Napa Valley Wine Tours: Robert Biale Vineyards
Mar. 5, 2018 | by Jim Beazley
When the founder’s son, Aldo Biale, was running his family’s Napa Valley farm in 1942 he and his mama sold mostly vegetables, walnuts and eggs. But they also had “heritage vineyards of Zinfandel” and made what became a very popular wine.
Since the Biale’s phone was on a “party line” and because wine production then, as now was highly regulated, Aldo cleverly developed a code name for his much in demand Zinfandel, “black chicken.”
Soon orders for two dozen eggs, some zucchini, prunes, walnuts included a “black chicken,” AKA, jug of Aldo’s homemade Zin.
Fast forward a life time of 70 plus years and you can still get some of this legendary juice at a sweet little family vineyard just north of the Beazley House on Big Ranch Road. Founded by son Robert Biale in 1991, his vineyards produce what has become a reference point Zinfandel among wine writers, sommeliers, and Zinfandel lovers all asking for that Black Chicken!
This is Biale at its most relaxed with a generous tasting for $30 per person hosted by an affable wine educator guiding your through the fine points of appreciating world class Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Biale’s rare blends.
The Founders Tour, for up to 8 guests ($50 each) is available once a week, Friday mornings at 10 a.m. and offers a “deep dive” into all things Biale, including wine directly from the barrel of a future wine and a taste through currently released wines.
The “Zinner Sanctum” is for those looking to taste and purchase rare wines cellared all around you in a hidden library in the barrel room. There will be a comparative tasting of current wines matched with past vintages. This is offered daily at 10 am and 1 pm for $60 per taster.
“The Aldo’s House experience” is a genuine visit in a rural Napa family home. This secluded venue on the Biale winery property affords guests the chance to be immersed in the bygone days. You’ll gather to leisurely taste a selection of current vintages paired with a selected artisan cheeses. Surrounded by stories and memories of the Biale family you’ll learn about their many Napa Valley vineyards and literally “taste the fruit” of their labors. This unique experience is offered daily at 10 am and 1 pm for $75 per person.