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Gold Medal Wine Club
5330 Debbie Road, Suite 200
Santa Barbara, California 93111
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Bargetto Winery - Santa Cruz Mountains - Soquel

98 Points, Best of Class, Double Gold Medal winner - 361 Cases produced

Giuseppe Bargetto arrived in America in 1890 in search of a better life. Times were tough in his homeland of northern Italy and he’d heard stories about America and its life of opportunity and prosperity. As a vineyard owner in Piedmont, Italy, Giuseppe was particularly intrigued by the reports of rich, fertile soil and wide open land of the California territory. After he arrived, it didn't take long for Giuseppe to be convinced of the potential that awaited him and he promptly went back to Italy to spread the word.

Giuseppe's sons, Philip and John were keenly interested in what their father had discovered and soon found their way to California. Philip was the first of the brothers to arrive in 1891 and he quickly found work at a small winery south of San Francisco. Philip's great uncle Giovanni was the next to emigrate, and they both worked at the winery until 1905 when they decided to open one of their own named South Montebello Vineyard and Wine Company.

In 1909, Philip paid for his younger brother John to come to California and help out with the new family business. Soon after he arrived, the Bargetto family purchased 4 acres of land and began growing wine grapes, fruits and vegetables. They sold their wine and produce to the small but growing community of European immigrants who had collected in the San Francisco area. The wine they produced was more like a large home-winemaking operation than it was a winery, but it was still of very good quality and became popular in the local community.

During Prohibition (1919 to 1933), the Bargetto brothers continued to make wine for family and friends while also selling produce and growing apples at the family ranch in Soquel (near Santa Cruz). In 1920, they purchased the present site of Bargetto Winery along the banks of the Soquel Creek and planted additional fruit and grapevines.

In the early 1930's, when it appeared that Prohibition would be repealed, the two brothers, Philip and John, planned a quick return into the commercial wine business. On December 5, 1933, the very day of the Repeal, they founded Bargetto Winery. Being the first and only winery in the Santa Cruz area to open after Prohibition, Bargetto Winery hit the ground running. The Bargettos continued to sell fruits and vegetables on the side, but wine quickly became the main focus for the family. They also operated as a wine wholesale business and delivered their wine in barrels to local establishments.

In 1936, Philip Bargetto passed away suddenly and John was left as the sole owner of the business. He continued the winery operations on a modest scale, keeping overall production under 5,000 cases throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s. After World War II, John was joined by his sons Ralph and Lawrence who helped out with production, marketing, and sales. Now with more horsepower behind the winery, the facility was able to expand and production doubled by the early 1950's.

The Bargetto winemaking heritage continued with Lawrence during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Lawrence provided key vision for the winery by introducing modern improvements such as refrigerated stainless steel fermentation, and barrel aging. Furthermore, he expanded the production of Santa Cruz Mountain’s varietals by adding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, drawing from local outstanding sites such as Vine Hill Vineyards. He also introduced the Chaucer’s line of dessert-style wines under the Bargetto brand.

Lawrence's death in 1982 pushed the winery into yet another era of Bargetto family management which remains intact to this day. Beverly Bargetto stepped into her husband's shoes to assume the leadership role. She also enlisted her eldest son, Martin, who at the time was managing a wine shop in Sacramento to gain retail sales and management experience. He immediately returned to the family winery to assume the role of General Manager and help his mother continue the ground work set by his father. Martin’s brothers, John and Richard, have since come on board and together direct the winemaking and operation of the winery.

Today, the Bargetto Winery stands as the oldest continuously operated winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains, celebrating their 79th anniversary this year. The family’s pioneering spirit and dedication to tradition has kept their brand distinctive, refreshing, and continuously evolving with new varietals, blends, and innovative winemaking throughout the years. With forty estate acres planted, two established tasting rooms, and more medals than one can count, Bargetto celebrates three generations of family tradition and incredible, historical winemaking success in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

  1. Bargetto
    2006 Proprietary Red Blend
    La Vita
    Monterey County


    98 Pts - Double Gold Medals
    id: 984