03 May A Bright Future for Ferrari-Carano
More than 35 years ago, Don and Rhonda Carano founded Ferrari-Carano and broke ground in Sonoma County’s Dry Creek Valley. Second generation Italian-Americans, Don and Rhonda were introduced to the beauty of Northern Sonoma County in 1979. They purchased a 60-acre parcel lot in the Alexander Valley which led to an interest in winemaking. Don, a lawyer, and Rhonda owned a hotel in Reno but began taking classes on enology and viticulture at UC Davis. They made “Carano Cellars” in their barn, which they gave away to friends. They also realized the potential of the area. In 1981, the Carano’s purchased additional vineyard land and founded Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery. Today they own 1900 acres of vineyards across 24 ranches.
In addition to celebrating their 35th anniversary in 2017, Ferrari-Carano also lost its founder Don Carano who passed away in October. “Don had a natural affinity to land,” Rhonda explained. “I believe that Don was most proud of Ferrari-Carano’s vineyards, in particular, the mountain vineyards. He would walk each area, look at the soils, taking in the majestic views and appreciating the beauty of the sites.”
Looking back at the past 35 years, if there was one wine that Don considered his favorite, it would be Siena. Ferrari-Carano is one of the largest producers of Sangiovese fruit in Sonoma County and Siena is their Sangiovese-based red wine blend. “Being Italian-American, it was only natural for us to make a Sangiovese-based red wine,” explained Rhonda. “I think it was his Italian roots of having an easy drinking red wine that can be appreciated by all and Siena is a wine that can be enjoyed all the time.” The 2015 Ferrai-Carano Siena Red Wine marked the 25th anniversary of this wine.
Don Carano is missed by all at Ferrari-Carano but not forgotten. As Ferrari-Carano looks to the future, Rhonda Carano has assumed the role of CEO of Ferrari-Carano Vineyards and Winery. Rhonda has co-managed the company since its inception in 1981 and is dedicated to maintaining the Ferrari-Carano “best-of-class” positions. She brings her 40 years of experience in business management, marketing, advertising and creative design. “We will continue to honor Don’s memory through our dedication to quality and consistency without compromise. The trademark of Ferrari-Carano is our people, our vineyards and the positive family team spirit we all share,” Rhonda expressed. There are many people who have worked at Ferrari-Carano since the day they opened. “It’s really not a company, per se, but a large family who have grown together for over 35 years and understand the philosophy and direction in what makes Ferrari-Carano Vineyard and Winery world-class,” Rhonda shared.
Read the complete story in Beverage Industry News.