Slow Living Radio is delighted to welcome Victor Trentadue, owner of Trentadue Winery, to tell their inspirational story, with winemaker Miro Tchalokov. Victor will be hosting a fabulous, slow cruise through Europe organized by Sonoma-Napa Wine Cruises owned by Sharion Sadler, who also joins us. Sit back and be slow!
Trentadue Vineyards and Annemarie Morse from the American Wine Society present
Victor Trentadue has wine in his blood. When he bleeds, he bleeds Sangiovese,
because his family has been making wine for hundreds of years.
Victor’s grandfather, Papa Joe, came to America from Bari, a
tiny town on Italy’s boot. in 1913 when he was only 16 years old. Like so many
other immigrants, Papa Joe landed in New York. He couldn’t find work, and was
about to return to his native Italy, when he saw a poster of orange groves in
San Diego. Instead of heading back to Italy, he and a friend took an old Indian
motorcycle with a side car and drove it across the country. He arrived in San
Francisco, where he promptly got a job as a carpenter. A few years later, he
was put in charge of the gingerbread detail work on the War Memorial and Opera
House buildings in San Francisco. During this time, Joe got married and moved
to Santa Clara, where he bought a couple of ranches and started growing
cherries and apricots.
Papa Joe and Friends
Victor’s father, Leo, was born in San Francisco and moved to
Santa Clara as a young child. Leo grew up on the ranch, where he helped his
father farm apricots and cherries until he got drafted into WWII at the age of
18. He served two years in the Army, until he was injured in battle. After
recovering for over a year, Leo returned to Santa Clara to help his father with
the ranch. In the early 1950’s suburbia started encroaching, and Leo and his
wife Evelyn decided to sell the ranch and move to Sonoma County. They chose
Sonoma County because Evelyn had family (originally from Luca, Italy) that
lived in the Dry Creek Valley since the late 1800s. In 1959, the Trentadues
bought the existing ranch in Geyserville. At this time, Victor was only two
years old and his older sister Annette was only six.
Leo on Leave
From the time Victor can remember, he has always worked in
the vineyards. He learned how to drive a tractor at age 8. Leo tied blocks to
the pedals on the tractor so Victor’s short little kid legs could reach them. Victor
and his sister Annette also helped Leo and Papa Joe make wine.
In 1969, Leo decided to get the winery bonded. With help
from Paul Draper, Winemaker of Ridge Vineyards, Trentadue Winery was born. A
lot of hard work and many vintages later, Trentadue Winery is doing better than
ever. The winery and surrounding grounds reflect the family’s Italian roots,
with a villa-like visitor’s center, manicured landscaping and a beautiful event
center that hosts dozens of weddings and events every year.
As he has since
childhood, Victor remains very involved in every aspect of the winery. On any
given day, you may find him in the cellar with the winemaking team, out on the
tractor in the vineyards or working on projects in the maintenance shop.
Victor embodies the personality of an unassuming,
hardworking grape rancher. He works hard and plays hard, too. When he’s not out
on the tractor, he is known for playing practical jokes on his coworkers and he
loves to chat with winery visitors.
Miro Tcholakov Vice President of Winemaking Operations
Victor with Miro (left)
Miro Tcholakov is the Vice President and Director of Winemaking
Operations, overseeing all aspects of winemaking; including custom crush and
bottling. Chiefly responsible for reinvigorating the Trentadue brand when he
came aboard in 1999, Miro has worked tirelessly to take our wines to a new
level of quality and prestige.
Born and raised in northern Bulgaria, a region with many
millennia of winemaking history, he was exposed to wine and winemaking at a
very early age. At his grandfather’s side, he learned how to make wine in the
tradition of the generations that came before him. The combination of Miro’s
early exposure to winemaking, years of study and experience, and passion for
the art makes him a vital part of our winery family.
“Making wine has been a lifelong dream of mine. After completing
my studies in 1990 at the higher Institute of Agriculture in Bulgaria in
Agronomy/Viticulture, I traveled to California on an Exchange program in wine
business. I continued my education by attending Santa Rosa Junior College and
UC Davis, focusing on specific courses in Winemaking and management. My
internship started at Dry Creek Vineyards in the summer of 1990 and in nine
years of employment, I transitioned through the ranks of Cellar Master and
Assistant Winemaker. It was during this time that I fell in love with two
distinctively California varietals; Zinfandel and especially Petite Sirah.
I decided to move on and start my career as a head winemaker,
accepting an offer from Trentadue Winery in 1999 to take over their winemaking
operation. That new opportunity added to my excitement about Zinfandel and
Petite Sirah, which have been two long standing staple varietals at Trentadue.
My passionate love affair with Zin and Petite Sirah lead to my
election to the Board of Directors of ZAP (Zinfandel Advocates and Producers)
and also to the Board of Directors and currently the President of PS(Petite
Sirah) I Love you-a nonprofit organization that I helped establish 13 years
Wine Cruises is excited to host the most exclusive wineries in Napa and Sonoma
on worldwide cruises, featuring some of the most fabulous Winemakers, TV
and Radio wine personalities as well as the worlds finest Sommeliers as hosts
for exclusive wine cruises.
cuisine, culture and enrichment are all part of the luxurious winery hosted
cruises. They feature Seabourn Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Silverseas and SeaDream
Yacht Cruises. Sonoma~ Napa Wine Cruises offers many cruises with pre and post
vacations featuring private and exclusive tours of the most famous wineries