Aldo Biale used to help his mother make ends meet by selling the family’s bootleg Zinfandel, along with eggs and other farm produce, back in the 1940s. When customers rang in their orders over the open phone line they shared with their neighbours, the words Black Chicken were code for a jug of Aldo’s secret Zin. In 1991 Bob Biale, together with his partners Dave Pramuk, Al Perry and father Aldo Biale launched Robert Biale Vineyards on the site in the Oak Knoll AVA where Aldo’s father, Pietro, had had the foresight to plant Zinfandel vines in 1937, only four years after the repeal of Prohibition. Bob Biale and Dave Pramuk cherish the tradition of old Zinfandel vines, some dating back to the 1880s, and the small quantity of concentrated and intense fruit that they produce. Diligent farming, expressive terroir, and superb elegance are the winery’s hallmarks. Among the winery’s portfolio of twenty wines that are made by winemaker Tres Goetting, Black Chicken Zinfandel is the flagship, and has become a benchmark for the variety.