Four Sonoma County Icons to Be Honored at 2016 Sonoma County Barrel Auction


Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 3.55.32 PMOriginal article here.

Today, the Sonoma County Vintners (SCV) announced the names of four “Icons” who will be honored at the 2016 Sonoma County Barrel Auction for their contributions to Sonoma County wines.  The Icons will be recognized at an invitation-only VIP reception on April 28th and at the live trade barrel auction on April 29th at Vintners Inn. “We are delighted to be able to recognize four individuals who have truly helped shape the heritage and history of Sonoma County winemaking and we are honored to celebrate their contributions to our wine community,” said Interim Executive Director Jean Arnold Sessions.  The 2016 Sonoma County Barrel Auction Icons include:

  • Helen Long Bacigalupi, founder of Bacigalupi Vineyards – At 90 years of age, Helen Bacigalupi is celebrating the 60th anniversary and three generations of her family’s legendary Russian River Valley vineyard. Among her many accomplishments, she provided nearly half the Chardonnay in the Chateau Montelena blend that won the famed “Judgment of Paris”, and her 1982 Bacigalupi Vineyard Grapemaker Series Chardonnay was served at the White House.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 3.55.13 PM
  • Tom Kleinproprietor of Rodney Strong Vineyards – A fourth generation California farmer, Tom Klein earned a business degree from Stanford and spent the first part of his career as a management consultant at the San Francisco office of the prestigious global management firm McKinsey & Company. In 1989, Tom and his family purchased Rodney Strong Vineyards and began a pursuit of excellence that would put their wines on the world stage and make the winery a leader in the movement towards sustainability.
  • David Americo Rafanellithird generation proprietor of A. Rafanelli Winery – Born and raised in Healdsburg’s wine country, David Rafanelli is the third generation at A. Rafanelli Winery. A farmer at heart with years of experience in the Dry Creek Valley, his knowledge of the soils and micro-climates have guided his decisions to successfully plant vineyards which produce great quality wine grapes.  He was an integral part of the Dry Creek Valley becoming its own appellation in 1983, and bringing Zinfandel to a world class status.
  • Tom Rochioli, owner of Rochioli Vineyards –Tom’s father, Joe Rochioli Jr. made history in Russian River Valley in 1968 when he began planting Pinot Noir on the family’s property called Fenton Acres.  Following in these trailblazing footsteps, it was Tom Rochioli who was convinced that after years as successful winegrowers providing grapes to many of Sonoma County’s prestigious wineries, that they should make their own wine under the Rochioli Label. In 1987, his first estate wine topped Wine Spectator’s list of Pinot Noir and was named ‘The Best Pinot Noir in America.’ Two years later during a visit to one of Burgundy’s most famous estates, his philosophy was shaped after sampling some of the world’s most collectable wines. Tom decided to keep his different individual estate lots separate. He was one of the first to establish the single vineyard concept in California.

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Licensed wine sellers, including retailers, restaurateurs and wholesalers, may get further information and request a ticket to the invitation-only 2016 Sonoma County Barrel Auction by April 1st online at or by contacting Carol Galletta at (415) 683-0696 or  Space is limited.

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