We are proud to introduce our first zinfandel produced from the Boatman Ranch. This rocky, terraced vineyard sits in the hills between our Geyserville and Lytton Springs vineyards on the border of the Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. From our first taste in the fermenters we have been excited about the quality and the character of this wine.
Tim Boatman’s grandparents, Emilia & Eugene Moretti, emigrated from the mountain town of San Pellegrinetto, Italy (above Lucca, in the Tuscany region) in the early 1900’s. In 1903, Emilia traveled with Tim’s uncle Frank, who was only two-years-old at the time, to meet Eugene who was already in America, having arrived two years earlier. Letters Emilia had written tell a story of a treacherous journey, at one
point being forced to anchor in the middle of the Atlantic for seven days amidst a powerful storm. They finally arrived at Ellis Island and traveled by train to northern California where they were reunited with his grandfather. Years later, in 1935, Emilia and Eugene were able to acquire a fifty acre ranch that sits in the hills on the border of Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley. Eugene used the property for wood cutting and when he passed away he left the property to Tim’s mother and uncle. Tim purchased the property from them in the mid-sixties, when he was only nineteen years old. The ranch was undeveloped at the time with no roads, water, or power.
Tim’s father had died tragically in a machinery accident just before Tim purchased the property. He was left only a bulldozer and an old pickup truck. The bulldozer proved instrumental in the future of the ranch. Based on his grandparent’s roots, surrounded by terraced vineyards in the mountains of Italy, Tim had a vision to plant and grow grapes on the hillsides of the property and began developing and planting the ranch in 1972. He
obtained the first budwood from a pioneer vineyard located near Lake Sonoma. One-third of the vineyard is planted to this early clone, along with several others including Mendocino, DuPratt, and Primitivo. The vineyard is remarkably steep with the various blocks carved out of the mountain by Tim himself. Tim notes: “Once you cut the ground, you’re married to it. It’s a done deal, you can’t do it over again. You better get it right. It’s like having a baby. You make it, you take care of it.”
We feel this first vintage from the Boatman Ranch is outstanding and we are optimistic about the future of this promising site as well as the opportunity to work with Tim and his family for years to come. The 2014 Boatman Zinfandel was first made available in March to ATP members and is currently available to Ridge members only. The wine will become available publicly beginning May 15th if quantities remain following the member-only purchase window.