Sonoma County region
Frank and Ronita Egger are happily upholding their families’ winegrowing traditions in a place that is so special to the Egger family.
Founded in 2008 by Frank and Ronita Egger, Cazadero Winery is one of Sonoma County’s most awarded garagiste wineries with over a hundred Gold and Silver Medals awarded to the entity since opening its doors. The couple sources their fruit from mountain vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation and crafts very limited amounts of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon through a minimalist style and natural winemaking methods.
The story behind Cazadero Winery begins with Frank Egger’s grandfather, Eugene Egger, who immigrated to San Francisco from Bozen, South Tyrol (now Bolzano) in Northern Italy at the turn of the century. Frank’s grandmother Anna’s family, from Merano, Alto Adige, grew grapes in the Old Country, and she brought the tradition with her to the United States. After settling in San Francisco, the Eggers began spending their summers up in Cazadero (north of Marin County), and eventually purchased some land, built a cabin, and planted the Egger family vineyard there in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the Egger family lost its Cazadero Ranch after the Great Depression, but Cazadero was always remembered as a special place with five Egger generations summering there and staying at the old family cabin on Bei Road.
Another piece of the Cazadero Winery story involves Andrew Bei, who emigrated from Tuscany, Italy after the turn of the century and purchased the original Bei Ranch in Cazadero in the 1920’s. He planted a small vineyard, also at the end of Bei Road, to honor his family’s winegrowing tradition.
Andrew Bei’s grandson, John Bei, planted the ‘new’ Bei Ranch Vineyard in the early 1990’s on a north/south facing ridge where the Bei family has farmed for 90 years. This off the grid family ranch lies half-way between Cazadero and Russian Gulch where the redwoods meet the vines and the Sonoma Coast rainforest supplies pure spring water for irrigation. The 1,600 foot elevation, paired with the hot summer days and fog-cooled nights, produce exquisite mountain fruit with incredible character and complexity.
Today, Frank and Ronita Egger own Cazadero Winery and source their hand-selected grapes from the Bei Ranch Vineyard, along with two other family-farmed, Sonoma mountain properties, Parmeter King Ridge Vineyard and Mountain Terraces Vineyard. They are happily upholding their families’ winegrowing traditions in a place that is so special to the Egger family. We are happy to share the Cazadero 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon with our Garagiste Wine Club members. Please enjoy!