Our family’s history in Sonoma County dates back to my grandfather, who came from Tuscany in 1904 and worked in many wineries, including the historic Italian Swiss Colony. For decades we grew prunes like most farms in Dry Creek Valley at the time, and in the 1950s, my father Gino Sbragia re-planted the fields on our property to winegrapes, mainly Zinfandel, which I helped tend all through my youth. Gino sold most of the grapes to other wineries, yet kept a small amount to make into wine at home. He had an old-world philosophy that winemaking was a natural process; all you needed for good wine was good land, good grapes, and good techniques. He was right, and that has been my guiding principle since the start of my career.
Gino’s dream was to start a family winery, to make wine from our own grapes with our family name on the label. His dream became mine, and I made a promise to him that I would fulfill it and bring over a century of our family’s hard work into a winery that produces wines that reflect our winemaking heritage here in Dry Creek Valley. In August 2006, we opened the doors to Sbragia Family Vineyards.
After 32 years as the Winemaster at Beringer Vineyard in Napa Valley, I’ve had one foot in Sonoma and the other in Napa. Both areas mean a lot to me
emotionally; I’m more attached to Healdsburg and Dry Creek Valley because it’s where I raised my kids, but the wines that I’ve made at Beringer are like children. Either way, the wines Sbragia Family Vineyards produces from both Sonoma and Napa are intensely personal, an expression of single vineyard terroir, and history that runs through it all.
I’m proud to say my son Adam now makes our wines. He has found the perfect balance of honoring how Gino and I made wine and putting his own stylistic stamp on the bottle. He continues the pedigree of high scores, awards won and a profile of all together big, rich, polished and most importantly, delicious Chardonnays, Zinfandels, and Cabernets.