Review: Trione Vineyards and Winery – Geyserville, CA

Official Review by The Traveling Winers

The Past Repeated for the Trione Family

The Trione family name is no newcomer to the wine industry in Sonoma County, California. Henry Trione, now deceased, rose from the son of an Italian baker immigrant to a successful power broker and beloved philanthropist and started the Trione family on their trajectory in the wine industry by purchasing Geyser Peak Winery from the Schlitz Brewing Co. in 1983. Pouring his tried-and-true business acumen into the struggling winery, Henry and his sons Mark and Victor sold the winery 15 years later turning an 80 million dollar profit.

And even before the Geyser Peak Winery venture, the family has entered the wine industry by way of Vimark Vineyards, a vineyard development company started in 1970. Vimark, owned by Mark and Victor Trione, continues today and has a new venture called Vimark Vineyards Management, a company dedicated to helping vineyard owners with all aspects of their grape-growing business.

The Trione Family – Photo courtesy of Trione Vineyards

With a desire to return to the winery side of the business, Mark and Victor, along with Mark’s daughter Denise Trione Hicks and winemaker Scot Covington open Trione Vineyards and Winery in 2005, putting their name and reputation right out front. Set on a beautiful piece of land in the Alexander Valley, Scot uses the top 3% of Trione’s estate grapes and produces some downright amazing wines.

Trione Tour Guide Using the Stage for Comedic Relief

Our assigned tour guide, Alec Reshefsky, was an interesting fellow, for sure! We learned that he actually was a jeweler in training, worked for the winery and was very passionate and knowledgeable about wine, yet seemed to have missed his calling to become a stand-up comedian. Hey Alec, are you a bit of a confused soul?!

We enjoyed our time so much with Alec that we decided to include a snip-it or two here to share with you. This first video is Alec explaining a bit of history on their 1908 Old Stone Building once used as a working winery that at the time was quite contemporary.

This second video is Alec taking us on a tour of the same building, but presenting the information in his right-funny-form utilizing an apparently much-needed pointer and engaging Miki so much that she couldn’t help herself and broke out in song!

Alec Explaining “Punch Downs”

This was a unique experience that we have not had up to this point – actually seeing the equipment that is used to do a “punch down”. For those of you that don’t know what a “punch down” is let us explain. During the fermentation process, if grape pieces (skins, etc.) are left in the tank, as is usually done during the process of making red wine, they float to the top and form a “cap”. This “cap” needs to be submerged into the juice to minimize the risk of bacteria growing and broken up and submerged in order to extract more of the flavors and colors from the grape skins. The old-fashion way of doing this is by hand, but in order to save a little sweat from your brow and to accomplish this task much more quickly, a large mechanical tool is used. Watch the video to see this tool in action in an empty tank. It demonstrates quite nicely what the tool can accomplish.

Pretty cool, huh? We had never seen this before and had only heard how it was done. It really helps to see it in action!

“Topping Off” Live Demo

And then there is “topping off”. Bare with us as we give it another attempt at describing this process for those that might not be as familiar with it.

So, when wine is left to age in a barrel, some of it will inevitably evaporate. This mysteriously disappearing wine is referred to as “the angel’s share”. Basically, it evaporates because the wine barrel, made out of wood staves is porous and, although negligible, some air does get introduced and can evaporate the wine. Once again, in order to keep bacteria from growing and the wine from oxidizing, it is important to keep the barrels as full as possible during this aging process. This is accomplished by “topping off” the barrels every few weeks or so with some of the wine that has been reserved specifically for this purpose.

Watch the video as one of the winery workers “tops off” the barrels. Notice how careful he is not to waste any wine.

A Perfect Ending to a Fabulous Experience

This video speaks for itself!

Tom Joe
“Hops ‘r Better” Winer

Due to our tasting host, Alec, this was a wonderful experience, as he interspersed anecdotes throughout our wine tasting & tour. The wines weren’t bad either, both elegant & delicious.

“Hippie” Winer

The 2012 Pinot Noir is a delightful wine which carried to my palate hints of cinnamon, prunes and a subtle smokiness. It was smooth and the taste lingered just a bit. I paired this with a veal dish – they complemented one another nicely.

“This Is The Life” Winer

One of my favorite wineries on this trip! I found 3 bottles I just HAD to take home. Their wine is delicious and their dedication to “only the best” is apparent. Wonderful stop! By the way, Alec was fab!

“Timeless” Winer

The Trione Pinot Noir 2012 transported me to the northwest coast with an aroma of the redwood forest. Tasting of dark berries and truffles, this medium bodied wine was smooth and balanced with a lingering of spice on the palate. I would enjoy this wine along with a nice cut of medium rare red meat.



The Winer’s Experience

Intimate, friendly, cozy and welcoming. Don’t be surprised to find the winemakers serving behind the bar. Inviting, with tables and chairs, water fountains, bocce ball, all at your disposal. Distant scenery of vineyards, mountains and historical sites abound. Small, intimate, boutique feel. Only a few knick-knacks for purchase, keeping the focus on the wines at hand.
EXCEPTIONAL! Alec was a natural comedian and seemed to have a photographic memory…SMART! The information he shared with us added to our overall wine knowledge. Again….EXCEPTIONAL! We felt like the really enjoyed having us as guests. From the host (Alec), to the winemaker, to the gents in the winery, they were all there to enhance our experience. Least I sound repetitious….EXCEPTIONAL! Remember that photographic memory that Alec possesses? Well, technical knowledge is just one piece of it!

Vineyard & Winery Information

 Trione Vineyards and Winery  19550 Geyserville Avenue, Geyserville, CA 95441
 Thurs – Mon 10 am – 5 pm
 Check calendar  Yes  $10/3, $20/6 reds
 By appointments  No


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