The Story of Boatman Ranch

Blog Post


We are proud to introduce our latest zinfandel release from Boatman Ranch. This rocky, terraced vineyard sits in the hills between our Geyserville and Lytton Springs vineyards on the border of Dry Creek and Alexander Valleys. Since our first vintage working with this ranch in 2014, we have been excited about the quality and character of this wine.


Tim Boatman’s grandparents, Emilia & Eugene Moretti, emigrated from the mountain town of San Pellegrinetto, Italy (above Lucca, in the Tuscany region) in the early 1900s. In 1903, Emilia traveled with Tim’s uncle Frank, who was only two years-old at the time, to meet Eugene who was already in America, having arrived two years earlier. Letters Emilia had written tell a story of a treacherous journey, at one point being forced to anchor in the middle of the Atlantic for seven days amidst a powerful storm. They finally arrived at Ellis Island and traveled by train to northern California where they were reunited with their grandfather. Years later, in 1935, Emilia and Eugene were able to acquire a fifty acre ranch that sits in the hills on the border of Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley. Eugene used the property for wood cutting and when he passed away he left the property to Tim’s mother and uncle. Tim purchased the property from them in the mid-sixties, when he was only nineteen years-old. The ranch was undeveloped at the time with no roads, water, or power.

Tim’s father had died tragically in a machinery accident just before Tim purchased the property. He was left only a bulldozer and an old pickup truck. The bulldozer proved instrumental in the future of the ranch. Based on his grandparent’s roots, surrounded by terraced vineyards in the mountains of Italy, Tim had a vision to plant and grow grapes on the hillsides of the property and began developing and planting the ranch in 1972. He obtained the first budwood from a pioneer vineyard located near Lake Sonoma. One-third of the vineyard is planted to this early clone, along with several others including Mendocino, DuPratt, and Primitivo. The vineyard is remarkably steep with the various blocks carved out of the mountain by Tim himself. Tim notes: “Once you cut the ground, you’re married to it.  It’s a done deal, you can’t do it over again. You better get it right. It’s like having a baby. You make it, you take care of it.”

The Boatman Zinfandel is released through our ATP membership program each year. For first access to new vintages, join ATP!


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