Breaking Bread Winery

Erik Miller, Owner and Winemaker, was inspired to begin this new project by an emerging style of California wines that are lighter in alcohol, crunchy in acidity, and bright in appearance. Miller was originally introduced to this style of wine by Cru Beaujolais and decided to craft his own interpretation of this from his two favorite varietals, Zinfandel and Grenache. The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration), which lends a vibrant, herbaceous character to the wine. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighter bodied red wine that preferably should be served slightly chilled.

Owned and farmed by Alvin Tollini, this Grenache was planted in 2002 and is 100% dry-farmed in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The terrain is defined by its elevation and distinctive soils, which tend to be very red in color and consist of alluvial loam and gravel. The region’s cool evenings extend the growing season well into October. These climate conditions, as well as the fact that the vineyard is dry farmed, enables the grapes to attain physiological maturation at a lower brix level which is ideal for Natural wine.

Zinfandel, Redwood Valley

*2019 Vintage Description*

Vineyard Description:
Owned and farmed by Alvin Tollini, this Zinfandel was planted in 1972 and is 100% dry-farmed in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The terrain is defined by its elevation and distinctive soils, which tend to be very red in color and consist of alluvial loam and gravel. The region’s cool evenings extend the growing season well into October. These climate conditions, as well as the fact that the vineyard is dry farmed, enables the grapes to attain physiological maturation at a lower brix level.

Winemaker Notes:
The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration). Using all native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, all native bacteria for malolactic fermentation, and add no Sulphur throughout fermentation. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighter-bodied red wine. The result is a fresh, crisp wine, that preferably should be served slightly chilled, which has a backbone of acidity and an unmistakable minerality that leaves your palate wanting more.

Varietal: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Redwood Valley
Harvest: October 2019
Fermentation: 100% whole cluster in open top fermenters
Aging: 100% neutral French Oak for 7 months
Alcohol: 13.7%
Case Production: 300

Grenache, Redwood Valley

*2019 Vintage Description*

Vineyard Description:
Owned and farmed by Alvin Tollini, this Grenache was planted in 2002 and is 100% dry-farmed in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The terrain is defined by its elevation and distinctive soils, which tend to be very red in color and consist of alluvial loam and gravel. The region’s cool evenings extend the growing season well into October. These climate conditions, as well as the fact that the vineyard is dry farmed, enables the grapes to attain physiological maturation at a lower brix level.

Winemaker Notes:
The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration). Using all native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, all native bacteria for malolactic fermentation, and add no Sulphur throughout fermentation. The goal is a very hands-off approach to winemaking that highlights the purity of fruit, and deliciousness of a lighter- bodied red wine. The result is a fresh, crisp wine, that preferably should be served slightly chilled, which has a backbone of acidity and an unmistakable minerality that leaves your palate wanting more.

Varietal: 100% Grenache
Appellation: Redwood Valley
Harvest: October 2019
Fermentation: 100% whole cluster in open top fermenters
Aging: 100% Neutral French Oak for 7 months
Alcohol: 13.0%
Case Production: 400

Field Blend Cuvee

*2019 Vintage Description*

Vineyard Description:
This vineyard was planted in 2010 with the old-school mentality of a Zinfandel field blend. All of the heritage vineyards in the Dry Creek Valley were planted in much the same way, which consists of roughly 75% Zinfandel and 25% other varietals. Those other varietals were always made up of a mixture of Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet, with random white varietals interplanted as well. The philosophy was to plant your blend in the vineyard then harvest it all together for maximum complexity and diversity.

Winemaker Notes:
This Field Blend Cuvée was made as a tribute to the heritage of their home in Dry Creek Valley. One hundred years ago in Sonoma County wines were made with little to no intervention or technology. Our natural winemaking approach is one that emulates the style of wines made by these early vintners.

The defining characteristic is whole-cluster fermentation (carbonic maceration). Using all native yeast for spontaneous fermentation, all native bacteria for malolactic fermentation, and add no Sulphur throughout fermentation. Also, in line with the tradition of incorporating white varietals, they chose to co-ferment with Muscat Blanc, for a distinct and unmistakable flavor and aromatics.

Varietals: Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignan, Alicante Bouschet, Muscat Blanc
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Harvest: October 2019
Fermentation: 100% whole cluster in open top fermenters
Aging: 100% Neutral French Oak for 7 months
Alcohol: 12.8%
Case Production: 300

Pet Nat Zinfandel

*2020 Vintage Description*

Vineyard Description:
Mizany Vineyard is a 16-acre vineyard in the famous Cortina Gravel of Dry Creek Valley. When planting the Zinfandel Vineyard, they took a heritage approach and planted a field blend much like the first vineyards planted in the area. The Zinfandel clone is the DuPratt clone on 1103 Paulsen root stalk. The Zinfandel for Pet Nat was picked at 20 brix, which translated into 11.3% alcohol and a zippy acidity.

History of Pet Nat:
Pét Nat, short for Pétillant Naturel, is French for “natural sparkling.” This method of making sparkling wine pre-dates the traditional champagne method, where one takes a fully fermented dry wine and adds yeast and sugar to cause a secondary fermentation. Instead, the Pétillant Naturel method transfers wine that is still in its first fermentation to the bottle. This allows the native yeast to continue fermentation within the bottle and produce carbon dioxide which creates the delicious bubbles we all love.

Winemaker Notes:
Passion fruit and Bing cherry come off the nose of this wine with a distinctive, wet gravel minerality. As you look at the wine in your glass it continues to dance and open up to its more complex flavors and aromatics. The palate on this wine evokes a traditional Champagne in weight and fineness of bubbles; however, the easy-drinking, fruit forward youth of the wine makes it very quaffable.

Varietal: 100% Zinfandel
Appellation: Dry Creek Valley
Harvest: September 2020
Fermentation: 100% native yeasts in stainless & glass bottle
Alcohol: 11.3%

Breaking Bread Winery – Awards & Accolades

Vintage Varietal Reviewer Score
2018 Grenache Wine Enthusiast 88