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Small family owned winery.
In the Varozza Family for ninety six years – the stone and wood winery, built in 1885, and the mostly old vine vineyard are currently owned and operated by Jack Varozza. A total of forty acres, we keep a select amount of premium fruit for the Varozza Vineyards wines, while we sell the balance of our fruit to other premium Napa Valley Wineries. Jack personally oversees the entire vineyard and wine making process with the fruit hand picked at its optimum. Attention to detail and quality in the vineyard comes through in these small production hand crafted wines. They are barrel aged for thirty six months in French oak and released after eighteen to twenty four months in the bottle; we age them so you don’t have to. Our goal is to nurture these sixty year old vines to produce a wine that expresses our love and commitment for this little vineyard that is generations in the making and to take the time needed and not rush the wines so they are ready to drink when you get them. Our wines are produced from blocks three and nine old vine Cabernet Sauvignon and block four old vine Petite Sirah. They are 100% St. Helena Appellation, Estate Grown and a total of 550 cases are produced a year.
The two story stone and wood winery was finished and dedicated in 1885. The owner, Emil Zange, produced wine here from 1885 to 1913 when he sold the winery to Joseph Varozza. Joseph continued to produce wine here until he passed away in 1946. Currently undergoing a seismic retrofit we anticipate use of the winery to begin again in 2008.
Jack and I are very excited to be releasing the first wines made at the Varozza Winery since the late forties. Jack’s grandfather, Joseph Varozza, purchased the twenty seven acre vineyard and winery in 1913. He produced wine in the two story stone and wood winery until he passed away in 1946. Now a total of 37 acres, Jack and I leased the vineyard from his parents in 1999. Four generations have lived and worked here in the vineyard as it is also the location of our home. Most importantly Jack is able to be out taking care of the vineyard on a daily basis. During harvest and bottling Jack’s father Harold and our son Jason are there helping us along with friends and family.
James Varozza, Jack’s great-grandfather, came to the United States from Switzerland. He worked in the bay area finally coming to St. Helena in 1870. He worked in the vineyard at the top of Spring Mountain and also worked at the Bale Grist Mill as a foreman. He and his wife Jennie had three children, Joseph, Meile and Elva. They returned to Switzerland for five years when Joseph was two – only to return to St. Helena five years later. Joseph grew up on Spring Street. He worked at and then purchased the local blacksmith shop and owned 600 acres on what is now Langtree Road. He married his first wife, Mary, and they had three children, Robert, June and James. Mary and James, still an infant, passed in the influenza epidemic of 1903. After an injury that required him to sell the blacksmith shop, Joseph purchased the Pratt Avenue property (then called Hudson Avenue). The winery on the property was built by local artisans in 1885 for Emil Zange. Joseph married his second wife, Mary Rossini (her father Carlo had vineyards and made wine in what is now Bell Canyon) and they raised four children at the ranch, Charlie, Josie, Alice and Harold.
Joseph farmed and made wine here until his death in 1946. Harold was in the service during WWII and never really had a chance to make wine with his father. Mary sold the last of the wines and they began selling the grapes to the other wineries. Harold purchased the ranch from his Mother and continued to take care of the vineyards and sell the grapes. He and his wife, Irene, built a home on the property and Jack was born and raised here. He worked in the vineyard with his Dad and in 1986 moved into the home his Grandfather had purchased and his Father grew up in. He is now raising his son Jason there.