Owners: Charles and Helen Bacigalupi
Charles and Helen Bacigalupi grow both Zinfandel and Pinot Noir for Williams Selyem in three separate areas of their vineyards. The Zinfandel comes from a block known as Frost 3B while the Pinot Noir comes from the SE Block G#8. The Bacigalupis have been growing for Williams Selyem since 1999. Charles Bacigalupi’s family reached California from Italy in about 1872. While Charles was a dentist, his roots went deep into wine; both sets of grandparents had wineries. In 1950, Charles and wife Helen, a pharmacist, bought a small farm growing prunes, peaches, cherries and a few acres of grapes. They started planting Pinot Noir in 1964, and grapes now take up four vineyard parcels. Their son John and his family are also involved in the family business.
Charles passed away in late October of 2013. He will be missed.
When California wines resoundingly defeated the French in the 1976 taste challenge in Paris, the Chardonnay grapes that made California wine famous came from Helen and Charles Bacigalupi’s vineyard. Their farming practices were ahead of the sustainable agriculture movement by about 40 years. For decades the vineyards had been no-till, with very few chemicals used. The vines are trained high, as much as four feet from the ground to the fruit, because the Bacigalupis found this improves air circulation and makes for easier picking—getting the fruit in faster and minimizing bruising.
|Rootstock:||St. George||St. George|
|Number of acres:||3.5||1.9|
|Positioning:||North to South||East to West|
|Topography:||Knoll to Flat and Flat Bench||Flat Bench|
|Elevation:||200 feet||130 feet|
|Soil Type:||Red clay, rocky loam||Cross-bedded quartzose sands and gravels|
|Trellising:||Bilateral cordon||Head trained|
|Cover crop:||All vineyards have native grasses let go to seed and mowed. No tilling.|