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From Our Editors
Lorenzo Petroni was sure that Northern California soil could grow the prized sangiovese grosso grape from his native Italy—he just had to find the right parcel of land. After years of searching, he discovered his own slice of Tuscany in Sonoma County. Dubbed Petroni Vineyard, it's a gem hidden down a winding one-lane road in the Mayacamas Mountains: rolling hills set among verdant forest are covered in terraced vineyards growing from the mineral-rich red soil.
The wine: Petroni, already owner of the successful North Beach Restaurant in San Francisco, knew he had to have trust in Sonoma's wine-growing capability. That organic, hands-off approach is evident in the wines, including the star sangiovese, the syrah, and the chardonnay. Wine lovers can make a reservation for a tasting next to the pool or in the elegantly appointed cave tunnels, where barreled wine ages.
The olive oil: In 1992, thousands olive-tree seedlings were air-freighted from Italy to California vineyard. Their Italian provenance is critical to the pure flavor of the organic extra-virgin olive oil produced at the onsite olive mill.
The grappa: Petroni Vineyard also produces three different types of grappa, an Italian grape brandy. The most traditional is the Grappa di Lorenzo, made exclusively from the sangiovese grosso grapes.