Born in Italy, Manuel Demostene moved to Healdsburg in 1902, where he found work on Santo Botti’s ranch. Santo died the next year and in 1906 Manuel married his widow, Julia, taking possession of the ranch. Around the same time, Abele Ferrari arrived from Italy and purchased what is now known as the Healdsburg Machine Shop. In 1925, he purchased the run down Soda Rock Winery, refurbishing it after prohibition. Abele’s daughter, Rose, married Manuel’s son, Leo in 1936 and they later helped run Soda Rock winery while raising four children on the property. The couple bought the 113 acre Sausal Ranch in 1956 and continued to buy more nearby land for their two sons, Ed and David. This wine comes from vines planted over one hundred years ago on Ed’s original twenty-five acres. Ed, who passed away in 2015, taught his daughter, Leisa, everything he knew about growing grapes. Leisa continues the family legacy today, giving special attention to that block of old vine zinfandel and carignane from her father’s original plot of land.
Alexander Valley, Sonoma County
3 acres, 100+ years old, 60% zinfandel and 40% carignane
Positas and Manzanita soil. Gravelly loam/gravelly silt
Head trained (no trellis), spur pruned. 2-3 tons per acre