Jacuzzi Family Vineyards
California: Sonoma Coast
Originally from the Piedmont region, in Italy, Arneis is a white grape varietal that is most commonly found in the hills of Roero, to the northwest of Alba. In Piemontese, Arneis means, “Little Rascal”. This, given how difficult it is to grow in the region. In the United States, this crisp, floral varietal is seldom grown. In the US, as in Italy, wines made from this varietal tend toward dry and crisp, with a full body and plenty of fruit and floral notes.
Light golden yellow, with perfect clarity and glinting that catch the light as you swirl the wine. After it settles, which it does quickly, tall, closely-spaced tears sweep swiftly down the glas.
Crisp and bright, with steely mixed citrus of lime, lemon and lime zest. Green apple, yellow grapefruit, pineapple, limestone and a most subtle hint of fresh garden herbs follow.
Bright and perfectly balanced between sweet and tart. Flavors of mixed citrus, Granny Smith apple, limestone, white flowers, subtle pineapple mirror the wonderful aroma profile.
Crisp, clean, fresh and lingering with long-lasting flavors that taper off very slowly, leaving behind a wonderful freshness.
What the Winery Says
Arneis, which translates to “little rascal”, can be a difficult grape to grow. Reminiscent of the grapes’ Piemontese home in the foothills of the Italian Alps, ours is grown in a hillside vineyard planted in well-drained, heavy limestone soil. Traditionally used as a blender to diffuse the ruggedness of Nebbiolo, this distinctive medium-bodied aromatic wine has refreshing mandarin orange and lime nuances. Try it with grilled shrimp or pesto over pasta.
These grapes were planted in two California vineyards; one planted in the Sonoma Coast AVA and the other in Paicines. The Sonoma Coast vineyard is located in the Petaluma Gap, an area where the challenging dark adobe soil and cool weather challenges grapes to ripen. In Paicines grapes are planted in heavy, well-drained limestone soil much sought after for grape varieties like Pinot Noir. This Arneis is “deficit irrigated” which means irrigating below full crop-water requirements. This keeps the vine in a slight state of water stress early in its growth period leading to less wood, smaller berries and higher flavor concentration
The grapes were handpicked and de-stemmed without being crushed. The Arneis was immediately pumped to our tank press where the juice was gently squeezed from the berries. Pumped juice flowed to a stainless steel fermenting tank where the wine was chilled and settled for two days. The juice was then racked (decanted) off the grape solids and inoculated with a pure strain of wine yeast. Fermentation proceeded at a cool 50 degrees F to preserve the grape’s lovely fruit character.
Arneis is an ancient variety grown near Alba in Piemonte, Italy. Arneis has been referred to as “Barolo Bianco” and the name means “little rascal” in the regional dialect. The grape can be hard to grow as it is late in ripening and prone to rot.
Refreshing flavors of mandarin orange and lime. Ideal with seafood or pesto on pasta.
- Wine Type
- White Wine
- Harvest Date
- October 8 & 10
- Residual Sugar
About the Winery
Charlie Tsegeletos (pronounced Seg-uh-let-ose) was raised in northern California by Italian and Greek parents. Growing up, his family always had a bottle of wine on the table. He inherited his interest in wine from his great grandfather, Giuppe Guidotti, who in the 1930s grew grapes and made wine in the Guerneville area of Sonoma County, California.
In 1979, Tsegeletos earned his degree in agricultural science and management/plant science from the University of California at Davis . He launched his winemaking career in 1980 at the age of 24 as an apprentice for Pendleton Winery. In 1981, he joined Hacienda Wine Cellars as assistant winemaker in Sonoma , and in 1984 assumed the role of winemaker at D’Agostini Winery. Tsegeletos joined Glen Ellen Winery in 1987 as senior director of winemaking when it was owned by the Benzigers, and then ultimately sold to United Distillers & Vintners. There, he crafted his blending skills and the effects these skills had on wine. He joined the winery in 2002, and is responsible for winemaking and production.
Tsegeletos often lets the grapes guide his style of winemaking. He works closely with vineyard managers to ensure that varietals are planted in locations that will provide optimal acid and sugar levels and express true varietal characteristics. He then hones his winemaking skills to shepherd the wine toward his chosen style. His red wines are big and dark with lots of fruit concentration and delicate oak nuances; white wines are bright and fresh.
Tsegeletos is a professional wine judge, as well as president of the board of directors for the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Association. An avid snow skier and motorcyclist, he resides on an old chicken ranch in the hills of Sonoma with his wife, daughter and an assortment of animals.