Santa Cruz Mountains AVA
Bargetto Winery utilizes its history and cool climate location to produce a number of world-class Pinot Noirs.
Few wineries can match the Bargetto Family for longevity, innovation and quality — three key components that separate the great from the good when comparing successful wineries.
Bargetto Winery has been making wine since 1933, the year Prohibition was lifted. The owners, brothers Philip and John Bargetto had actually begun making wine in San Francisco in 1910 under the name South Montebello Vineyard and Wine Company. They to their current location on the banks of Soquel Creek in the Santa Cruz Mountains, becoming the first winery to do so in the historic and internationally-acclaimed appellation. They called on their extensive knowledge of winemaking and grape growing that was gleaned from their experience in the Piemonte region of Northern Italy, at the time considered Italy’s greatest winemaking area. This year celebrates the company’s 87th anniversary and Bargetto Winery has become a major force in Pinot Noir development.
Some thirty years after its founding, John’s son Lawrence Bargetto took the reins of Bargetto Winery and introduced modern technology in the form of stainless-steel fermentation that help change the way white wines were produced and carved for himself and Bargetto Winery a permanent niche in winemaking history. For the record, he also introduced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to the area that is now considered among California’s finest grape-producing areas for the two varietals.
The real key to Bargetto Winery’s continuing success is location, location, location. The Santa Cruz’s cool climate conditions and maritime presence present the ultimate challenge to growing grapes, and to the Pinot Noir in particular. Today Bargetto Winery’s top vineyard is the Regan Estate Vineyard of nearly 50 acres located in the Green Valley section of the Corralitos Area of southern Santa Cruz County, some 15 miles from the winery itself.
At Regan Estate Vineyard, four different Pinot Noir clones are under vine and total around 13 acres. They combine to produce fruit with dramatic and rich, unending appeal.
“We get everything from these grapes,” remarked co-owner John Bargetto. “Sections of the vineyard have soils that are either rocky, heavy clay or quite sandy and loamy. We are able to get great colors in our wine and excellent acidity that is important for aging. The different Pinot Noir clones love the setting, atop a rocky knoll.”
The fourth generation of the Bargetto family currently owns and steers the winery. Loretta Bargetto Mujal serves as the winery’s president and handles the company’s financial affairs. Brothers John and Martin Bargetto have various roles with the company including Director of Winemaking and Director of Marketing. Both are UC Davis graduates with extensive wine industry experience.
Annual production of Bargetto Winery is around 30,000 cases of which some 2,400 cases are of reserve quality. The winery has been named among the top ten most historic wineries in California and displays total sustainability in its farming practices.
John Bargetto believes two members of the fifth generation of Bargettos are expected to join the winery in the future and insure its remarkable existence. We're proud to introduce this fantastic wine to our Pinot Noir Wine Club members!
Map of the area
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
My understanding is that as a Platinum Wine Club member you receive some of the very finest wines offered by GMWC. Congratulations, as you are now receiving Bargetto Winery’s very finest wine!
In 1995, we set out to produce a truly unique wine of the world... and did so by planting three unique Italian varieties in our estate vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. These three are: Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, and Refosco. Eventually, we developed a proprietary name for this Cal-Ital wine...LA VITA, meaning “LIFE” in Italian. After two and one half years of barrel aging, the wines are blended and bottled to create a distinctive wine.
LA VITA is an art series wine, in which we choose a unique artwork that depicts “Wine in art” through the ages. The 2006 LA VITA features the great Spanish painter Francisco Goya. A final component of LA VITA is that Bargetto Winery gives part of the proceeds of the sale to a local non-profit each year. 2006 vintage benefits CASA which advocates for young children.
The 2006 LA VITA is deep ruby in color, spicy complexity in bouquet and explosive with ripe fruit flavors. The 2006 vintage won the greatest award ever on LA VITA: Double Gold, Best of Class and 98 Points from the CA State Wine Competition.
As we near our 80th anniversary of producing fine Santa Cruz Mountains wines, I hope you will visit our historic winery in Soquel (Santa Cruz Co), CA and in the mean time learn more about us by visiting us online at www.bargetto.com.
Bobby Graviano - Winemaker
Winemaker Bobby Graviano is a Central Coast native and graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where his major was Enology. His work experience includes a long stint at Testarossa Winery in Los Gatos and also Gilbert Family Wine Company in New South Wales, Australia. He joined Bargetto Winery in 2013 as assistant winemaker and was named winemaker in 2016. The 2020 vintage will mark his seventh Bargetto harvest and the thirteenth of his relatively young career. He has shown a preponderance for making the most difficult Pinot Noir, the varietal he considers his biggest challenge and his favorite to drink.
More about The Bargetto Family
The history of Bargetto Winery has truly been a big family affair. Over its sixty-plus year history, the torch has passed from one generation to another, from one family member to another.
Italian vineyard owner Joseppi Bargetto was the catalyst who spurred sons Phillip and John to immigrate to America in the early 1900's. The two sons literally rooted their future to the land of Santa Cruz county. They were rugged individuals who carved their niche into the new country by using the land to grow and sell vegetables, grapes and other fruits. They worked hard and persevered through the rough times of The Depression and Prohibition. The brothers' wherewithal gave them a head start in the California wine business opening the Bargetto Winery the very day Prohibition was repealed. After Phillip's death, brother John Bargetto kept the winery alive and well through World War II.
John's sons, Lawrence and Ralph became involved with the winery after the war and together they set the tone for the next 30 years. They brought modern production methods and sales savvy to the winery operations. Lawrence was a pre-med student who introduced science to the craft, creating the testing lab, improving and maintaining the quality of their wines. Ralph handled the business end introducing new channels of distribution, broadening exposure and increasing sales to handle the growing production.
Lawrence brought about significant change to the winery's direction by pioneering Bargetto Winery's popular dessert fruit wines in the mid 1960's. 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. Even though she was still raising five children when Lawrence passed away, she wasn't about to relinquish the winery to someone outside of the family. After 30 years of marriage and assisting Lawrence with virtually every long range strategy decision, she was willing and able to rise to the challenge.
She solicited the help of her eldest son, Martin, who at the time was just beginning to learn the ropes of the family business. Martin studied viticulture at U.C. Davis, in the late 1970's and worked briefly at Tepusquet Vineyards in Santa Barbara County. After graduating, he managed a wine shop in Sacramento to gain retail sales and management experience. In 1982 he returned to the family winery immediately after his father's untimely death. Martin assumed the role of General Manager and helped his mother continue the ground work set by his father.
Shortly after, in 1984, Martin's younger brother, John, entered the picture. Growing up, John worked in the Bargetto wine cellar where he learned a bit of winemaking. He later continued his winemaking education by going through U.C. Davis's, Enology program. After graduating, John returned to the family winery to become winemaker. As winemaker, he directed the modernization of the winery's cellar operation and drastically improved its efficiency. He is currently the Chaucer's fruit-wine brand manager and is also directing the winery's sales efforts in the Midwest.
Lawrence and Beverly's third son, Richard, is an attorney and serves as the winery's in-house counsel. He also manages the office administration and heads up the direct mail program. Daughter Loretta helps with the winery's Wine Club program. Youngest daughter, Donna, is a Dean at a private girl's school in San Francisco and is not actively involved in the winery at the present time.
Beverly's nephew, Tom, has been with the family operation since the late 1970's. He worked in production initially and is now directing the local area sales and developing the winery's efforts in the Southeastern U.S. Two other nephews, Peter and Paul, were also once involved with Bargetto Winery, then started their own winery, Soquel Vineyards, in 1987.
Make no mistake about it, Bargetto Winery is a family affair through and through! And with good reason we're pretty sure there are little Bargettos yet to come to help guide the winery through its next sixty years!