Pink and slightly fizzy, white zinfandel wine is one passion of Trinchero Family Estates. The winemaker (formerly Sutter Home Winery) produces a variety of bottles under such labels as Sutter Home, Ménage à Trois, Montevina, Napa Cellars, Sea Glass, Trinity Oaks, and Fre (nonalcoholic). The winery also creates super-premium wine under the Trinchero Napa Valley label, as well as Australian wine brands Angove and Little Boomey. The Trinchero family's interest in winemaking dates to 1947, when it bought a 73-year-old Napa Valley winery that had been dormant since Prohibition. Still family-owned and -operated, chairman Bob Trinchero brought the winery to prominence in the US with a white zfandel in 1972.
Although Trinchero Family Estates is among the largest winemakers to turn red zinfandel grapes into white zin, it has expanded to produce and market a white merlot under the Sutter Home label. The move caters to consumers' sustained interest in upscale merlot wines but preference for blushes. (An estimated two-thirds of wine drinkers drink only white and blush wines.)
Meanwhile, the winemaker continues to specialize in vineyard-designated wines. It holds about 100 acres of estate vines in five Napa Valley appellations. Production reaches about 300 tons of grapes a year, equivalent to 15,000 cases. Trinchero Family Estates has also taken steps to renovate the Folie à Deux winery (acquired in 2004), to make its luxury brand, Trinchero Napa Valley. A hospitality and culinary center, followed by a visitor's center and administrative offices are planned. – less