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A Tale of Two Families: Shannon Ridge Buys Giannecchini Vineyard

Clouds over the Talmage Bench

Shannon Ridge Family of Wines is pleased to announce the purchase of the long-revered Giannecchini Vineyard for the continued stewardship and enjoyment of its outstanding red wine grape varietals.

Vineyard Appellation and Attributes: Talmage Bench AVA

“I am very interested in the Talmage Bench Area in Mendocino county.” remarked Clay Shannon, President and CEO. “The soil and climate for growing ultra-premium wine grapes is incredible.” Known for its gravelly, loam soils and long history of agriculture, the coveted 27-acre vineyard boasts Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Sangiovese perched off the valley floor.

AVA Map for Mendocino County

“High soil calcium and lower magnesium levels with balanced potassium will produce silky, velvety, dark, mineral-driven fruit with balanced tannins,” Clay explained. He has high hopes the vineyard will yield some of his personal favorites. “The soils complement many of the better Vineyard sites in the world where I have grown to love the wines.”

History: Four Generations of Cultivation

Purchased from 4th generation owner, Steve Giannecchini, this ranch has been in Steve’s family since the 1900’s. Unwilling to receive such a legacy lightly, Clay and Angie Shannon took time to learn more about Giannecchini’s family history.

Steve’s maternal great grandfather, Simone Guidi, immigrated from Lucca in Tuscany, Italy, and planted the vineyard sometime between 1910-1920. Living to be 100 years old, Mr. Guidi resided in the old house on the west side of the property which had also served as a winery and a general store over the years.

Much of the vineyard was planted in the 1950’s. Sections of the vineyard have been replanted over the years and continue to be flourishing old vines today. Approximately 15 acres of original head pruned Zinfandel and Petite Sirah grafted on St. George rootstock have been dry farmed for more than 75 years. Shannon Ridge plans to maintain these techniques.

Sustainability and Giannecchini’s Future

Giannecchini Vineyard's outstanding red wine grapes

Giannecchini Vineyard is known for its dry-farmed Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Sangiovese.

Clay’s aptitude for sustainable farming practices made Giannecchini Vineyard a natural choice. Fans of Shannon Ridge’s conscientious approach to farming will find practices consistent with the stellar reputation and farming techniques Giannecchini has already enjoyed over the years.

“Knowing the rich Italian history of the farming area and the fact there is dry farmed Old Vine Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese on the site, we jumped at the opportunity to purchase the Giannecchini Vineyard,” Clay beamed. “We are organically farming this ranch in an effort to be certified organic within the next 3 years.”

“We will grow incredible wine from this site and plan on putting it in its own brand very soon.”

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