Sonoma Vintages of 2022: Offering Something a Little Different

Trattore Farms is your Geyserville winery escape. We are nestled in the heart of Sonoma’s Dry Creek Valley and renowned for offering the best wine tasting in the area, including many Sonoma 2022 vintages.

At Trattore Farms, every glass tells a story of tradition, quality, and the vibrant spirit of our winemaking legacy. Keep reading to learn how leaning on alternative wine-making methods can lead to surprising results, what some of our favorite Sonoma vintages of 2022 are, and how you can get your hands on them.

2022 Climate: Ideal Growing Conditions Leading Into Extreme Heat

2022 was a challenging year for Sonoma County winemakers. What started with ideal growing conditions similar to those of 2021 led to an extreme heat wave just before harvest. For the first two weeks of September, high temps reached 115 degrees every day and it was as if everything on the ground was slowly being cooked. Mother Nature is never predictable and two harvest years are never the same. As we watched the vines struggle and the grapes begin to shrink, we quickly came up with an alternative plan.

Turning Negatives Into Positives by Picking on Flavor

Since the extreme heat didn’t allow us to test the grapes for readiness with regards to sugars and pH levels, we had to pick on flavor instead. This means we tasted the grapes and looked for things like:

  • Less green flavors
  • Softening of the acid
  • Seed ripeness (ideally brown and crunchy)
  • Skin ripeness (ideally thin and papery)

While everyone in the area started picking like mad, head winemaker Craig Strehlow was biding his time because his taste tests told him the grapes weren’t ready, and Trattore Farms proprietor Tim Bucher agreed.

Craig explains why you can’t always rely on the numbers:

“There is a craft to [winemaking]. It is a science and we use the science as a guardrail. But the art — for lack of a better word — of this is the sensory perception. It’s being able to check for absences of flaws but also for good flavors.”

Varietals To Watch: Can’t-Miss 2022 Sonoma Vintage Options

When shopping for Sonoma 2022 vintages or scheduling tastings to explore them, you have a lot of options because everything we produced is still available. There are also some unique opportunities to try wines that we don’t always get to create. 

Because of the challenging growing conditions of 2022, we were able to use our artistic liberty to make the right choices for our wine production process, allowing us to produce unique, beautiful, high-quality wines.

Here are some of our favorite Sonoma vintages of 2022.

2022 Estate Zinfandel

Zinfandel is a varietal that can hold up to a lot of heat, so it makes sense that this is a 2022 standout. The grapes start to get a jammy, blackberry flavor that’s quite enjoyable.

The Zinfandel grapes also still had a hint of greenness as they were shut down by the heat, which gives this vintage some complexity with the taste of brambles.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

This 100% Zinfandel wine from our estate came from two blocks picked at different times to make the flavor profile more interesting. The aromatics include blackberry, blueberry, and a hint of brambles. A lovely sweet oak elevates the fruit as well.

Upon tasting, you’ll get blackberry pie, boysenberry, and other dark fruits with good acidity. The nice balance of fruit, oak, and alcohol in this wine produces more of an elegant style for a Dry Creek Zin.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

Zinfandel’s big and bold fruit-forward flavors make it an everyday wine that pairs well with many staple foods, such as:

  • Pizza
  • BBQ ribs
  • Brisket
  • Kabobs
  • Hamburgers
  • Chili

2022 Estate Marsanne

A varietal Marsanne is not something you usually see in white wines — it’s actually pretty rare. But when head winemaker Craig Strehlow came on staff at Trattore Farms in 2018, he was also the vineyard manager and wanted to implement a program of more sustainable farming.

Through composting, eliminating the use of pesticides, and other sustainable practices, the root system health of the vines began to improve. The better the soil is, the better the fruit is, and the Marsanne block was one of the first that was ready for harvest. 

Normally we would have picked those and blended them with our Roussanne grapes, but they were so gorgeous they were begging to be a varietal white — and thus the 2022 Estate Marsanne was born.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

This 2022 Sonoma vintage stands out with its striking color and rich texture. Its bouquet of flavors and scents includes roasted nuts, ripe pears, white peaches, and honeydew melon.

With its unique profile and aging potential, this wine is sure to be a favorite among connoisseurs.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

The 2022 Estate Marsanne is a true food-friendly wine, making it perfect for any pairing. We especially enjoy it with:

  • Rich shellfish like shrimp and lobster
  • Roasted chicken
  • Pan-fried noodles, rice, and curry dishes
  • Basically any cheese

2022 Petite Sirah

It’s not every year that we produce enough Petite Sirah to support a single-varietal wine — but when it does, take note! The unique growing conditions of that year gave us the opportunities to pivot, think on our feet, and create something unique and memorable.

Tasting Notes and Profiles

Our Estate Petite Sirah is a bold and intense varietal. Known for its deep purple hue and robust character, this wine is bursting with blackberry, plum, and dark chocolate flavors. The firm tannins and full body contribute to its impressive structure, while subtle black pepper and spice notes add complexity.

Foods That Pair Well With This Vintage

The 2022 Estate Petite Sirah perfectly pairs with hearty dishes or comfort foods. Try it with:

  • Roasted root vegetables
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Pasta dishes
  • Steak
  • Indian food
  • Aged cheese

Final Thoughts From Our Winemaker

Overall, the  Sonoma wines made in 2022 could be described as a very ripe vintage. Craig explains:

“In that heat, you often get sunburn and raisining. And when you put raisins into your must, it changes the flavor profile to [that of] more dark fruit. It can also lead to higher alcohol wine, which speaks to the perception of brightness.”

Because of the warmer nights, the vines also respired more acid. This riper style and lower acidity potentially lead to a possible higher alcohol volume and less ageable wine.

When the fruit is in really good condition, the wine almost makes itself. But when things get challenging, as with an extreme heat wave, it takes a lot more input to get to the point where the wines are up to our standards. But that’s what we do at Trattore Farms.

If you’d like to try any of our Sonoma vintages from 2022, schedule a wine tasting or tour today and explore our shop.