Our Pestoni Family Estate Winery upholds the high standards and practices of our great-great-grandfather’s winemaking tradition without compromise. From growing to harvest, fermentation to bottling, every step in our process is accomplished by hand to achieve the purest expression of place.
For us, winemaking is not a business; it is our heritage. We are honored to produce premium wines that not only express the distinct personalities of each of our estate vineyards, but also preserve something of our family history.
In 1882, a twenty-four year-old Albino Pestoni immigrated from the small Swiss village near the Italian border where he grew up to the unknown wilds of Napa Valley, California. He first settled next to some cousins in Bell Canyon, an area at the base of Howell Mountain, then referred to derogatorily as ‘Dago Valley.’ Around this time, wealthier and more distinguished vintners such as Frederick Beringer, the Chaix Brothers and Gustave Niebaum were also moving to Napa with dreams of producing wines in this new, lush, uncharted world. Luckily, Albino was undaunted by his competition.
In 1892, he, his wife Maria Madonna and their four sons planted their first vineyard, and built a hand hewn stone and redwood winery to reproduce the wines of their homeland.
Bonded Winery 935 became enormously popular – particularly with other Swiss Italians from the area who would make special trips to Albino’s winery from as far as San Francisco in order to refill their bottles with his fine wines. His were family wines – grown and crafted on the property – and although Albino’s achievements may have gone largely unnoticed at the time, his winery marked the beginning of artisanal winemaking in the Napa Valley.
Albino’s original property on Crystal Springs Road has since been sold to the city of Saint Helena to provide a reservoir. However, his winery still stands as a monument to this artisan’s spirit.
Henry Pestoni would follow in his father's footsteps. He married Lena Domingos, whose family vineyard was on the western slope of Howell Mountain. Joined by her brothers, Henry and Lena would form a vineyard management crew, planting and managing vineyards throughout the upper Napa Valley. This experience taught them how soil, sunlight, rootstock, and varietal selection could affect fruit quality, and as well as one of the most valuable lessons in winemaking: the right grape in the right place. In 1923, Lena and Henry purchased what is known today as the Pestoni Ranch on Whitehall Lane. Here they raised chickens, hogs, dairy cows and continued to farm grapes, make wine, sherry and bootleg brandy. Today, the Pestoni Ranch is home to our Estate Sauvignon Blanc Vineyard.
Lena’s brothers, Uncle Fred and Uncle Manual, acquired the Ehlers’ Estate in 1923 where they bootlegged until Prohibition ended. In 1933 they renamed it Old Mill Winery and produced wines until 1958.
Our Pestoni Family Cabernet Sauvignon is produced from our Three Tears Vineyard on the Eastern slope of Howell Mountain. With elevation that ranges from 1,600 to 2,100 feet above sea level, this estate vineyard sits on a 160 acre estate of which thirteen are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon and three in Merlot. The rocky volcanic soils and weather conditions are challenging, but worth the extra effort as the vineyards produce wines with outstanding flavor, intensity and aging properties.
Our Pestoni Family Merlot is produced from our Three Tears Vineyard on the Eastern slope of Howell Mountain. With elevation that ranges from 1,600 to 2,100 feet above sea level, this estate vineyard sits on a 160 acre estate of which thirteen are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon and three in Merlot. The rocky volcanic soils and weather conditions are challenging, but worth the extra effort as the vineyards produce wines with outstanding flavor, intensity and aging properties.
Domingos Brothers Red is produced from our Three Tears Vineyard on the Eastern slope of Howell Mountain. With elevation that ranges from 1,600 to 2,100 feet above sea level, this estate vineyard sits on a 160 acre estate of which thirteen are planted in Cabernet Sauvignon and three in Merlot. The rocky volcanic soils and weather conditions are challenging, but worth the extra effort as the vineyards produce wines with outstanding flavor, intensity and aging properties.
Our Estate Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of two small Estate vineyards on either side of Highway 29, located only 1/8 of a mile apart, and totaling just three acres. Both vineyards are composed of the same alluvial gravelly loam which is found in some of the best vineyards in Rutherford.
This growing region is one of the best for Cabernet Sauvignon due to ideal soil and climate conditions. Wines of the Rutherford Appellation display the “Rutherford Dust” characteristic that make them distinctive from other Cabernet Sauvignons grown in other areas of the Napa Valley, setting them apart as some of the best in the world.
Our Estate Merlot is sourced exclusively from our Estate vineyard located east of our winery and tasting room in the heart of the Rutherford Appellation.
This growing region is one of the best for Merlot due to ideal soil and climate conditions. Wines of the Rutherford Appellation display characteristics that set them apart as some of the best in the world.
This extraordinary wine started out as an experiment but has now become an institution. When we went to plant this vineyard in front of our winery we noticed that the soil held some truly unique properties, properties that we felt might be well suited for a Sangiovese. We chose clones 2 and 4 and waited….On our first tasting we knew we were right. The “Rutherford dust” had worked its magic on this Italian varietal.
What small amount isn’t snapped up by our wine club is made available only here and in our tasting room.
This wine marks the first time we have blended together grapes from our Howell Mountain vineyard and our two Rutherford Bench estate vineyards. This is a marriage made in heaven; it’s red volcanic mountain soils meets the storied Rutherford Dust.
Our Petite Sirah was made in much the same style as the previous vintages producing a luscious, fruit forward, delicious wine from Spring Creek Vineyard, located in the St. Helena appellation.
The vineyard is on the west side of the Valley floor and benefits from copious direct sunlight during the growing season as well as cool breezes in the afternoon, a perfect situation for Petite Sirah.
The first wines that our family produced in the Napa Valley were known as field blends. Field blends were traditionally single-vineyard wines with multiple varieties of grapes grown, harvested, and fermented together. Our 1892 Field Blend pays homage to this early California winemaking tradition.
Our heritage vineyard in Lake County is planted in Petite Sirah and four of the oldest pre-prohibition clones of Zinfandel in California: Deaver, Dupratt, Nova and our family’s Domingos selection. Sited at an altitude of 2,100 ft., this vineyard is located on some of the youngest red volcanic soils in the continental United States. We harvest and co-ferment these unique clones of Zinfandel together. Petite Sirah and Cabernet Sauvignon are added for additional depth and complexity. 1892 Field Blend stands in testament to the best examples of red wine in this emerging appellation.
Located on the western side of the valley floor in Rutherford, the Pestoni Ranch was planted by Henry and Lena Pestoni in 1923. Today, this same vineyard is planted with Sauvignon Blanc Musque and 317 Clones. This vineyard produces grapes with wonderful fruit intensity, ideal acidity and attractive mineral character which represent the true characteristics of the varietal.
From Sangiovese and Merlot grapes grown on our Rutherford estate, our Rosé is made in the saignée method by "bleeding" juice from tanks prior to fermentation. The juice is inoculated and fermented to dryness in small oak barrels. Prior to bottling, the wine received minimal filtration and fining to preserve the fresh fruit flavors these vineyards are known for.
Exclusive first access to limited production and Pestoni Family library wines.
20% savings on all Pestoni Family wines and merchandise.
Complimentary wine tastings for members and up to five guests when you visit our winery.
Invitations to exclusive Wine Club member events.
Special offers for Wine Club members only.
Winemaker's tasting notes with every shipment.
Ability to add additional Pestoni Family wines to shipments.
Our tasting room is open daily 10am to 4:30pm, excluding major holidays.
Reservations are required for groups of 5 or more.
Reservations for our picnic grounds are required.
Please call 707-963-0544 or email email@example.com to request a reservation.
We are conveniently located on Saint Helena Hwy (HWY 29)
Pestoni Family Estate Winery
1673 St. Helena Hwy South
St. Helena, CA 94574
A descendent of two winemaking families whose roots in Napa Valley reach back nearly a century, Bob Pestoni was expected to follow in his parents´ footsteps. Of course he did become a winemaker – but not at first. Instead, he did what any red-blooded boy in the 1950s did: he rebelled.
In 1963, Bob and his brother Marvin created Upper Valley Disposal Service, becoming the refuse hauler for the upper Napa Valley. Coming from a family of farmers who depended on the land for their survival, they understood and practiced the art of sustainable farming: planting the right crops, observing proper rotation and always striving to achieve a balance with the land. It was these same lessons and values that propelled their introduction of an aggressive recycling program long before it was fashionable.
In the late 1970s two problems began to weigh on the local wine industry. The first: what to do with the pomace, the grape skin, pulp, seeds and stems left over after crushing. At the time, local wineries were dumping it back into their vineyards or at their property´s edge where it would seep into groundwater. The second problem was how to reduce the use of chemical fertilizers, which were also having negative effects on the Napa Valley. Bob began to experiment with an age-old farming practice that had somehow gone out of style: composting. By the 1980s, Upper Valley Recycling was processing nearly all the discarded grape seeds, skins and stems from the Up Valley wineries into compost – an innovation that landed Bob a centerfold appearance in National Geographic Magazine.
In the mid 1990s, Bob and his wife Sylvia were presented with a rare opportunity. A small winery adjacent to their family´s Rutherford property had become available for purchase. Over the years, Bob and Sylvia had always grown grapes on their land, but they had always sold their fruit to other wine producers. They hadn´t been interested in becoming vintners before, but the acquisition of this new property renewed Bob´s admiration for his family´s business – and for his heritage. In 1994, they opened the doors to Rutherford Grove Winery and resumed making the single vineyard, hand-crafted artisanal wines Bob´s father and grandfather had created there for more than a century before him. In 2017, in celebration of their 125th anniversary of Napa Valley winemaking, the winery was renamed Pestoni Family Estate Winery.
Andy began making wine at Rutherford Grove in 1993, overseeing production of many award-winning wines until he departed to focus on his own label, Jelly Jar, in 2011. In spring of 2017, Andy returned to oversee winemaking at Pestoni Family Estate Winery.
“My family has been farming some of these very same vineyards in Napa Valley for over 100 years. By really understanding the distinct personalities of each of our estate vineyards, you learn how to coax the best fruit the land has to offer. I am excited to return to help preserve our family’s dedication to Napa Valley winemaking by producing premium estate wines as my grandfather and great-grandfather once did. ”
PESTONI FAMILY HOWELL MOUNTAIN ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
THREE TEARS VINEYARD
View Tech Sheet
PESTONI FAMILY HOWELL MOUNTAIN ESTATE MERLOT
THREE TEARS VINEYARD
DOMINGOS BROTHERS RED
THREE TEARS VINEYARD
View Tech Sheet
PESTONI FAMILY RUTHERFORD ESTATE CABERNET SAUVIGNON
LONE ACRE & BELLA OAKS LANE
PESTONI FAMILY RUTHERFORD ESTATE MERLOT
RUTHERFORD ESTATE VINEYARD
PESTONI FAMILY ESTATE SANGIOVESE
RUTHERFORD ESTATE VINEYARD
PESTONI FAMILY RISERVA DI FAMIGLIA
View Tech Sheet
RUTHERFORD GROVE ESTATE PETITE SIRAH
PESTONI FAMILY 1892 FIELD BLEND
QUACKENBUSH MOUNTAIN VINEYARD
View Tech Sheet
PESTONI FAMILY RUTHERFORD ESTATE SAUVIGNON BLANC
PESTONI FAMILY ROSE
1673 St. Helena Hwy
Pestoni Family Estate Winery is open seven days a week from 10:00am – 4:30pm. We are closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Easter Sunday, July 4th, and New Year’s Day.
Reservations are required for parties over 5 guests.
PO Box 552
Rutherford, CA 94573