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Trentadue Winery exterior.

Trentadue Winery in Geyserville

By Published On: June 22nd, 2023

Interview with winemaker Miro Tcholakov.

Discover the wines produced at Trentadue Winery on your next visit to Sonoma County. Their passionate team welcomes visitors from near and far to sample the fruits of their Estate. Nestled in Geyserville, just north of Healdsburg’s wineries, they offer a selection of tastings that highlight their expertise in winemaking.

Wine tasting on the patio at Trentadue Winery.
Wine tasting on the patio. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

Experience Old World Italian ambiance at Trentadue Winery. With 200 acres of stunning vineyards, vine-covered arbors, serene fountains, lush gardens, towering redwoods, and sprawling lawns, the picturesque grounds are a feast for the senses. We interview winemaker Miro Tcholakov to learn more.

View of the patio from tasting room Trentadue Winery.
View of the patio from tasting room. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

What type of wine do you specialize in?

Trentadue Winemaker Miro Tcholakov: Often we joke here that we specialize in all wines or we specialize in good wines! I make many different wines from about eight different varieties and a few blends.

Historically Trentadue is known for Zinfandel and Petite Sirah and I added to that Sangiovese, Montepulciano and a “Super Tuscan” style blend as well. But our Merlot and Cab are getting equally high scores and recognition.

Trentadue Winery wines.
Assortment of wines. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

Miro Tcholakov: Our new Flatbread and Trentadue Wine tasting has been very popular. It’s $40 per person.

Food and wine pairing at Trentadue Winery.
Flatbread and Trentadue Wine. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

We also offer a Gondola Tour of our vineyards followed by a seated tasting which is very fun during the summer and has been a huge hit!

Trentadue Winery Gondola Tour.
Gondola Tour. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

What makes your wine unique?

Miro Tcholakov: What makes any wine unique is first the terroir and second or equally important- the winemaker who makes the wines.

That has been tested many times – if all is equal the winemaker has the most important role of succeeding or failing. I respect the fruit and all that comes with making the best wine.

Trentadue Winery vineyard in autumn season.
Vineyard in fall. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

Equipment has its place but ultimately the main role in the play is the grapes, yeast, barrels and the winemaker as the director. I push the grapes to their best and take all they have to offer. I am a firm believer that the best wines are mostly made in the vineyard. A great winemaker can make a decent wine from mediocre grapes but never a great wine.

Trentadue Winery La Storia Petite Sirah.
La Storia Petite Sirah. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

The other way around is also true – a mediocre winemaker can ruin great grapes and fail at making great wine from them. Trentadue wines are very consistent in quality and always have the Estate Vineyard distinction. They are concentrated, focused and complex, undeniably new world style but with old world touch of sophistication.

What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your winery?

Miro Tcholakov: That Trentadue makes world class wines, earning consistently high scores and that it is family owned and a great place to spend time with friends and family.

We have been around quietly for many decades and will be hopefully for many more. We are down to earth and unpretentious and we love to entertain.

Trentadue Winery entrance sign.
Entrance sign. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

How did you get started in the wine industry?

Miro Tcholakov: Going back to my early childhood I remember clearly the first time I discovered an early ripening grapes in my grandparents vineyard and how I checked them everyday in anticipation of the best time to pick them.

Winemaking was part of our lives and cherished time growing up. So my grandfather was my inspiration.

Originally I was planning to go to medical school but the plans changed and I went to Agronomy Engineering instead and ended up studying Horticulture specializing in Viticulture. In 1990 I won a place in an exchange program in the US and that is how I started my career.

My first job was as an intern at Dry Creek Vineyards followed by Cellar Master and Assistant Winemaker positions and 9 years later I took the winemaking job at Trentadue.

Trentadue Winery morning vineyard view.
Vineyard in morning. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in the winemaking process?

Miro Tcholakov: Patience and attention to details is perhaps the most important as well as taking that extra step needed without excuses to make the best wine possible.

As time and vintages go by I’ve come to the realization that making wine can be very easy and also extremely hard at the same time if your goal is perfection. Learning never stops.

Trentadue Winery Winemaker Miro Tcholakov.
Winemaker Miro Tcholakov. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

Every vintage no matter how familiar it may look, is very different and unique compared to the previous. Science definitely has its place in winemaking but nothing can replace experience and the so called ”gut feeling” is the best solution most of the time.

Do you remember the first time you fell in love with wine?

Miro Tcholakov: I do not recall a single moment of falling in love with wine. It was more like an accumulation of simple but delicious meals, celebrations with the family, camping with friends, birthday parties etc. The wine glass was omnipresent, never put on a pedestal or being an exception or glorified-just part of the meals and always delicious.

Describe your winemaking approach.

Miro Tcholakov: As I mentioned above, I respect the fruit by preserving as much as possible of the varietal distinction by choosing the proper time of harvesting, proper yeast (if not not uninoculated fermentation), temperature, in general the proper winemaking protocol, barrels and aging time.

All that changes accordingly with every vintage. I do not make “safe” and boring wines even knowing that often there is a risk involved.

We are a small winery and we do not make standard wines.

Trentadue Winery grapevines.
Harvest time. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

What do you love about winemaking?

Miro Tcholakov: I love the seasonality and the lack of monotony. There is alway something new and challenging working at a small family winery. I wear many hats and I truly enjoy that. I can never be chained to a desk. I love the excitement that comes with harvest.

The anticipation, the smell in the air, the rush of adrenaline with the first load of grapes, etc. I love the smell of fermenting grapes and the smell of brand new oak barrels.

I also love tasting my wines with people who share the love and excitement for wine. I love the fact that all that hard work that we do brings joy and happiness to people’s lives.

We make and sell lifestyle.

How does your team help you as a winemaker?

Miro Tcholakov: The team is very important for the overall success. It is a small team of seasoned men with many years of combined experience and a lot of trust between us. That makes the hard work easier and more enjoyable.

Trentadue Winery team member during harvest season.
Harvest team member. Photo Courtesy: Trentadue Winery.

Do you have any winery traditions with your team?

Miro Tcholakov: We have a few, usually involving food. One that comes to mind is that every time we make a new batch of Port we spill some of the High Proof Alcohol on the ground and light it on fire and do a silly dance around it in honor of the “Spiritus Vini”.

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