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Trentadue Winery - Sonoma County


Creative Spirit and Can-Do Attitude are Hallmarks of Trentadue's Success

In 1959, after twenty-five years of farming fruit orchards in California’s Santa Clara Valley, the Trentadue family decided it was time to move on. “We were pushed out by the subdivisions,” says patriarch Leo Trentadue. “You can’t farm properly with housing tracts and businesses all around you,” he adds. Indeed, for that area is now the heart of California’s so-called “Silicon Valley,” home to some of the world’s leading high-tech companies.

With the thought of continuing his fruit farming elsewhere in California, Leo began searching the Central Valley where some of his former neighbors had previously relocated. After looking in vain for several months, his attention was diverted to Sonoma County. An uncle, who was already farming there, suggested that he look at a ranch that was for sale. The property was comprised of 117 acres of prune and apple trees, and about 50 acres of unusually mature grapevines. In fact, these vines were planted back in the 1880s and were producing small yields of highly concentrated, excellent quality fruit. With the purchase of the ranch in 1959, Leo Trentadue had suddenly become a grape farmer.

Under the watchful eye of Leo’s father, Joseph who was a veteran winemaker, they began removing prunes and apples and planting grapes. These vines were among the very first to be planted in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. Those “new” plantings today are more than 40 years old, and the “old” vines are more than 100 years old!

Over the next ten years, the Trentadues added over one hundred additional acres and planted a multitude of varietals. All of the grapes were sold to neighboring wineries. “We’ve been selling fruit to wineries like Ridge, Seghesio and Asti for years,” reveals Leo. “They all encouraged me to start my own winery and finally I did,” he explains. In 1969 he converted an old barn on the property into a makeshift winery until a permanent structure was built several years later. “We were just playing around at first,” he says half kidding. “We made about 3,000 gallons of 5 or 6 different varietals and it was snapped up virtually overnight!”

Knowing they were on to something, Leo continued to expand the winery operation. Amazingly, at one point Trentadue Winery had 23 different wines offered for sale! In 1990 the winery replaced all of their old winemaking equipment with state-of-the-art machinery. They brought in all new barrels, hired a new winemaker and down to the last detail, redesigned their label. A smart decision was made to pare the wine offerings down to a more manageable seven.

Today, Trentadue Winery is still 100% family owned. Leo Trentadue and wife, Evelyn are both still active in the winery. Their son Victor oversees the vineyards as well as the winery day-to-day operations. One of their two daughters, Annette, works in the tasting room and helps organize special winery events. Both Victor and Annette have children who also occasionally work at the winery, starting a fourth generation of Trentadue Winery history.

Wine industry veteran Miro Tcholakov (Meer-oh Choe-la-kawv) handles the winery’s 15,000 case production of mostly red wines. Trentadue is a high quality producer of primarily, Zinfandel, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petite Sirah and a special red blend they call “Old Patch Red.” Growing our family winery continues to be a great adventure,” says an obviously proud Leo Trentadue.




Trentadue Italian Meatballs


Ingredients

A classic Italian dish and a Trentadue family favorite, Italian Meatballs with Tomato & Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce, are the perfect comfort food. This dish can be prepared ahead of time — once cooked you can even freeze the meatballs — and then simmered in a crockpot over an afternoon. Have some friends over and serve these meatballs as an appetizer or as a main dish over pasta or with freshly baked bread. Makes: 30 Meatballs and 3 quarts of Sauce Cooking Time: 50 minutes for meatballs; 2 hours for sauce.

2 pounds. ground chuck
1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
3/4 cup Parmesean cheese, finely grated
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


Instructions

Mix together all ingredients (except the ground chuck and beef broth) in a large mixing bowl. Then add the ground chuck and mix thoroughly. To make the meatballs, take about 1 1/2 oz. of meat mixture and shape into balls using two spoons. Arrange meatballs on a baking sheet about 1/4 inch apart. Before baking, cover the bottom of the baking sheet with beef broth. Bake for about 20 minutes at 375 degrees or until the meatball are just cooked through.




Trentadue Tomato & Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce


Ingredients

1 large onion 2 large cloves of garlic
1/2 stalks of celery
3 sprigs of parsley
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 can tomato sauce (16. oz)
1 can whole peeled tomatoes (16 oz.)
1 small package of dried mushrooms
2 cups Trentadue Cabernet Sauvignon (8 oz.)
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon Rosemary
1/2 teaspoon oregano
Salt & pepper to taste


Instructions

Chop onions, garlic, parsley, celery, sage, rosemary & oregano fine. Sauté in olive oil until golden brown. Add tomatoes & tomato sauce. Add approximately 16 oz. of Trentadue Cabernet wine and simmer. Add dry mushrooms, prepared. (To prepare mushrooms, soak mushrooms in cold water and boil in pot until softened. Chop the mushrooms and add these mushrooms and its juice (from the boil) to the above sauce.) Add and spices. Cook slowly for approximately 2 hours. (Do not cover). Makes 3 quarts. Combine sauce and meatballs in a crockpot (or large heavy duty pot) and simmer on low until sauce is well heated and meatballs are cooked through.



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