Nalle Winery is located in the Dry Creek Valley AVA in Northern Sonoma County. Owners Doug and Lee Nalle are best known for Zinfandel but also make Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Doug is the winemaker, and his older son, Andrew, is his assistant during production. In and era when 16%+ Zins are not unheard of, Nalle aims for balance and usually keeps alcohol levels under 14%.
The winery is not subject to marketing whims, and has persisted with their style even as high alcohol levels have become popular with the U.S. public. While many California Zinfandels are aged in American oak, Nalle only uses French barrels. This contributes to the wine’s reputation for finesse.
Doug Nalle has been in the wine industry since 1973 when he started as a cellar worker for Chateau Souverain. During his early career, he was deeply influenced by Dick Arrowood.
In 1979, Doug graduated with a Master’s Degree in Enology from UC Davis. Between 1979 and 1983, he honed his winemaking skills with John Kongsgaard at Balverne Winery in the Chalk Hill wine region. Mr. Nalle was also instrumental in establishing Quivira in the Dry Creek Valley AVA.
The winery is located in a building referred to as, “the potato bunker.” It is a half cylinder that is covered with several feet of dirt and rosemary bushes. The winery stays remarkably cool even during the heat of summer.
Bob Johnson designs the labels for Nalle. He owns Johnson Design Company and has also done work for Stags Leap Cellars, Seghesio Winery, Kendall Jackson, Smoking Loon Winery, and Trinchero Family Estates.