DeRose Vineyards

Located in Cienega Valley, DeRose Vineyards was founded on land rich in winemaking history. Since 1854, when French immigrant Theophile Vaché began hauling his wine to market in San Juan Bautista, the property has survived several changes in ownership, a few major earthquakes and the age of prohibition. Prized by generations of vintners for its temperate climate and great soil, it is an ideal location for growing wine grapes.

William Palmtag, a German immigrant, acquired the property from Vaché in 1880 and produced wine of such quality as to win silver medals at the 1900 World Exposition in Paris.

Run by only a handful of people over the next 50 years, it was purchased by Almaden Vineyards in 1953 for its red wine production. The wine industry giant changed its focus in the early 1980s and sold the property to Heublein in 1987. It lay dormant in Heublein's hands and was soon put on the market.

The DeRose and Cedolini families, whose ancestors have been making wine for over 10 generations, purchased the vineyards and cellars in 1988 along with partner Ernie Miller. Later, Winemaker Pat DeRose rescued 100 acres of abandoned vines from the clenches of tall weeds and thistles, including about 40 acres planted before 1900. Most of these vines are dry-farmed in deep sandy-loam soils on terraced hillsides. Besides revitalizing the vineyards, the DeRose and Cedolini families downsized the large operation into an ultra-premium artisan winery.

In their first year of production, the family made just 600 gallons of zinfandel, cabernet franc and pinot St. George (now called negrette) under the Cienega Valley Winery label. Production increased to 9,700 gallons in 1990 and is now at 5,000 cases. The ultra-premium DeRose Vineyards label was introduced with the release of the1993 wines.

Situated directly above the San Andreas Fault, DeRose is one of only a few wineries on Earth to have a major fault line dissecting its main building. A plaque declares the site a National Natural Landmark for its strategic positioning while University of California Berkeley seismologists have installed instruments to monitor movement.

The property's largest cellar, four acres in area with a capacity of 37,000 fifty-nine-gallon barrels, was at one time "the world's largest covered wine cellar" according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The winery is also the "oldest existing winery" in the State of California according to well-known wine historian Charles Sullivan.

DeRose Vineyards produces award-winning zinfandel, negrette, cabernet franc and viognier. Every bottle shows depth, intensity and true varietal character. Drinkable upon release or with proper cellaring, they possess the necessary fruit and structure for enjoyment at any level of interest.

This winery truly has it all—history, climate, soil and most importantly, a family dedicated to producing wines their ancestors would be proud of.

Wines By WineMaker
2008 Cabernet Pheffer
SKU Number: 20196374
DeRose Vineyards
Region: California Central Coast
Varietal: Cabernet Pheffer

Price: $25.50 
Member Price: $22.95

Member Save: $2.55

Our Cabernet Pfeffer has aromas of white peppercorns, bright red fruit and vanilla complement this uniquely spicy wine. It rounds the pallet with soft tannins, pepper, cherries replique montre and a hint of pomegranate. It is best enjoyed with cured meats, fowl and pork.

2010 Zinfandel Nick DeRose Sr Vineyard
SKU Number: 62334960
DeRose Vineyards
Region: Cienega Valley
Varietal: Zinfandel

Price: $19.95 
Member Price: $17.95

Member Save: $2.00

Winemaker’s Notes:  

This easy-drinking wine starts with dark berry fragrances that are followed by raspberry and black pepper flavors. All are framed by ripe tannins and soft textures. Finishing long and clean, this medium-to-full bodied wine complements pasta with red sauce or hearty cioppino.



Grapes were chosen from four blocks of estate vines. Situated in a particularly cool part of the property, a six-acre block planted in the early 1980s provides most of the fruit and structure. Its vines are trained on bilateral cordons in very sandy soils.

Three blocks of “old vines” support the blend with depth and intensity. These vines were originally planted on their own roots in the late 1890s. Dry farmed on steep terraced hillsides, they grow in an assortment of soils including a rocky mixture created by the San Andreas Fault and a fine sandy-loam.

Cienega Valley is an elevated pocket in the Gabilan Mountains 1,100 feet above sea level. The Gabilan Range is high enough to protect vines from direct contact with the cold coastal air, but low enough to allow breezes to mitigate the heat of summer afternoons. This temperate climate is well suited to producing big, bold Zinfandels.



Zinfandel clusters were destemmed leaving much of the fruit intact. The must was transferred to open-top stainless steel tanks where fermentations began with texture paint. Temperatures were kept under 88° F. for the 15 to 18 day process. Caps were managed with both pumpovers and punchdowns three or four times daily. Lots were pressed, allowed to undergo secondary fermentation, settled for about two stone paint, blended, and finally aged in French oak barrels for 18 months.


Varietal Composition: 100% Zinfandel swiss replica watches

Appellation:  Cienega Valley

Alcohol:  15.7%

Yield:  two tons per acre

pH:  3.67

Total Acid:  6.0g/L