2017 Demostene Ranch

2017 Demostene Ranch

Wine Information

61% Zinfandel, 39% Carignane




Demostene Ranch


Alexander Valley

Alcohol By Volume


Winemaker Tasting Notes

Rich black currant and cherry blossom on the nose with hints of fresh sage. Well-balanced with nicely integrated tannins. Bright and lively on the palate with a long finish. JO (3/21)

Vintage Notes

Typically harvested in two picks, first the zinfandel then the carignane, in 2017 heat throughout August hastened ripening and we picked both together on August 30. Higher yields from the zinfandel meant more ripe flavors and a full bodied wine. Fourteen months aging in American oak has incorporated fruit, tannins and acid. Robust, but elegant, this wine can be consumed upon release and will evolve over the next eight years.


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 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 knows about growing grapes. Leisa and Ward continue the family legacy, giving special attention to that block of old vine zinfandel and carignane.

Growing Season

Rainfall: 61.5 inches (above normal)
Bloom: May
Weather: A wet winter gave us the much needed rains. Cool weather in the spring affected set across all varieties. Several heat spikes in late June, July and August saw temperatures over 105 degrees. Harvest started before the Labor Day heat wave hit; we quickly finished harvesting by mid-September.


Harvest Dates: 30 August
Grapes: Average Brix 25.9˚
TA: 5.99 g/L
pH: 3.86
Fermentation: Grapes de-stemmed and crushed, pumped over a floating cap twice daily. Pressed at eight days.
Barrels: 100% air-dried American oak barrels (15% new, 15% one year-old, 25% two years-old, 25% three years-old, and 20% four years-old).
Aging: Fourteen months in barrel

Hand-harvested grapes fermented on the indigenous yeast, followed by full malolactic on the naturally occurring malolactic bacteria; minimum effective sulfur for this wine (35 ppm at crush, 73 ppm over the course of aging); pad filtered at bottling. In keeping with our philosophy of minimal intervention, this is the sum of our actions.

Food Pairings

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