Sfv_visitor_cntr11_tower St. Francis Visitors Center and Iconic Bell Tower

For over 30 years, St. Francis Winery has produced top-quality varietal wines from superior mountain and valley vineyards in Sonoma County, earning a reputation for bold, fruit-forward wines that showcase the terroir unique to Sonoma.

Sfv_bell_plaque The St. Francis Bell

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards

About the Brand

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Points of Distinction
  • St. Francis Winery has created hand-crafted wines from Sonoma County’s best appellations for more than 30 years.
  • A pioneer in helping to define the vineyards and grape varieties Sonoma is known for today; first to plant Merlot in Sonoma Valley
  • A regional leader in green practices, including initiatives in recycled packaging and water and energy conservation
  • Owners of over 380 acres of vineyard land in prime AVAs including Sonoma and Russian River Valleys
  • Fruit-forward, luscious and well-balanced wines made from Sonoma’s finest fruit
  • St. Francis wines are food-friendly and ready to drink

The Founding

In 1971, businessman Joe Martin and his wife, Emma, purchased a 100-acre vineyard known as Behler Ranch in the Sonoma Valley town of Kenwood. The fruit from this vineyard was sold to area wineries until 1979, when a winery was built to produce estate-bottled wine. St. Francis Winery was named after St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and protector of the natural world.

Defining Sonoma

At the time when St. Francis Winery was beginning to bottle its own wine, there were only a handful of wineries in Sonoma and the region was searching for an identity. The arrival of winemaker Tom Mackey in 1983 was the beginning of important growth at St. Francis and in Sonoma, as he and St. Francis helped to pioneer a Sonoma Valley style and pinpoint the varieties that were ideally suited to Sonoma soils. St. Francis was the first in the region to plant and bottle Merlot, and soon introduced Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel wines to the portfolio. The winery’s first “Old Vines” Zinfandel was released in 1989, establishing one of its star varietal offerings and contributing to Sonoma County’s growing reputation for top-quality Zinfandel. Today winemakers Chris Louton and Katie Madigan, play an integral role in continuing St. Francis’ success.

Sfv_assisi_at_visitors_cntr St. Francis of Assisi Statue at Visitors Center

Source Vineyards

St. Francis owns 415 acres of Sonoma County Estate Vineyards, including the original Behler Vineyard, Wild Oak Vineyard, both in historic Sonoma Valley and Lagomarsino Vineyard in Russian River Valley.  In addition they have long-term relationships with growers throughout Sonoma County’s renowned wine growing areas including Carneros, Dry Creek Valley, Rockpile and Alexander Valley.  . This combined sourcing allows St. Francis access to the region’s top-quality fruit of each variety.

A CERTIFIED SUSTAINABLE WINERY

St. Francis is committed to preserving Sonoma County for future generations and has been officially certified as sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The extensive audit and certification process recognizes the winery’s environmental initiatives including sustainable growing, solar energy installations and water recycling as well as involvement in employee training and benefits programs. In 2017 St. Francis received a Green Medal award from the California Wine Institute for their community involvement.

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