Thursday, May 5, 2011

Parducci Tour: Gimme Those Old Time Redwood Tanks

Tim Thornhill and I
About a month ago, I visited Charles Krug winery in preparation for a telephone interview with Peter Mondavi, Jr. for an article I am writing for an environmental publication on organically grown wines.

I was impressed with the fabulous Redwood Room, constructed from old redwood tanks.

I was even more amazed this past weekend, while in Hopland for its Passport festivities, to visit Parducci and interview Parducci owner and Mendocino Wine Co. partner Tim Thornhill to see the incredible redwood tanks at Parducci. I know of no other first and second growth redwood tank farm in the state. (If you do, let me know.)

Apparently Tim, when he bought Parducci around 2003, had the bright idea of selling off the redwood. "Our winemaker practically chained himself to the tanks," said Thornhill, who realized the errors of his ways and has now left the tanks in place. They, of course, no longer impart a wood flavor, being some 40-50 years in age, but remind us of a bygone era.

While Parducci has many things to recommend it (which I will be writing about later) I have to say I found the redwood tanks, in number, size, and vintage, to be absolutely awesome and worth the visit alone. Of course, there was much more to enjoy here, but this is one show stopper on the tour.

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