Tonti Family Wines
Sonoma County region
One of newest up-and-coming wineries in the region
Peter Tonti was introduced to the world of wine at a very young age. As a boy in Columbus, Ohio, Peter would watch his Italian father make wine with an old hand-cranked press and a half-dozen wine barrels in their family basement (his father was originally from Forli del Sannio, a small village in Italy’s Abruzzo region). He didn’t produce much wine - just enough for the family to enjoy with their dinners each night - but the tradition instilled in Peter a lifelong dream to honor his father’s vision and to someday establish a family winery of his own.
“Wine has been an integral part of my life since I can remember,” recalled Tonti during a recent interview. “My family moved to California when I was twelve and I have been exposed to wine and the wine country since that time.”
Before starting Tonti Family Wines in 2014, Peter Tonti held several careers, most notably as a business consultant and real estate developer. He also served on the board of Worldwide Golf, running their franchise division, and at one point he even acquired two Portuguese cork companies, which introduced him to many wineries with whom he still maintains relationships today. Peter’s extensive business experience makes him an incredibly well rounded individual and it was with great excitement and anticipation that in 2014 he finally built the family winery he had always dreamed of.
Tonti Family Wines released its inaugural wine in 2015, a 2012 Old Vine Zinfandel produced from fruit sourced from several sites in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. Peter worked closely with award-winning winemaker Gus Gamba (of Gamba Vineyards and Winery) to craft this first release and couldn’t be happier with the result. The wine received some great attention and it was a clear indication of the caliber of wines Peter Tonti planned to produce with his namesake winery. Gus Gamba continues to serve as the winery’s consulting winemaker today.
After an excellent initial response, Tonti Family Wines has continued its progress and now produces Zinfandels exclusively from a Russian River Valley vineyard that was planted in the early 1900’s. The location is on the eastern edge of the Valley that features gently rolling bench land, just above the valley floor. Zinfandel is the principal varietal planted here and the plot’s longevity assures it’s ‘Old Vine Zinfandel’ status. Tonti Family Wines farms the vines organically to assure the highest quality of fruit is achieved each vintage.
Tonti Family Wines has remained a small operation and we are happy to share this rising star winery with our Garagiste Wine Club members. Enjoy!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
Our story starts with my dad Michael back in Columbus, Ohio. As an Italian immigrant, he brought his love for making wine with him from the old country. As a boy, I remembered him making wine with an old hand cranked press and a half dozen barrels in the basement. He wasn’t producing all that much, but he made sure we always had 3 fingers of wine with our dinner, every day. I refer to this on my back label.
Today, I’m honoring my father’s vision and my lifelong dream with Tonti Family Wines. Thanks to the help of some great vineyard owners and winemakers, this offering, the 2013 Tonti Family Reserve Old Vine Zinfandel from the Russian River Valley, has already exceeded our wildest expectations.
This wine was aged in American oak barrels for 18 months. Since its bottling, only 333 cases in July, and its release to the public in August, it has been awarded 94 Points – Exceptional from Beverage Testing Institute, and 92 Points from Anthony Dias Blue.
Our vineyards have been maintained with loving care by the same Italian family for six generations. Great wine starts in the vineyard, where these 100-year-old roots rest on the eastern edge of the beautiful Russian River Valley on gently rolling bench land above the valley floor, where they are bathed in sunshine during the day with cool nights.
This wine is being enjoyed from New York to California and from Florida to Washington State. I trust you will enjoy it as well.
Best wishes from the Tonti Family,
Peter Tonti, Founder
Tonti Family Wines