The history of the Rachel Rossi Winery dates back to 1903 when the Rossi family purchased 52 acres of prime Rutherford land in the heart of the Napa Valley and soon thereafter established California Bonded Winery #934 (1907). When Fred Rossi passed away prematurely in 1922, Rachel Rossi, his wife and matriarch of the family took the reins. Along with her three children, Rachel kept the farm prosperous through Prohibition and the Great Depression until her death in 1958. An immigrant from Italy, Rachel Rossi demonstrated the remarkable spirit that laid the foundation of the modern Napa Valley wine industry — and when Frog’s Leap acquired the Ranch after the death of the last remaining Rossi sibling (Louise), we pledged to find a way to honor this capable, brave-hearted pioneer.
Standing in the shadow of the iconic water tower, and the winery that still bears her name, the block of Sauvignon blanc that produces the Rachel Rossi Reserve was planted in 1981 (the year Frog’s Leap was founded). It is a miracle that these vines were not removed long ago in favor of the more prestigious Cabernet sauvignon, but their solid, gnarled presence feels essential to the character of the property itself, and we simply couldn’t pull them out. Why not use this remarkable few rows of grapes to make a wine—a very special wine—to honor the Rossi family?