Crane Family Vineyards

1051 Borrette Lane
Napa, CA 94558

707-259-0175

About

For more than twenty-five years Crane Family Vineyards has been growing grapes and making wine in the Napa Valley. Our hillside vineyard, the Don Raffaele Estate, is nestled on the instep of Mount Veeder. The microclimate of our small valley is one of the best kept secrets in the Napa Valley. Its terroir is similar to the well-respected vineyards of the Pomerol region of Bordeaux, imparting intense and unique flavors to the grapes grown here. The Don Raffaele Estate was named for my grandfather, who made wine many years ago and was an avid horticulturist; and the Crane Family brand was named for my late mother’s family.  Making great wine has become a tradition in our family, and it is my great pleasure to carry on that tradition and to share our wines with you.

History

Our founders, Peter and Frances Chiarella, came to the Napa Valley in 1990 as a requirement of Peter’s career as a financial executive. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to plant a vineyard and build a home in one of the most beautiful places in America. The seven acres of undeveloped hillside was adjacent to two idyllic vineyards growing grapes for two highly respected Napa Valley wineries. The high slope made and ideal perch for a home site and a perfect vineyard location.

At 300 feet of elevation, it was on the instep of Mount Veeder, facing in three directions; east, south and west; and protected from the harsh north. The soils varied from gravelly loam to alluvial clay and there was shale below the hilltop soil. 

The vineyard is named Don Raffaele, a translation from  Italian meaning Sir Ralph, in honor of Peter’s father, who was knighted by Italy for heroism in World War I. That was just prior to his emigration to the United States. He often compared the Don Raffaele Estate to the land he had known, growing up in a small Italian village. Our Crane Family name comes from Fran,  whose maiden name was Crane. We are proud of what we have accomplished in the time frame of our vineyard’s existence and are excited for the next generation of our family to continue the effort.

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