Just as their heritage is innate to California, winemaking is innate to the Sattui family. It’s an insatiable yearning for creation and connection with the vine that courses through their veins and busies their wine-stained hands. And the first Sattui hands to work magic on California grapes nearly 140 years ago were that of Vittorio Sattui, the winery’s pioneer and namesake. Vittorio passed long ago, but his legacy lives on because he dedicated his life to nurturing one of the only things that’s worth chasing and fighting for, the thing that fosters dreams and fuels visionaries, and one of the only things that lives on forever – land, which he captured in his wine. Vittorio’s Vineyard remains the heart of the winery and a testament to the Sattui family’s relentless and galvanizing story in American winemaking.
The Sattuis with their original winery
In 1882, Vittorio and his wife left their home in the hills of Italy, crossed the world to California, and began making wine. As the Sattui family grew, so did their success. Vittorio and his sons were moving wagons of grapes from the untouched region of Saint Helena to their home winery in San Francisco until the Sattuis’ lives came to a halt with the passing of Prohibition in 1920.
Dario perfecting his craft in the Napa Valley
However in 1941, unbeknownst to the family, the winery was resurrected with the birth of Dario, Vittorio’s great-grandson. Dario’s restless hands and Sattui blood longed for the one thing that would suffice, and as soon as he was old enough, he set out to apprentice and finish what Vittorio started. In 1976, he reopened V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena and shortly after adopted the neighboring 34 acres – Vittorio’s Vineyard.
Planting new roots in Vittorio’s Vineyard
Earlier this summer, a portion of the vineyard’s old, tired vines were freed from years of growing and succeeded by young Sauvignon Cabernet roots. This new generation of grapes is a handsome offering to the land, whose original vines and old soil will raise them beautifully for the next few years, ready them for their first harvest in 4-5 years, and continue the Sattui legacy – a perfect parallel of Dario rekindling his great-grandfather’s dream. Because for almost 50 years, Dario, the winery, and Vittorio’s Vineyard have produced award-winning vintages season after season and handcrafted cabernets that swept the state, and they will, undoubtedly, continue to pay homage to the paragon that was Vittorio Sattui.