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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.
About the Brand
from: Americashow map
- 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 600 acres of vineyard land in prime AVAs including Sonoma and Russian River Valleys
- Fruit-forward, luscious and well-balanced wines made from 100% handpicked fruit
- St. Francis wines are food-friendly and ready to drink
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.
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, a team of winemakers, including Heather Munden and Katie Madigan, play an integral role in continuing St. Francis’ success.
St. Francis owns 600 acres of Sonoma County Estate Vineyards, including the original Behler Vineyard, Nuns Canyon Vineyard, Wild Oak Vineyard and Lagomarsino Vineyard, and maintains long-term relationships with growers at such acclaimed vineyards as Rockpile Vineyard, Amman Ranch and Leras Ranch. This combined sourcing allows St. Francis access to the region’s top-quality fruit of each variety.
In the fall of 1999 a new, state-of-the-art winery and barrel building was completed at Wild Oak Vineyard, a mile west of the original winery site. The iconic mission-style Visitors Center with bell tower was completed in 2001, providing panoramic views of the valley in addition to three tasting bars. In the 21st century, too, St. Francis Winery has made an impressive commitment to green vineyard and winery practices, with initiatives in recycled packaging, water and energy conservation.