The Buttitta family has grown premium wine grapes in California since 1953. We founded Rosa d’Oro Vineyards in 2001with the mission of crafting Italian varietal wines that combine the best of the Old World with our unique location in California. We are the only winery within the newly-designated Kelsey Bench AVA of Lake County, an area noted for its volcanic and mountainous high elevation vineyards, sustainable practices, and clean air. Our vineyard continues to evolve along with how we craft wines with distinct personalities and voices. Our production is limited to 2,500 cases per year, and our collection of varietal wines is growing all the time.
Rosa d'Oro sustainably farms 12 acres of grapes on the Kelsey Bench AVA of Lake County. Our diverse vineyard at 1,400 feet of elevation is made up of Barbera, Primitivo, Dolcetto, Aglianico, Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Negroamaro, Sagrantino and Refosco. Each varietal is treated differently with specific canopy and crop management techniques that help focus flavors while respecting what makes each grape unique. Lake County's clear days and cold nights aid our low-impact farming and we have planted our vineyard on rootstocks that require a minimum of water, helping the vines to find their own sense of balance.
Our winery is located in the middle of our vineyard, a fortunate arrangement for the grapes and for us. In the winery we respect and implement regional Italian winemaking styles that help guide and enhance the distinct nature of each grape varietal. Our low-oak wines focus on Old World trademarks such as earthiness, minerality and food-friendly tannin and texture, and we bottle our red wines without fining or filtration. We want to help each wine find its own unique voice, and much like Italian food, this means using the simplest high-quality ingredients with precise and transparent technique that stays out of the way.
It was my pleasure to spend 1974-84 operating our family ranch in Sonoma County and selling wine grapes to vintners such as Sebastiani, Souvereign, Korbel, and Seghesio. It was while delivering grapes to Simi Winery that Zelma Long, their winemaker at that time, suggested that we make wine from our own grapes. Her suggestion gave birth to the dream.
Well, time went by and a lot of things happened, but dreams die hard. Moving to Lake County in 1991 provided the welcome opportunity to pursue viticulture again, and my constant experiments with home winemaking only strengthened my dream of building a winery devoted to quality and tradition.
I am very proud that every member of the family has given of their time to help this dream come true. Everything from planting, pruning, picking, even placing the labels, has been a family effort. Our wines are carefully crafted with a grower's eye, allowing the true personality of each varietal in our location to shine through with nature guiding the process. Many people say that this is a lot of work, some think it would be fun. All I can say is: We are very passionate about what we do.