View Blog Archive The Sixteen 600 Blog By Sam Coturri > How I Met Your Mother - A Sonoma Love Story

Category - valentine's day,rhone,phil coturri,love story,new wine
Posted - 02/10/2016 07:21pm
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How I Met Your Mother - A Sonoma Love Story
Valentine Rossi, the secret matchmaker, with the most romantic name in Sonoma


UPDATE: Celebrate Valentine's Day with Sixteen 600-
At the Tasting House with an exclusive 5 course Sushi and Ramen dinner-Valentine's Day Sushi Pop-Up.
If you're too far away to make it for dinner just order the Val's Valentine's Day Special.

After poetry and the Grateful Dead, my dad Phil Coturri's, first love is farming.  By the harvest of 1977 he was 25 years old and his farming career was just starting - picking grapes and running a crew at “Val” Rossi's vineyard on Lawndale Road in Kenwood.

The owner of the ranch, Valentine Rossi (1909-1999), was a wise, old-school farmer with a sentimental side. He was born and raised on the ranch and lived there all his life. His father Carlo Rossi (not to be confused with the jug wine salesman) was born in Italy in 1874 and planted the Rossi Vineyard in 1910, a year after his son Val was born.

The “mixed-black” old vines, sweeping vistas and rich history have long made the Rossi Ranch an iconic Sonoma Valley site, but to me its significance is much more personal.

This bucolic property, a throwback to Sonoma’s bygone era – is the setting for how Phil met my mother, Arden.

The vineyard stands astride Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley – the crossroads into Sonoma Valley that Jack London acclaims in the Valley of the Moon–

"This is called Bennett Valley. You cross a divide from it and come out at Glen Ellen. Now this is a mighty pretty valley, if anybody should ask you. An’ that’s some nifty mountain over there.”

In a twist of fate worthy of a great novelist, Arden, a young transplant from New Jersey, had just moved to the top of Moon Mountain and was looking for work. She heard that some guy named Phil Coturri was running a harvest crew, so she showed up at Val's property to work the pick. That afternoon, Val sent Phil and Arden to a remote section of the vineyard, where the oldest vines were.  The pair only filled two boxes of grapes all afternoon, but Val clearly knew something before anyone else did.

My parents wouldn’t marry for another 5 years but when old man Rossi sent my mom her W-2 from that year’s harvest he included a note coyly asking “Are you a Mrs. or still amiss?”

Phil returned to farming the Rossi Ranch in 2012. Though Val Rossi is long gone, the new owner shares his dedication to growing great grapes and is equally committed to maintaining the history and historical vines of this first growth Sonoma property.

Starting with the 2013 vintage, our flagship rhone-style blend L’Hommage a Galet has been sourced from Rossi Ranch. We made just 140 cases of the 2013 Rossi Hommage field blend- about 45% Mourvedre, 32% Grenache and 23% Syrah This wine lives up to the great potential these varietals have in Sonoma Valley in general and at this site in particular.

We aren’t going to release the 2013 Rossi Hommage for a few months, but in celebration of Valentine (Rossi’s) Day and this great Sonoma love story, for the rest of February we are offering an opportunity to pre-purchase this wine. We will be pouring sneak peek tastes of the Rossi Hommage and our extremely limited production Rose au Galet all Valentine’s weekend long in our appointment only Tasting House.

To make a tasting appointment, please call 707-721-1805 or email me at

Cheers and Happy Valentine's (Rossi) Day!

Sam Coturri

Add a Comment
Comment posted by Wendy on 02/11/2016
Love this story, brought tears to me eyes.
Comment posted by Amig on 02/11/2016
Great romantic tale. Thanks Sam
Comment posted by Kelly Mangianitini on 02/11/2016
I love this story about your parents! I remember as a kid playing with you and your brother and I have a huge memory of your lovely mother. What a great story! If I was in the Country I would love some! If you happen to know of anyone coming To Rome, Italy have them sneak a bottle over for me! :D If not, I will have to wiat for my next visit to the Moon Valley!