? I quietly slipped the 1995 into a blind tasting without any comment. The panel was very enthusiastic. Checking back for six months, I found it was the highest scoring Zin we've had below $15... medium-bodied, loads of fruit.

The American oak was gentle. I'm not suprised because at a tasting I conducted with John he said he wanted his wine "to taste more of grapes than trees."

The Wine

Pedroncelli Vineyard 1995 Zinfandel, Pedroni-Bushnell Vnyd., Dry Creek Vly.
J. Pedroncelli Winery, Sonoma County, CA.
Owners—Jim and John Pedroncelli
Food Affinities—Jim and John produced a newsletter 23 years ago that rings true today. They wisely advocate that in matching food with a wine, consider its STRENGTH, not its COLOR. Thus, a Zinfandel with finesse, though red, can pair nicely with some fowl...in my case, it was with smoked turkey on light rye.
Contact—Julie Pedroncelli St. John, (800) 836-3894
Price—$12 range


Two French immigrants in 1872 planted the first Dry Creek vineyard that John Sr. bought in 1927. Prophetically, the Frenchmen had planted it with Zinfandel!


About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.



WineDay Annex

More articles by
Fred McMillin


Welcome to WineDay, the electronic Gourmet Guide's daily update. Monday through Thursday, WineDay presents a wine profile. Then on Fridays we present the Winery of the Week to take you through the weekend.


Anthony Dias Blue's
Tasting Notes


A High-Tech Malbec

'Tis the Season to Be Bubbly

Winery of the Week 12/04/98
Prohibition's Setting Sun

Botrytis Bliss

Hernan Cortes

Mumm's the Word

Current WineDay

January WineDays
February WineDays
March WineDays
April WineDays
May WineDays

June WineDays
Summer Break
September WineDays
October WineDays
November WineDays

1997 WineDays



Copyright © 1998—the electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc. All rights reserved.