ST. HELENA (CBS SF) – The Pestoni family wine making story goes back 125 years. A descendent of two winemaking families whose roots in Napa Valley reach back nearly a century, Bob Pestoni was expected to follow in his parents´ footsteps. Of course he did become a winemaker – but not at first. Instead, he did what any red-blooded boy in the 1950s did…he rebelled.

In 1963, Bob and his brother Marvin created Upper Valley Disposal Service, becoming the refuse hauler for the upper Napa Valley. Coming from a family of farmers who depended on the land for their survival, they understood and practiced the art of sustainable farming: planting the right crops, observing proper rotation and always striving to achieve a balance with the land. It was these same lessons and values that propelled their introduction of an aggressive recycling program long before it was fashionable.

Pestoni Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Their story took a turn in the mid-1990’s when Bob and his wife Sylvia were presented with a rare opportunity. A small winery adjacent to their family´s Rutherford property had become available for purchase. Over the years, Bob and Sylvia had always grown grapes on their land, but they had always sold their fruit to other wine producers. They hadn´t been interested in becoming vintners before, but the acquisition of this new property renewed Bob´s admiration for his family´s business – and for his heritage. In 1994, they opened the doors to Rutherford Grove Winery and resumed making the single vineyard, hand-crafted artisanal wines Bob´s father and grandfather had created there for more than a century before him. In 2017, in celebration of their 125th anniversary of Napa Valley winemaking, the winery was renamed Pestoni Family Estate Winery.

Pestoni Family Vineyards (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Son Andy Pestoni began making wine at Rutherford Grove in 1993, overseeing production of many award-winning wines until he departed to focus on his own label, Jelly Jar, in 2011. In spring of 2017, Andy returned to oversee winemaking at Pestoni Family Estate Winery.

“My family has been farming some of these very same vineyards in Napa Valley for over 100 years. By really understanding the distinct personalities of each of our estate vineyards, you learn how to coax the best fruit the land has to offer. I am excited to return to help preserve our family’s dedication to Napa Valley winemaking by producing premium estate wines as my grandfather and great-grandfather once did.”

The Pestoni Estate really is a family affair with many family members involved in all manner of ways. We met met along with father Bob and family archivist & filmmaker Greg. We tasted the Pestoni Estate 2013 Sauvignon Blanc – a bright, refreshing glass of fruity Napa joy.

Enjoy the wine fueled conversation with one of Napa’s most cherished wine families, the Pestoni’s. They are makers of amazing wines and have a roots in the region that few can rival. They also happen to be really wonderful people making really wonderful wines. Drop by their Rutherford family estate for a taste of their story and stellar wines. Their rich story lives in every single bottle of Pestoni wine.

Cheers, Liam!

2016 Pestoni Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)


2016 Pestoni Family Estate Sauvignon Blanc:

100% Sauvignon Blanc | 6 months stainless steel | 500 cases | 13.8% alcohol

On the nose, our 2016 Sauvignon Blanc is beautifully perfumed, with bright aromatics of honeysuckle, sweet citrus and lemongrass notes.

The sur lie technique provides this wine with a rich and balanced mouthfeel. Silky and clean with vibrant acidity, on the palate this wine shows layers of honey dew melon, lemon curd and white peach, with a lingering finish of ripe tropical fruits.

For more information, visit:
Pestoni Family Vineyards
1673 St Helena Hwy
St Helena, CA 94574
(707) 963-0544



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s