For nearly a year, the new owners of Renwood Winery in Amador County's Shenandoah Valley have remained pretty mum on their plans for the site. Early on, however, they did indicate that they would continue Renwood's long commitment to vineyard-designated zinfandels.
They didn't indicate, however, that they'd be going to at least one region far from the foothills for zinfandel, nor that their plans to raise the varietal's stature would involve selling it for $100 a bottle.
Jamie Lubenko, Renwood's newly hired marketing and communications director, confirms that the winery's expanding lineup includes "a few Dry Creek designates." She adds: "And yes, we do have wines in our portfolio that will retail near $100." Renwood's new package and new wines won't be released until June or July, to be followed by a new tasting room in August. Despite the allure of Dry Creek Valley zinfandel, Renwood, noted Lubenko, isn't retreating from its focus on Amador County grapes. "I will briefly say that we are extremely committed to this region and Renwood’s future as a premier zinfandel house."
At El Dorado, the ripe, juicy and rigid Renwood 2010 Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel lost out in voting for best red wine to the spirited and complex Thomas Coyne Winery 2010 California Quest, a proprietary blend that included such traditional Rhone Valley varieties as grenache, mourvedre and syrah. Quest, which sells for a suggested retail price of $15, went on to be named the competition's overall best wine.
About a year ago, Ren Acquisition Inc., a privately held company chaired by Alejandro Pedro Bulgheroni, an Argentine whose wealth was built largely on oil and gas exploitation, purchased Renwood for about $7 million.