Our Beloved Grande Vineyard Is Reaching 100 Years
As the Grande Vineyard and it’s caretaker jump into their 100th year in 2020, Dave Pramuk, Rebecca, and Maura wanted to be sure to capture the special moment of the 99th harvest!
Dorothy Rossi was inside baking Biscotti for the harvest crew and it was a beautiful morning in the vineyard. This vineyard sure is one of the favorites for the Biale crew.
For those of you who are not too familiar with their story…
Just east of the historic Silverado Trail near the town of Napa, lies an old Zinfandel vineyard that is one of our favorite historic family stories in Napa Valley. Dorothy Rossi and her son, Tony Rossi, take care of an old-vine vineyard that was planted by Dorothy’s father, Theodosio Grande, in 1920–the same year that Dorothy was born!
This family tradition is a classic example of what gave birth to the international stature that today’s Napa Valley now enjoys. At the turn of the 20th Century, immigrants settled in California’s rural valleys to farm fruits and vegetables, livestock, poultry, raise their own food, and grow wine grapes, mostly Zinfandel, (and Petite Sirah) to sell to winemakers and to make their own wine.
Zinfandel was the consensus favorite among wine growers in early California: a hearty producer and highly flavorful grape that was perfectly suited to the healthy soils and sunny climate of California.
Theodosio Rossi was no exception. Having arrived in Napa from Venice, Italy, Theodosio soon planted Zinfandel, pears, prunes, and walnuts. He also built a farmhouse, chicken coop and barn, all of which still exist, as though having been preserved in some sort of agrarian time capsule.
Driving into the Rossi property today is like going back in time to the early days of Napa Valley. Not much has changed. Dorothy and Tony tend daily to the vines, coops and orchard. And every autumn the pickers hand-harvest perfect bunches of Zinfandel into bins. Starting in 2001, all those Zinfandel bunches began to be delivered to the Biale winery, where we cherish the fruits of the labors of Theodosio Grande and his offspring – a genuine and sweet family tradition that daily reminds us of Napa Valley’s agricultural origins.