Parducci Family Cellars True Grit


Courtesy of Parducci Family Cellars

Parducci Family Cellars is a pillar in Mendocino winemaking history, the first winery established in 1932 by patriarch Adolph Parducci. By mid-1940s brothers, John and George took over the operation of the winery from their father, Adolph. During the 1950s, 60s, 70s and 80s the winery flourished into a Mendocino recognizable name-brand. By mid-1990s Parduccis relationship with The Teachers Management Investment Group, which became the majority owner of the winery in 1976, was deteriorated. John tried unsuccessfully to buy back his family company and by 1996 he was out, and the company sold.

In 2004, A joint venture between local Mendocino entrepreneur Paul Dolan and the Thornhill family from Texas gave new life to Parducci Family Cellars. Today Mr. Dolan is not longer a partner on the winery, but three generations of the Thornhill family are giving new life to the property. Tim Thornhill, Chief Operating Officer, along with brother Tom and father Tommy are working hard to take this landmark winery back to its roots. Tim’s background as A landscape designer, arborist and horticulturist expert made a statement on the property. Since the Thornhill family took over the estate, quality and production improved, while reducing consumption of natural resources. A smelly retention pond is now a thriving habitat for frogs, ducks and herons. The winery can recycle 100% of the water usage using 20% of the power, also equipped with an extensive array of solar panels. A real sustainable wine growing operation.

The True Grit line up of wines are a true expression of the grape variety and the land where they grow. Each wine on the brand has a suggested retail price of $30, making for an exceptional price/quality ratio.

  • 2013 Reserve Chardonnay: (97% Chardonnay, 2.5 Viognier and .5% Muscat). Cooperage: 20% Barrel-fermented in new oak, 80% stainless steel tank fermentation. Aged in 25% new American oak, 35% new French oak and 40% stainless steel barrels. This elegant Chardonnay shows a nice balance between fruit, acidity, and wood. Green apple, lemon and caramel on the aromas. Lovely dance of ripe pears, pineapple and caramelized apples on the palate. We enjoyed this wine paired with a homemade mac & cheese (Monterrey jack, Colby, Fontina and farmers cheeses, with bacon and seafood mix (shrimps, scallops, and calamari). A spicy touch of red chili pepper flakes and sprinkled with a crust of Parmigiano Reggiano.
  • 2012 Reserve Red: (Predominantly Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Sirah). Cooperage: Aged 29 months, 40% new French oak, 60% Seasoned oak barrels. This approachable red blend shows aromas of ripe plum, vanilla, and hints of spiced rum. On the palate, this wine feels well structured, with pleasant tannins and acidity. Displays flavors of ripe blackberries, plum, baking spices and notes of wood. We enjoyed this wine with thick pork chops seared in the pan and finished in the oven; seasoned with a rub of kosher salt, black pepper, paprika, onion powder, and garlic. We also had a side of roasted fingerling potatoes with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • 2013 Reserve Petite Sirah: (99% Petite Sirah, .5% Syrah and .5% Grenache). Cooperage: Aged 16 months, 14% new American Oak, 18% seasoned American and French oak. This wine has a very expressive bouquet of ripe raspberries, violets, sweet vanilla and notes of coffee bean. On the palate, this well-crated wine feels silky with flavors of ripe dark fruit, black pepper and sautéed mushrooms. This Petite Sirah has pleasant acidity with a deep finish of ripe fruit and toffee flavors and smooth tannins. We enjoyed this wine with a Neapolitan-style pizza topped with pepperoni, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and fennel.
  • 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon: (99.75% Cabernet Sauvignon and .25% Petite Verdot). Cooperage: Aged 16 months, 15% new French oak, 7% new American Oak and 73% neutral barrels. This robust Cabernet Sauvignon shows aromas of dark berries, red currants, toasted wood and hints of eucalyptus and wet slate. On the palate, this wine feels a bit chewy and well-balanced with bold flavors of dark plums, ripe fig, dark berries, and notes of earth. This CabSav is rugged but promising, a bit young but it will develop a softer finish in a couple of years. We enjoyed this wine paired with a top round bison steak, seared on the pan and finished in the oven; seasoned with Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, coriander, cumin and fennel seeds with sauteed onions on top. We topped the dining experience up with as side of “tostones” (fried green plantains). Delicious wine and food pairing!

Courtesy of Parducci Family Cellars and Edgar Solís