Friday, July 27, 2012

7/27-Michael Jordan talks to Neil Bason & Susan Bartolucci

Neil Bason - Director of Hospitality, Regusci Winery
I would like to offer you a brief history of our historic property in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley.  My grandfather, Gaetano, purchased our 289-acre estate in 1932, which included one of the preeminent wineries of its time: the Grigbsy-Occidental Winery (est. 1878).  At that time the wine industry was certainly not what it is today.  Aside from growing and making homemade wine and selling grapes, my grandfather wrestled a living from the land farming corn, hay, walnuts, plums, a dairy, ranching cattle,  a slaughterhouse and a retail market for our primary ranch products—meat and milk.

In the 1960’s my father, Angelo, took over the family farm and started planting Bordeaux varieties on our estate in the heart of the Stags Leap District.  As the wine industry began to flourish so did our vineyards; and soon, we  planted the 160 acres of grapes that reside on our estate today.

On behalf of my family we wish you great prosperity for the year ahead and hope you enjoy some of the good times over a bottle of our wine.

Susan Bartolucci - Partner/Artistic Director - Madonna Estate

Since 1922 the Bartolucci Family has consistently created a perfect marriage of grapes and wine at Madonna Estate. Located in the world-renowned Carneros region, an area known for its fertile lands and cool climate, the Bartolucci family has found success with their organically grown grapes and Estate Bottled wines. In addition to practicing natural farming methods, they also combine traditional and modern winemaking techniques. As the third oldest winemaking family in the Napa Valley, it is important to them that they continue the commitment to farm naturally and preserve the winemaking traditions of past generations. 
In 1912, Andrea “Andy” Bartolucci left Italy and traveled to the United States. After a long journey he arrived at Ellis Island and made his way to San Francisco and worked on the French Exhibition Building at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Upon completing his work in San Francisco, he ventured north to the rich and fertile soil of the Napa Valley. In 1922 he purchased a 24-acre vineyard and winery across from Mount St. John peak in the town of Oakville, and named it Madonna Winery. Soon after, in 1924, a fire devastated the winery. Andrea and his family soon rebuilt it and in 1933 began crafting wines with his son, Louis. 
From 1955 - 1965 Louis purchased additional vineyard acreage with his brothers and established some of the first varietal vineyards in the Napa Valley. In 1967 Louis’ son, Andrea “Buck” Bartolucci, joined his father at the winery as assistant winemaker. In 1970 the founding family vineyards and Madonna Winery were sold. Passionate about continuing their family tradition, Andrea purchased 160 acres of land in the Carneros Region of Napa Valley that same year and named it Madonna Vineyard. There he primarily planted Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes but knew there was potential to grow many different varieties. 
In 1977, Louis purchased a 4½-acre piece of land near Madonna Vineyard. Eager to make wine again, Andrea and Louis constructed the current Madonna Estate Winery. The production of Estate Bottled Wines, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Dolcetto, Barbera, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Muscat Canelli, commenced. 
Currently, Andrea lives on the family vineyard with his wife Susan and tends to every aspect of the vineyard and winery. He oversees the entire operation and continues to hold the position of winemaker. In 1997, his daughter Brette joined him. Today, she continues her vineyard and winery education under the tutelage of her father, and has assumed the duties of Vice–President of Public Relations and Club Carneros Director. In January of 2005 Brette and her husband Frank, welcomed their first son and fifth generation family member, Andrew Steven Bartolucci-Engelbert. Andrea’s youngest daughter, Taylor, graduated from Pepperdine University in 2004, and promptly accepted a job at a Public Relations firm in Los Angeles. After a year of building her knowledge and skills, Taylor has enthusiastically made the commitment to carry on the family legacy. In July of 2005 she returned to Napa and joined Brette and her father as the Director of Public Relations and a partner in the winery. 
As the third oldest winemaking family in the Napa Valley, the Bartolucci’s are dedicated to continue the premium grape growing and fine winemaking that has been established by generations passed. It is their commitment to continue to farm naturally, to preserve, and refine the winemaking traditions of their past, which will result in bringing you the finest wines possible. 

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