We came to California to be outside—it was impossible to resist the incredible Dry Creek Valley. It's hillsides of amazing heritage vineyards became our passion and our focus. The stories behind these twisted old vines and the generations of families dedicated to caring for them brought us to our Big River Ranch estate vineyard in Alexander Valley, whose ancient zinfandel vines were planted over a century ago in 1906, and to Lily Hill Estate in Dry Creek Valley, which also has amazing old head pruned zinfandel vines planted in 1915.
Lily Hill is where our winery is located and where the first vines were planted over 100 years ago by Italian immigrant Adamo Micheli and his young son, Angelo. Angelo and these young vines grew up together and he continued to watch over the land with his own children for the next few decades to come. Today, we have four children of our own, who run on these same hills Angelo did and are lucky enough to have dirt and sunshine as a regular part of their days.
Bella has humble beginnings with a young family and a horse-plowed hill, and the adventure continues – all of it based on these incredible old vines and the desire to carry the special character of the land to the glass.
When we arrived in Dry Creek Valley, we immersed ourselves in classes at U.C. Davis and working in the vineyards. But the real key will always be the vineyards themselves and the incredibly talented team we have surrounded ourselves with, from consulting winemaker Michael Dashe, winemaker Joe Healy and our amazing vineyard managers Charlie Chenoweth and John Clendenen.
Today, Bella Vineyards and Wine Caves continues to cherish Sonoma County’s rich history by focusing on using the best fruit from some of the most sought-after vineyards. The resulting wines reflect the uniqueness of each site and the depth and concentration of high quality fruit.