Bacigalupi family legacy

Posted by on Aug 6, 2008 in Family History | 2 Comments

Charles and Helen Bacigalupi

In 1956 my grandparents–Charles and Helen Bacigalupi–purchased 121 acres on Westside Road, a few miles south of town. In a simple beginning, Grandpa began to care for the 16 acres of existing vineyards. Envisioning the demand for premium wine grapes, Paul Heck  encouraged Charles to plant chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

In 1964, Grandpa began his plantings with six acres of each varietal. Eventually he obtained pinot noir bud wood from Karl Wente, the first well documented plantings of Pinot Noir in the Russian River Valley. He remembers Wente telling him the stock had come from France via the family’s old vineyard in Livermore.

Our family name (Bacigalupi)  gained recognition during the 1976 Paris tasting when the 1973 Napa Valley Chardonnay from Château Montelena made with 40% of our fruit triumphed over many acclaimed French wines. This event was to be the turning point in America’s global wine image.

Our vineyards now consists of 125 acres of premium grapes, which have been planted and managed for the past 30 years by my father John Bacigalupi and our family. The John Tyler wine label is the realization of a dream for our family who has roots in the wine industry stretching over four generations. Looking towards the future, we hope to continue our legacy of premium grape growing and wine making for many years to come.


  1. Patti Doherty
    October 26, 2011

    This is for Pam. I went to school with Pam and her two brothers at Guerneville Elementary. LONG time no see. Hoped that Pam might be on Facebook. I remember Pam, Pat and Paul’s Dad Paul. He was a wonderful man with a smile the size of Texas. Both parents so very wonderful. I remember the school bus taking the back entrance onto the property “back in the day” ! Pat had a band in grammar school ! So many memories 🙂

    • Katey Bacigalupi
      November 3, 2011

      Hi Patty-
      Thank you so much for your comment and the memories! I will be sure to give my mom your e-mail address as she is not on Facebook, yet! Hope you liked the website and that you might be able to visit us at the new tasting room.

      Katey Bacigalupi (Pam’s daughter)


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