Napa Valley AVA
One of the first Mexican farming families to settle in St. Helena
The Gallegos family was among the first Mexican farming families to settle in the town of St. Helena, and today their viticulture legacy comes full circle with the opening of their own family winery, Gallegos Wines. Ignacio Jr. works happily alongside his two sons, Eric and Ignacio III (‘Nacho’), and proudly continues the legacy his father, Ignacio Sr., began when he first immigrated to Napa in 1950.
Born in the small farming town of El Llano in Michoacan, Mexico, Ignacio Jr.’s family raised him with an intimate understanding of agriculture and a love for fresh and locally-produced foods. His father immigrated to the United States under the government Bracero guest worker program and found work in the vineyards of Beringer Brothers Winery. He spent his next 30 years here and retired as supervisor of the winery. The rest of the Gallegos family moved to St. Helena in 1966 and Ignacio Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps, learning the basics of grape growing and vinification. He imparted the same knowledge to his sons, Eric and Ignacio III, who grew up in the vineyards and developed a passion for the wine industry from a very early age.
Flashing forward to 2007, the Gallegos family started a vineyard management company, which today manages over 300 acres of vineyards in Napa Valley - for a number of prominent clients. When Ignacio Jr.’s son Eric graduated from Fresno State with a degree in viticulture, he returned home to Napa to work fulltime with the vineyard management company. Eric also had dreams of sharing his family’s story and history through wine and approached his father about producing their own Gallego family wines. Winemaking was not new to the family - rather, Ignacio Jr. had been making wine at home for many years - and the timing was finally right to expand their business. In 2011, Gallegos wines became a reality, with Ignacio Jr. overseeing the winemaking duties.
Today, Gallegos Wines releases some 1,000 cases of wine each year, sourcing premium fruit from vineyards overseen by their management company. Eric Gallegos serves as the general manager, while Ignacio III is the head vineyard manager. Ignacio Jr. may carry the winemaker title, but it is a family effort when selecting the final blends prior to bottling. The Gallegos family wines are a celebration of their legacy and they hope to continue this tradition for many years to come.