Dario was born in San Francisco in 1941 and raised in San Francisco and Marin County. His great-grandfather Vittorio Sattui, an Italian immigrant, founded V. Sattui Winery in 1885 in San Francisco. As Vittorio lived to be 94 years old, Dario got to know him and was fascinated by his stories and photos of the old winery, above which the Sattui family continued to live even after Prohibition had shut it down. As a child, Dario would play among the barrels and tanks in the underground cellars while dreaming of reviving the winery when he grew up.
He kept this dream alive as he furthered his education, receiving a B.S. in Accounting and Finance from San Jose State University in 1965 and then an M.B.A. from University of California, Berkeley, in 1969. In 1975 Dario opened V. Sattui Winery in St. Helena, focusing on an unusual business model for the time—a winery with the feel of a small European village, offering picnic grounds and most importantly, a direct to consumer approach to sales. In the first year of operation, the business was profitable, and today V. Sattui Winery produces 50,000 cases of wine each year.
Dario Sattui is one of the Napa Valley’s most visible philanthropists. He is a significant supporter of Napa Valley Hospice, Hands Across the Valley, the Napa Valley Land Trust and the Boys & Girls Club of St. Helena and Calistoga. In the last 10 years, V. Sattui Winery has protected over 550 acres in the Napa Valley with Conservation Easements that restrict the development of land with homes and preserves hundreds of acres of vineyards, oak woodlands and grassland open space forever. He also has an active role with the Festival del Sole to help bring music to the area.