When Charles and Helen Bacigalupi decided in 1956 to leave their dentistry and pharmacy careers to instead grow wine grapes in the Russian River Valley, little did they realize then that they were helping to change the course of Sonoma County wine history and contributing to the world-wide reputation of California in general. Starting with an old-vines Zinfandel vineyard, the couple became among the very first to plant Pinot noir in Russian River Valley, and fruit from their new Chardonnay vineyard became a key component in Mike Grgich’s blended Chardonnay that went on to place first at the 1976 landmark tasting, The Judgement at Paris. Suddenly, California wines earned status as among the world’s best and the Bacigalupi reputation created strong demand for their grapes. Charles’ and Helen’s son John took on the mantle of farming the family vineyards and married Pam Heck, daughter of the Korbel winemaking family, continuing to sell their Russian River Valley estate grapes to Sonoma County winemakers.
In 2011 after decades of farming grapes for prestigious wineries, the Bacigalupi family, with winemaker Ashley Herzberg and under the leadership of Helen, John, and Pam, took the next step and began making wine under the Bacigalupi label and offering wines for sale at the new tasting room on Westside Road near Healdsburg.
Now today, under the direction of three generations of family the Bacigalupi with twin sisters Katey Bacigalupi Row and Nicole Bacigalupi Dericco at the helm, the Bacigalupi winery produces small lots of Zinfandel, Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Petite Sirah, sparkling and dessert wines from their sustainably farmed estate vineyards that are available through the winery’s membership and by appointment at the tasting room.