Alberto Rafanelli, an Italian immigrant, first founded A. Rafanelli Winery in the early 1900’s. He settled in the Healdsburg area with his family and started growing grapes and making wine.
After prohibition, Alberto’s son Americo showed interest in the family business and was soon carrying on the tradition. He moved the winery to the Dry Creek Valley in the early 1950’s. It was here that he began to farm his Zinfandel and raise his family. Although it wasn’t until the early 70’s that he came out with the present day label and started to sell his wine commercially.
Since then, Americo’s son David, and his wife Patty own and operate the business. The winery is now in it’s fourth generation of growing grapes and making wine in the heart of Dry Creek Valley.
David A. Rafanelli
All family owned and operated A. Rafanelli specializes in Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. The small rustic winery sits on a knoll overlooking the valley and is surrounded by some of its hillside vineyards. Production is 11,000 cases annually and there are approximately 85 acres planted to various varieties. Tasting and purchases are by appointment only, and all the wine is sold direct. The family prides itself in quality not quantity and believes in traditional winemaking practices.
Rashell (Shelly) Rafanelli
Rashell (Shelly), the eldest daughter, is the winemaker. She graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1996 with a degree in Agricultural Business. Since then she has taken over all production at the winery. With the help of her husband Craig Fehlman, who manages all of their vineyards, they hope to carry on the family tradition, and keep improving the wines. Shelly’s sister, Stacy, is in charge of daily operations at the winery.