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Tonella Story

S. R. Tonella Cellars is the culmination of over 100 continuous years in the wine business in Rutherford, Napa Valley.  It all started with an earthquake.  In 1906 after the great San Francisco earthquake, a huge demand for workers to rebuild the city brought Joseph Ponti, Steve’s great uncle, from Italy to San Francisco.  Shortly thereafter, Ponti became the superintendent and initial winemaker at the iconic Beaulieu Vineyards in Rutherford, where he stayed for 43 years.  Ponti’s nephew, Steve’s grandfather, Louis Tonella, joined his uncle at Beaulieu when he was just 17 and worked there for several years.  Louis inherited from Ponti vineyards located in the Rutherford viticulture region and passed them on to his son Raymond Tonella, Steve’s father.  Over the years, Raymond purchased additional vineyard acreage, as well as managing other Rutherford vineyards.  Grape growing and wine production have been a part of Steve’s life and family history.

Bringing us to the present, we endeavor to continue this heritage and spirit with
S. R. Tonella Cellars. Our purpose is simply to make history by crafting the best premium Cabernet Sauvignon that represents the best of Rutherford and Napa Valley.  A lot of historical events have been written down after-the-fact on the pages of books; but in truth, living history is made every day with family, friends, co-workers and casual coincidental encounters both near and far. It’s those relationships, the real events in our own histories, which have a meaningful impact on our lives.  S. R. Tonella Cellar’s aspiration is that our wine is shared to create some small but memorable piece of history with everyone who crosses paths with us.  And so it begins.

 
 
My dream in Napa Valley