Fontanella Family Winery was a dream in the making since the day Jeff Fontanella, owner and winemaker, had decided to abandon his aspirations of medical school to instead pursue a career in winemaking. His path had been drawn long before it became evident to him, but a serendipitous turn of events that landed him in the halls of UC Davis led him to the career that was unquestionably his calling.
It was the Spring of 2000, after Jeff had cut his teeth in the cellars of Opus One and ZD, that he met his future wife at a Jimmy Buffett concert. Armed with a magnum of ZD Chardonnay, Jeff charmed his way into the heart of an aspiring young attorney who eventually would be his partner in life and business. In 2003, Jeff and Karen married and started a journey toward what would become Fontanella Family Winery.
In the Fall of 2005, a beautiful property on Mt. Veeder caught the eye and hearts of Jeff and Karen who envisioned a future winery, vineyard and a place to raise a young family. On November 2, 2005, they purchased the 26 acre property on Partrick Road and began the development of the winery, the brand, and the Fontanella Family. The Fontanella’s first son, John Henry, was born exactly one week after Karen and Jeff had secured the Use Permit to build the winery facility on the property in July of 2006. In October of 2007, they broke ground on the construction of the facility just one month after their second son, Andrew, was born. Needless to say, pregnancy seemed to be the harbinger of activity on the project which may have explained the expediency of it.
In July of 2008 the winery was completed, the brand was launched and the Fontanellas started a new chapter in their lives that they had been dreaming of for years. The winery, now in its third year of operation, processes approximately 200 tons of grapes each year for the Fontanella brand and several of Jeff Fontanella’s consulting clients. The Fontanella Family Winery label produces approximately 2,500 cases annually, consisting of Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. The winery and brand are truly a passion for Jeff and Karen and they hope that you feel that commitment in every bottle you open of Fontanella.