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2016 Palachchak Zinfandel

2016 Palachchak Zinfandel

Bold –  Spirited –  Lingering

120 yr. old vines, Amador County

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/ 750ml
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Palachchak is the Coast Miwok word for the California Acorn Woodpecker. The bird is named for its ability to drill holes with its beak into trees or softwood (houses or posts) and place the acorn into the hole for food later on in winter and spring.

As for the wine, we do a similar approach by carefully identifying the best lots of zinfandel and syrah after their initial aging. We blend those lots and return the wine back to all neutral French oak barrels for additional aging. The extended aging (24 mos) allows for the full integration of the blend as well as further softening of the grape and oak tannins. Once the wine is bottled, it ages for an additional 2-3 years before it's ready for release–upwards of 5 years of aging! This results in a full-bodied wine that reigns with explosive fruit and structure but with a smooth, velvety finish. Expect this wine to age gracefully well past 10 years after its vintage date.


The 2016 vintage experienced hot weather in July and August but cooled in September. Harvest was normal in mid-September with a normal-sized crop. While not as hot in 2015, the continued drought conditions stressed the vines and kept yields below historic norms for this century-plus vineyard. The wine averaged 14 days of skin contact before being pressed out. The wine aged for a full 24 months in 40% new American & French oak barrels.


65% Picnic Hill Vineyard Zinfandel, 25% Alitia Vineyard Zinfandel, 10% Winddance Farms Syrah

Story Winery Alitia Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1984.  Dry-farmed, head-pruned, organic. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.

Story Vineyards Picnic Hill Vineyard (Zinfandel) - planted c.1896. Dry-farmed, head-pruned, on original rootstock. Planted on 'Sierra soil' (primarily, deep decomposed granite, forming sandy loam, well drained), east-west orientation.

Winddance Farms Vineyard (Syrah) - planted c. 2002. Trellised VSP (Vertical Shoot Position), irrigated. Planted on Aiken soil, (primarily, well drained volcanic soil with deeper clay loam base), north-south orientation.


Aromas of blackberry, nutmeg, cinnamon, and hints of black pepper. Flavors of brambleberry, currants, and cola explode followed by gripping tannins, subtle oak, and a long lingering finish.

Wine Profile
Other Notes
Photo courtesy of Steve Zamek
Wine Specs
California Shenandoah Valley
Vineyard Designation
Picnic Hill, Alitia, Windance Farms
5.75 g/L
24 mos
Bottling Date
Alcohol %