Our family came from the small village of Coselli near Lucca, Italy. Our great grandfather, Angelo Puccioni, came over on the boat Roma in 1889, and early on worked at Italian Swiss Colony. Angelo purchased the estate ranch in 1904. Zinfandel has been grown on this property continuously since 1904, with many of these 100-year-old vines included in our current Puccioni Vineyards “Old Vine” Zinfandel. Our grandfather, Louie Puccioni, was born on the property in 1906, and my mother, Doreen Puccioni Proctor, was born and raised on the ranch.
Today it is farmed by the 3rd and 4th generations of our family. The Ranch is composed of a small valley with up slopes on each side with elevations from 400 to 1000 feet. The west facing slopes are where the vineyard is located, while the east facing slopes are dominated by majestic Redwood trees. The “Top of the Hill” on the ranch has views of Healdsburg and Mt St Helena. The hillside vineyards are old clone Zinfandel, planted on St George and 1103 Rootstock. All the older planting and most of the new planting are head trained — just as my great grandfather did 100 years ago. We farm our vineyard “sustainably,” respecting the property and doing things in a manner that will allow our vineyard to be producing great wines for the next 100 years and beyond.
Our family used a mule and a plow until the Mule died in 1968 — being the last farmers in Dry Creek to use a mule commercially. My grandfather stubbornly bought a tractor in 1968. But before he did this, he taught Glenn to work the vineyard with a mule at 4 years of age. He had a hard time with the transition, and the first year he attached the walking plow to the tractor and plowed it just like he had always done (but now the mule was a John Deere tractor).
The original Puccioni Winery, operated by my great grandfather, first came into being in 1919 just before prohibition and existed until 1935. They operated it during prohibition with a license from the government. It was bonded winery BW# 1804. During prohibition our family continued to raise grapes and hauled them every other day into San Francisco to sell to Italian families for home winemaking. We continued to sell to many of these families for many years after prohibition.