Sobon Estate/Shenandoah Vineyards
The Sobon Family has been active for nearly two decades in winemaking and viticulture. After 20 years as a research scientist in the Silicon Valley, Leon Sobon decided to pursue his most passionate hobby, winemaking. He and his wife, Shirley, established Shenandoah Vineyards in 1977. They moved to the old Steiner Ranch in the historic Shenandoah Valley with their six children, planted a vineyard and converted the old stone garage into a winery. Two sons and a son-in-law now work full-time in the business along with Leon and Shirley.
In 1989 Leon and Shirley acquired nearby D’Agostini Winery, one of the oldest in the state. This winery, which quadrupled their vineyard holdings, was aptly renamed Sobon Estate. Leon’s years as a scientist serve him well in his winemaking. He continues to experiment with new winemaking and viticultural techniques, ultimately striving to make the best Zinfandel in California. Mr. Sobon chose to plant Zinfandel in his Amador County vineyards because he believed that the climate and soil would provide ideal growing conditions for this varietal. Today, Amador is widely recognized as one of the premium growing regions for Zinfandel.
The Zinfandel vines on the Sobon Estate were planted prior to Prohibition. They are all head-pruned, dry-farmed and, like all of the wines Sobon produces, organically grown. The Shenandoah Special Rezerve Zinfandel, is made to achieve a complex, fruit-driven style of wine. The single-vineyard Zinfandels, Cougar Hill, Paul’s Vineyard, Rocky Top and Fiddletown are the pride and joy of the family.
Not satisfied that Zinfandel was the only grape that would thrive in the soils and heat of the Sobon vineyards, Leon set out to prove that Syrah, Sangiovese, Viognier and Cabernet Sauvignon would grow exceptionally well when nurtured properly, too.
Paul Sobon, who is slowly assuming the reins at the estate, recently presented his wines to 150 members of our staff during a company-sponsored wine dinner. He received overwhelmingly positive responses from all who attended. In addition, we experienced firsthand the love and devotion to the land and vines genuinely shown by Paul. The family’s commitment to quality wines and to their customers impressed our company, and a long-lasting partnership, as well as a friendship, has been forged between Total Wine & More and the Sobon family.