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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Welcome to Gold Medal Wine Club. America's Leading Independent Wine Club since 1992. Celebrating 20+ Years!
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Trentadue Winery - Alexander Valley

60 Gold Medals, more than 30 Double Gold and Best of Class, and hundreds of Silver Medals

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. The Trentadue farming enterprise completely changed its focus from fruit orchards to grape growing. 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 50 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 and Seghesio 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 five or six 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 twenty-three different wines offered for sale! Then the onslaught came. As California wines became widely popular through the 1970s and 1980s, the competition heated up and wine production in the state mushroomed. “The big wineries with the big money moved in and changed the entire character of the business,” says Leo. Bending with the times, the Trentadues knew they needed to revamp their operation. 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. Trentadue Winery was now lean and mean and ready for the nineties and beyond.

Today, Trentadue Winery is still 100% family owned. Leo Trentadue’s son Victor oversees the vineyards as well as the winery day-to-day operations. Victor literally grew up among the vines, working in the vineyards after school and during harvest for as long as he can remember. Together, Leo and Victor have more than 60 years combined hands-on experience in the vineyards, perhaps more than any other wine producer in the state. Underscoring this expertise is Victor’s responsibility for managing a nearby 188-acre vineyard for Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards. And in 1995, Victor was one of a small handful of vintners chosen to travel to Russia to share information with that country’s emerging wine community. Another member of the Trentadue Winery team is one of their two daughters, Annette, who works as the purchasing manager 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.

  1. Trentadue
    2005 Proprietary Red Blend
    Old Patch Red


    Best of Class - Gold Medals
    id: 590
  2. Trentadue
    2007 Sauvignon Blanc
    Alexander Valley


    Gold Medal
    id: 591
  3. Trentadue
    2005 Cabernet Sauvignon
    Alexander Valley


    Best of Class - Gold Medals
    id: 589

Miro Tcholakov - one of the top 20 winemakers in America

Born and raised in northern Bulgaria, Miro Tcholakov became winemaker at Trentadue Winery in the summer of 1999, and has since produced wines with an unbelievable quantity of accolades from the professional wine press. Trentadue’s cabinets are filled with over 60 Gold Medals, more than 30 Double Gold and Best of Class, and hundreds of Silver Medals! In 2005, Miro was chosen by popular media as one of the top 20 winemakers in America. He also handcrafts wines for his own label, Miro Cellars.

The Trentadue Team

‘Growing our family winery continues to be a great adventure,” says an obviously proud Leo Trentadue. In Italian, the word Trentadue means ‘thirty-two,” thus the 32 designation on the wine label. Speculation is that the family name comes from a group of 32 emigrants who settled in their hometown area of Bari, Italy centuries ago. Leo’s father was born in Italy in the late 1890s. At the age of 16, he and his family came to America at a time of growing strife and threat of war in Europe. After various odd jobs and a stint in the Army, Leo’s father was preparing to go back to his homeland. ‘That’s when he spotted a ‘Come to Sunny California’ poster,” Leo recounts. ‘He had nothing to lose so he went to California and never left!” he adds.

By the mid 1930s he was able to buy some ranch land near San Francisco that he converted to fruit orchards. ‘I grew up working in those orchards,” recalls Leo, ‘most of my childhood, every day after school and every weekend. So at the time I wasn’t real anxious to keep doing that for the rest of my life.” After finishing high school, Leo spent a few years in the Army. Still not entirely enthusiastic about the prospects of farm life, he enrolled at San Jose State University to earn a degree in horology (the science of measuring time and the art of watch making). He subsequently bought a jewelry store and ran it for several years until 1954 when the pull of the land finally brought him back to the family orchard farm. A few years later succumbing to urban sprawl, Leo and his family sold the orchard farm and moved to Sonoma. Leo and his wife Evelyn live on the vineyard property in Sonoma that they purchased in 1959. Although they easily could, they are not interested in becoming a big winery operation like a lot of their neighbors. Their goal is simple: ‘We want to continue making good wines,” states Leo. ‘And maintain the farm lifestyle to which we are accustomed.”

Wine industry veteran Miro Tcholakov (Meer-oh Choe-la-kawv) handles the winemaking. Born in a grape-growing and winemaking area of Bulgaria, Miro’s love of wine began at an early age. As a small boy Miro helped his grandfather work their small family vineyard and make wines. ‘We little boys were thrown in vats of grapes up to our chins. It was hot, sticky and full of bees, but it was the highlight of every year,” says Miro. Before joining Trentadue Winery, Miro worked at Dry Creek Vineyards where he was Cellar Master and then Assistant Winemaker. He acted as liaison between the winemaker and the wine, making sure that the winemaker’s decisions were followed throughout the winemaking. ‘I’m with the wine all the time,” says Miro. ‘I follow its progress from the vine, through crush, fermentation, racking, barrel work, blending, filtration and bottling. Then it’s out of my hands.”

To complement his early induction into winemaking, Miro graduated with high honors from the Higher Institute of Agriculture in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with a degree in viticulture and enology. Since moving to California, Miro has supplemented his experience with courses in red wine production at University of California, Davis, and supervisory management classes at Santa Rosa Junior College in Sonoma County.

Trentadue Winery is primarily a red-wine winery, giving emphasis to Merlot, Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Carignane, Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon and a special red blend they call ‘Old Patch Red.” Conceived almost 20 years ago, Old Patch Red is a unique field blend named for the original 1896 plantings, and some of the vines are still producing today. Recently, the winery introduced a collection of super premium wines they call La Storia, that are crafted from the best grapes available to the winemaker, which are aged in the best oak barrels until the optimum time to release. They currently have a Petite Sirah, Cabernet Sauvignon, a red blend named ‘Cuvee 32,” and a Red Meritage.

About The Region

Trentadue Winery’s 200-acre estate is located in the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma County. Home to over 40 wineries, the Alexander Valley encompasses more than 15,000 vineyard acres and occupies a stunning northern corner of Sonoma County. The region is known for its long, even growing seasons that result in classic fruit forward style wines with supple flavors and distinctive characteristics. Located just an hour north from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Valley maintains a laid back but sophisticated lifestyle with friendly winemakers and growers who are proud and happy to share their winemaking experiences and world-class wines with each other, as well as with visitors passing through.

Trentadue Winery has grapevines dating back to 1886, making it among the very first wineries to plant vines in Sonoma County since the days of Prohibition. They continue to balance the traditions of the area’s early Italian growers and the ever-evolving changes within the viticulture industry. Of the twelve varieties grown on the Alexander Valley estate, special attention is giving to blocks of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Trentadue also practices sustainable agriculture, helping to retain the viability of the estate for generations to come.

Miro's Chicken alla Romana


3 broilers, disjointed
1 tablespoon butter
6 tablespoons olive oil
½ medium onion, chopped fine
3 slices prosciutto, cut small
½ pound mushrooms, diced
1 teaspoon rosemary
½ lemon for juice only
8 oz white wine
Salt, pepper


Melt butter in large frying pan; add oil and chopped onion and cook until onion is slightly brown; add chicken, prosciutto and mushrooms; season to taste. Brown chicken thoroughly over slow fire, turning frequently; add rosemary, juice of ½ lemon and wine; increase heat and cook 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired. Serves 6.

Evelyn’s Chicken and Noodles Cacciatore


For Chicken:
Place a 5 lb young chicken in a large kettle/Dutch Oven with 3 cups of water, 2 stalks of celery (chopped), 1 onion (sliced), and 1 teaspoon salt. Place in oven and steam at 375 degrees for 3 to 4 hours until tender. Cool and remove meat in large pieces, reserving broth.

Four Cacciatore Sauce:
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 No. 2 ½ can tomatoes
12 stuffed olives
4-oz canned mushrooms, sliced
½ cup green pepper, cut in strips
1 teaspoon salt
Dash pepper
¼ teaspoon basil


Combine olive oil, onions and garlic in heavy skillet; cook over low heat gently until soft and golden. Add tomatoes, olives, mushrooms, green pepper, salt, pepper and basil. Continue cooking over low heat about 20 minutes. Skim fat from chicken broth; measure broth and add water to make 5 cups, pour into large saucepan. Bring to a boil; add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 pound package of broad noodles. Bring to boil again; cook 15 to 20 minutes till tender. Drain, place in a shallow two quart casserole. Arrange chicken on noodles; pour over the sauce. Bake in 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Serves 8.