Pellegrini Wine Company
Russian River Valley AVA
The Pellegrini family has been growing grapes and crafting small-lot wines in Sonoma County for four generations, building upon a legacy of artisan viticulture and winemaking in the heart of the Russian River Valley.
In the ever-changing scramble that is today’s modern California wine industry, it is refreshing to be able to feature a wine entity that is almost eighty years old. Such is the case with Sonoma’s Pellegrini Wine Company whose origins trace back to 1925, when founders Nello and Gino Pellegrini brought their Tuscan heritage to Northern California. In 1933, the brothers established the Pellegrini Wine Company and became grape merchants. Grapes were shipped to home winemakers across the country after the repeal of Prohibition. For the next three-plus decades, the Pellegrini Wine Company grew and prospered.
In 1973, Vincent (Nello’s son) Pellegrini and his wife Aida purchased a 70-acre apple and plum orchard just west of Santa Rosa in the Russian River Valley. With incredible foresight and planning, two Burgundian varietals, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, were planted in 1975. The ensuing fruit became one of the primary sources of highest quality fruit in California. The likes of iconic Williams Selyem Winery, Merry Edwards Winery, Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery and Darioush Winery were customers of Vincent’s son Robert Pellegrini who had taken charge of the vineyards and winery.
Robert Pellegrini credits his grandfather for inspiring him to open the family winery, but he had also traveled through Burgundy and had an epiphany about Burgundian wines during his travels. He knew right then what he had to do.
Robert Pellegrini decided to name the vineyard Olivet Lane after a grove of old olive trees that line the vineyard's east entrance.
The first release of Pellegrini wines came in 1977, roughly 2,000 cases of mixed estate and sourced wines. The Pinot Noir explosion had not yet materialized but the wines were considered to be of elevated quality and the public reception was exceptional.
For the following four decades, Robert Pellegrini farmed the incredible soils of the Russian River Estate. The third generation wine veteran watched his beloved Pinot Noir become accepted and praised by the hierarchy of the wine world, much to his personal delight.
"When we started out, Chardonnay was already accepted as a premier varietal, but Pinot Noir was completely different," Pellegrini recalls. "We have stuck with our original plans and now our Estate Chardonnay and Estate Pinot Noir are among the best wines produced in California," he added.
The Pellegrinis are joined by Winemaker Charlie Fauroat, who brings a wealth of knowledge and winemaking experience to the family winery. Charlie has been with Pellegrini Wine Co. since 2013 and over the years worked his way up from cellar master to assistant winemaker, and finally to winemaker. A Ventura, California native, Charlie earned his Wine Business degree from Sonoma State University and has cellar experience at Vavasour Winery (New Zealand), Bird in Hand (South Australia), and Williams Selyem and DuMol (Russian River Valley). He feels privileged and excited to share his passion for making wines representative of a place and time.
Robert Pellegrini is also quite proud of the fourth generation of his family in the wine business. He recently passed the reins to his daughter, Alexia, in 2017, and she now oversees and guides business operations, continuing to build upon the legacy of the Pellegrini name. Alexia's interest in following in her ancestors' footsteps was sparked by harvest internships at Penfolds in Australia and St. Francis Winery in Kenwood, California. Over the years, she has assisted her family winery with wine sales and distribution, while also working in the cellar and tasting room. Her degrees include a Certificate in Wine Sales and Marketing from Santa Rosa Junior College, a bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from Art Center College of Design, and an MBA in Wine Business Management from Sonoma State University.
Pellegrini Wine Company is a venerable wine institution in the heart of the Russian River Valley. The Pellegrini family is dedicated to making small-lot wines and handcrafting vineyard designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while using old-world artisan winemaking methods. We are happy to introduce this luminary winery to our Pinot Noir Wine Club members. Cheers!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I am pleased to present our Olivet Lane Vineyard, estate bottled, Chardonnay.
Olivet Lane was planted by my family in 1975 and has, over the years, been the source of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for the Pellegrini Wine Company and to some of Russian River Valley’s most respected winemakers. Originally planted to a selection of Wente clone, these venerable old vines, for the most part, are over forty years old. Yields are naturally low, but the highly prized fruit is capable of producing wines of exceptional depth and character. For these reasons, Olivet Lane is considered one of the region’s most iconic heritage vineyard sites.
This 2013 vintage, made under the direction of our winemaker, Lynn Krausmann, exhibits seamless balance, elegance and nuance. It is a classic example of Russian River Valley Chardonnay with fine sensory elements and a structure that will reward additional bottle age.
Above all, I hope you enjoy this Chardonnay as a complement to a most enjoyable dining experience, now or in the future.
President & CEO