Four Generations and Counting: Julie Pedroncelli

Posted on February 23, 2018

by L.M. Archer

I’ll never forget my first trip to Dry Creek Valley. Splayed out silently in the early morning mist like gnarled soldiers on a battlefield stretched acres of old vines, mostly Zinfandel. Like other powerful moments in life, this one merited my full attention. So this is what struggle looks like.

Some struggles produce the sweetest rewards. Pedroncelli Winery understands this. Nearly ninety years of arduous vine tending and meticulous wine making distill down into soulful drams reflective of this thoughtful family’s site.

Recently, Julie Pedroncelli St. John shared her story with me – a story about family, sense of place, sustainability, and devotion to The Mother Clone.

"I sometimes call us the ‘quiet’ Italians – we are very serious and hardworking, take pride in what we do, but egos aren’t inflated. We also had great role models in the form of the first and second generations. They are/were loyal, full of integrity focused on doing the best for family."

Pedroncelli Winery celebrates almost ninety years and four generations of wine IMAG1930growing in Sonoma. Talk a bit about John Pedroncelli, Sr., the patriarch who purchased the first Pedroncelli vineyard in Dry Creek Valley in 1927, endured Prohibition, and witnessed his sons John Jr. and James purchase the winery in 1963. What do you think he would make of the third and fourth generations today, which include 70% women, plus a woman winemaker?