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Tehama Trail Blog

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Sep 2013

They say two heads are better than one. For Tom and Joy Burnham and Jim and Deanna Tomasini, owners of Burnsini Vineyards & Winery in Cottonwood, it turns out four heads are better than two.

Tom and Joy Burnham and Jim and Deanna Tomasini, owners of Burnsini Vineyards & Winery

When the long-time friends and neighbors started growing grapes on the Burnhams’ property nearly 25 years ago, they never dreamed their hobby vineyard would become a successful business and that they would spend their retirement years nurturing grapes and honing the craft of winemaking. But in 2000 Burnsini Vineyards & Winery – a name derived by combining the friends’ surnames – became a bonded winery. It didn’t take long before the hidden jewel became one of Tehama County’s favorite wine tasting destinations.

By combining their individual skills, the Burnhams and Tomasinis continue to turn out wines that rival those produced in Napa County. The family-owned and -operated winery specializes in five varietals: Sangiovese, a sweet and sassy wine that will charm you with its strawberry color and light floral aromas; Zinfandel, a bold Zin with a burst of spicy berry flavors and a mellow, smooth finish; Merlot, a big, fruit-forward wine with a dark chocolate finish; Cabernet Sauvignon, a medium-bodied Cab with remarkable, elegant tannins; and Petite Sirah, a smoky, complex red with a velvety, melt-in-your-mouth finish.

Two blends round out Burnsini’s wine list: Tehama Red, a unique combination of Zinfandel, Cabernet and Petite Sirah; and Friends, a full-bodied red named for the many “vineyard volunteers” who help with harvest each year.

Situated at 700 feet elevation, nearly 10 acres of vineyards thrive in Cottonwood’s rich clay soil. Warm summers and mild winters provide a perfect environment for growing sweet, plump, juicy grapes that are turned into wine on site. From planting and picking to bottling and distributing, the Burnhams and Tomasinis handle every stage of the winemaking process.

All wines are carefully crafted then aged for two years in French and American oak before they are introduced at Burnsini’s much-anticipated release parties. With stately oaks, lush lawns and Mediterranean-inspired gardens as a backdrop, friends, family, neighbors and new-to-Burnsini wine enthusiasts have the opportunity to mingle and mix and meet the farmers who handcraft Burnsini wines.

To arrange a tour and tasting, call (530) 347-4765. Wines are available for purchase at Burnsini Vineyards & Winery located at 19535 Hammers Lane in Cottonwood, or at these local businesses: Kent's Meats & Groceries, Olive Pit, Holiday Quality Foods, Raley’s Supermarket, Liquor Barn and Tops Sunset Marketplace.

For more information, visit


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