Rafael et Fils. Funny French spelling for a Napa wine? Perhaps! However Marc Rafael is the “fils" (son in French) to Georg and Rosie Rafael, and having been raised by then in France and then to have the foresight to buy land in Napa 30 years ago, it seems only fair to pay a little homage to their European heritage.
Marc Rafael’s father, at fifteen years old, left his home in Berlin post World War II with just a train ticket in his pocket, and in his wildest dreams its difficult to imagine he could have ever foreseen becoming a Napa Valley grape grower. His career journey is a beautiful one - from hotel elevator operator to iconic hotelier. Early along the way his wife, who provided the unwavering support that was their foundation. Together they came to America in the 1970s, and were able to discover a Napa Valley still in its infancy.
In 1985 an opportunity presented itself to own a magical patch of dirt in the then unnamed Oak Knoll District; 50 acres of former cattle ranching land, so steeply inclined that only 25 acres could be planted. Once planted the family began merely as grape growers, selling their fruit to some of Napa’s finest producers.
However the dream was to have their own wine brand which took a little longer time to come to fruition, and for such a personal operation a family member was needed on-site, so Marc moved to Northern California permanently in 2010 to oversee all aspects of the vineyard.
Today they produce around 1,500 total cases of wine each year, while still continuing to farm a significant share of our estate grown fruit to highly reputed Napa wineries.
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