Located in the Sierra Foothills, Renwood Winery is known for Zinfandel. Originally established in 1993, in 2012 we became part of a privately-held, family-owned international portfolio of wineries that includes properties in the Mendoza region of Argentina, Uruguay, France’s Bordeaux, and Tuscany in Italy.
This international flavor gives Joe Shebl, our winemaker, an amazing opportunity to share ideas and concepts on winemaking and vineyard management with colleagues from around the globe including renowned winemakers Carlos Pulenta of Argentina and Italian Alberto Antonini.
For Joe, his focus remains squarely on handcrafting zesty and opulent Zinfandels as well as a few specialty varietals from the Amador County region. These limited production wines are available to Wine Club members and in our TastingRoom.
Joe Shebl,Director of Winemaking
Joe joined Renwood in July of 2013, returning to the winery where he began his career 15 years earlier. Joe came onto the Amador County wine-making scene in 1999 after completing his degree in Biology and Chemistry at Sacramento State University.
He has become one of the most sought after winemakers in the region, further expanded with the honor of being selected by Wine Enthusiast magazine as one of America’s Top 40 Under 40 highlighting America’s leaders in the beverage culture. He has worked for a number of renowned Amador County wineries where he honed his skills and cultivated a reputation as an innovative winemaker whose passion and enthusiasm is contagious.
“Zinfandel can be delicate and graceful or a big monster of a wine,” Shebl said. “I try to balance those two with ﬁnesse and fresh vibrant fruit.” Joe’s ability to combine the science of wine-making with the art has made him an expert in producing Zinfandel wines acclaimed for their powerful fruit, opulence, judicious use of new French oak, and silky smooth mouth-feel.
"My approach has always been to let the vineyard do the 'work' and we shepherd the grapes through careful irrigation and canopy management, research and experience, and understanding of how each vineyard block 'speaks.' Fortunately, at Renwood, we've been able to handcraft great wines using this as our constant guide."
Carlos Pulenta,Consulting Winemaker
Carlos Pulenta is a board member and advisor to Renwood. Carlos, whose father is among the pioneers of modern Argentinian viticulture, started his own winery in 2004 and quickly proved his dedication to solidifying Argentina’s position within the premium wine market. Most notably, his Vistalba and Tomero wines, featuring Bordeaux style blends as well as single varietal bottlings, have received much international acclaim. Pulenta’s interest in Zinfandel and in wine regions that impart a unique expression of terroir to their top varietals led him to Amador.
“We are interested in growing grapes and making wines in places where we can develop the fullest expression of a varietal,” said Pulenta. “Amador is the place in California to do that for Zinfandel.”
Carlos Pulenta, Consulting Winemaker at Renwood Winery, with Halle Berry at the Argentinian premiere of The Call. - April 8, 2013
Alberto Antonini,Consulting Winemaker
Alberto Antonini blends modern techniques with ancient tradition in the pursuit of premium wine making.
On his own estate called Poggiotondo in Tuscany, Alberto performs in-depth analyses of the soils, to determine the clones best suited to the various microclimates on the property, and replants old plots with new varietals to optimize the quality of the fruit. He has examined existing methods of harvesting and vinification, and implemented methods aimed at enhancing the taste and flavor profiles of the wines. He has introduced the most modern technologies in his wine cellar, to guarantee and preserve the unquestionable quality of the finished product.
Alberto brings to Renwood his expertise and years of international experience and has helped direct and focus our resources solely on improving grape and wine quality.
Born near Florence in Italy’s Tuscany region Alberto Antonini earned a doctorate degree in Agricultural Studies from the University of Florence and a degree in enology from Bordeaux and the University of California at Davis. As senior winemaker for Antinori and Frescobaldi he has earned a reputation as a master vintner.
Alberto also owns Greenstone Vineyards in Heathcote, Australia and consults to international clients in Argentina, southern Italy, Chile, Uruguay, California, South Africa and Portugal.