Every spring our ABC Wine Team embarks on our annual California exploration trip. We travel west in search of new wines that we think our guests will take pleasure in back here in Florida. Hard to believe, it has already been three years since my co-worker Shayne Hebert suggested I make a stop at the Trione Winery since he had read good reviews of their wines.
When we arrived at the winery, we were immediately greeted by Denise Trione and her two mischievous winery dogs. Denise handed us a glass of her mouthwatering sauvignon blanc and then proceeded to give us a quick history lesson of her family winery.
The Trione name has only appeared on the label since 2005, however, her family has played a significant role in the success of Sonoma County for more than four decades. Henry Trione, the family patriarch arrived in Santa Rosa in the 1940s and through his hard work became one of the leading post-war power brokers in Sonoma. Today he is most remembered for his great philanthropy and as a shrewd financier who made a fortune in timber, real estate, banking and wine. Yes, wine has been part of the Trione family legacy since the beginning.
Henry’s sons, Mark and Victor, along with granddaughter, Denise, convinced Henry to start the family winery in 2005. As owners of five ranches with nearly 700 vineyard acres in Russian River, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations the all-important source of grapes would not be a problem.
With some of Sonoma County’s best vineyards at their disposal, the next task would be to find a winemaker. As they still did not have an actual wine making facility of their own they looked for a winemaker who had design, construction and wine production experience - a tall order that Scot Covington filled. The Triones basically gave Scot a blank check and said, “Design your winery.” The current state-of-the-art structure is customized to accommodate small lots of handcrafted wines.
We toured the winery and surrounding vineyards with Scot, Denise and her father Mark, a dedicated farmer of more than forty years in Sonoma. Mark was beaming with pride and quick to point out that his daughter is the real boss around here. He told us that it was Denise who prodded her grandfather to develop the family winery.
Over lunch Denise spoke of her love of being part of a family business and their commitment to the Sonoma County community. The Triones helped shape the landscape of their home in ways that are too numerous to mention. Her grandfather was a man of great humility and he obviously passed this trait along to his sons and granddaughter. It was a delight to feel the passion they have for this Sonoma County gem.
The following wines are available at select ABC Fine Wine & Spirits stores:
Trione Russian River Sauvignon Blanc ($19.99) Crisp and floral with aromas of white peach, tangerine, chive and white pepper. Tropical hints of guava and mango are also present. This wine pairs fantastically with oysters on the half shell or grilled mahi.
Trione Russian River Chardonnay ($28.99) I love this chardonnay and I don’t say that very often. Balance is the key here, possessing both elegance and structure in a classic Russian River style.
Trione Russian River Pinot Noir ($39.99) Aromas of dark cherries, exotic baking spices, green tea and forest floor await you. Silky on the palate with a long savory finish. Try with grilled cedar plank salmon.
Trione Alexander Valley Henry’s Blend ($39.99) This classic Bordeaux style blend is aromatically deep, rich and exciting. Dark berry fruits dominate the palate with soft lingering tannins on the finish.
Trione Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99) Complex aromas of black currants, allspice and a hint of clove. Full-bodied with a velvety texture, smooth tannins and a long finish. Break out the rib-eye steaks for this one.