VINO NOCETO, Shenandoah Valley, Amador County

Suzy and Jim Gullett established Vino Noceto in 1987, the first vintage was 1990.  This 40-acre property where they live, includes olive and walnut trees — hence the name ‘Noceto’ — in the Sierra Foothills, outside Plymouth in the Shenandoah Valley (an hour east of Sacramento).  Turley is a new neighbour, a 5-minute walk down the road at the former Karly Winery.  The California Gold Rush of the 1840s inspired the establishment of many vineyards and wineries, making Amador one of California's oldest winemaking regions. 

Noceto grows 5 Tuscan Sangiovese clones — acquired by conventional methods, or by ‘suitcase’ — including Sangiovese Grosso from Biondi Santi & il Poggione, Sangiovese from Isole e Olena, and Sangioveto from Castello dei Rampolla.  The vineyard also includes Malvasia, Trebbiano & Canaiolo.  Neighbours provide some fruit for Noceto’s ‘classic’ Sangiovese, and for impressive vineyard-designated bottlings of Barbera (Linsteadt vineyard) and Zinfandel (Original Grandpère Vineyard, planted 1860s).  Bobby Gullet works with his parents, and is responsible for sales & marketing.

Noceto’s first vintages were made at borrowed spaces, including Renwood and Folie à Deux.  The Noceto winery was completed for the 1999 harvest with winemaker Rusty Folena, formerly of Renwood/Santino Winery.  Production is about 10,000 cases.  Sustainably farmed with a rigorous waste-reduction and composting program, Noceto was among the first solar-powered wineries in the Sierra Foothills — 100% of the power to the winery and tasting room is solar generated.  We love the authentically Tuscan nature of these wines, which display vibrancy usually absent in California Sangiovese.