In the 1970s, Ray Signorello bought a 100 acre estate along the Silverado Trail in Napa Valley, California. His son, Ray Signorello Jr. joined the company in the mid 1980’s and upon his father’s death, inherited the estate. Ray Jr. shares winemaking responsibilities with co-winemaker and vineyard manager Pierre Birebent. Luc Morlet is the consulting winemaker. 55 acres are planted with Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. The Chardonnay is planted on rocky, sloping hillsides and on the sandy loam valley floor. The red varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are planted in the shallow, rocky soils found on the hillside of the estate. One vineyard faces east, the other west. The Pinot Noir fruit is sourced from premium parcels in Carneros. The Chardonnay is gently whole cluster pressed to minimize skin contact whilst the red varieties are destemmed and lightly crushed so that 20-30% of the berries remain intact before fermentation.
|Ray Signorello Jr. began his journey as winemaker and vineyard owner in the Napa Valley during the mid 1980’s. Ray, born in San Francisco, California, moved to Vancouver, Canada where the Signorello family continues to maintain a home. Ray divides his time between Napa, San Francisco, Vancouver and business related travel. Ray’s father, Ray Sr., initiated the vineyard project during the mid 1970’s by purchasing the 100-acre estate located on the Silverado Trail in the beautiful Napa Valley. Ray Sr. worked side by side with Ray Jr., establishing the winery’s reputation for excellence until his passing in the fall of 1998.
No Turning Back
Signorellos’ original plan was to grow quality grapes to sell to existing wineries, but the harvest of 1985 changed this plan into a new level of evolvement. The bountiful crop allowed Signorellos to custom crush the excess grapes. This opportunity demonstrated what fabulous wine their vineyards were capable of producing. The project continues to grow, as do the spectacular 42 acres planted in several different varietals. Ray’s continuing effort represents the invested energies that created this reality from a dream.
In 1986 the Signorellos began the second phase of the venture, this was the building of the main winery structure. This beautiful building is used for barrel storage, wine tasting and retail sales. Along with the building of the winery, wine production was expanded to include Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. By the end of the 1980’s the Signorello family was thoroughly committed to making wine as well as growing grapes.
The decade of the nineties proved to be pivotal for Signorello Estate. In 1990 the first planting of red varietals began on the property- Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah.
What brought the Signorellos to the Napa Valley was the romantic side of winemaking; growing grapes, working the land, and enjoying the wine country lifestyle of camaraderie, good wine and great meals. While the Valley lifestyle is a very real part of the business, there is a serious responsibility to making a dream become a reality, both father and son realized this fact early in the endeavor.
This venture was a dream; now it is reality. We have enjoyed every moment of it, and we look forward to continuing on to make quality wines from the Napa Valley!