“The best and most important aspects of a winery are all the decisions in the vineyard up until harvest and the opening and sharing of the wine.” ~ Steve Tonella
S. R. Tonella Cellars has a rich history in Rutherford, Napa Valley that spans over 100 years and four generations of grape growing. They handcraft limited production wines that show the best expression of Rutherford’s terroir. Steve Tonella takes multi-generations of knowledge to produce some of Napa Valley’s finest Sauvignon Blancs, Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux Blends.
S. R. Tonella Cellars – History
The story of S. R. Tonella Cellars begins in 1906. After the great San Francisco earthquake, Steve’s great uncle Joseph Ponti migrated from Italy to San Francisco to jumpstart the restoration. From there Joseph Ponti became the first winemaker at the historic Beaulieu Vineyards in Rutherford. Joseph’s wine won a gold medal at the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. The award-winning wine was the 1936 Beaulieu Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine marked a significant turning point in Napa’s history; after which Cabernet Sauvignon became recognized as the signature grape variety for Napa Valley.
Later Joseph’s nephew(Steve’s grandfather), Louis Tonella joined his uncle at Beaulieu Vineyards. Louis inherited vineyards in Rutherford from Joseph Ponti and today Steve continues the family tradition of grape growing and winemaking.
Steve Tonella is a native fourth-generation Napan. He started working in the vineyards from a young age with his father and grandfather. Steve later went on to earn his degree in Business Administration at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. He had an exciting career in high tech which took him around the world.
Throughout his travels, Steve’s heart and dreams remained in Rutherford. He returned home with a deep desire and passion to make Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon. His first vintage was in 2010. Steve believes, “great wines are made in the vineyard, and the whole must be greater than the sum of its parts. I strive to cultivate a graceful harmony between the soil, climate, and vines in every wine we produce.”
S. R. Tonella Cellars Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Reserve 2018
S. R. Tonella Cellars BDX Proprietary Blend 2017
The Tonella Cellar BDX Blend is a luxurious wine made with a proprietary blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Merlot. The opulence of dark fruit and spice on the nose is inviting. On the palate, there are bold notes of black cherries, blueberries, blackberries, licorice and cocoa. This Tonella BDX blend exhibits great balance and harmony with an intense focus and long finish. A truly epic wine.
** Images Courtesy S. R. Tonella Cellars**