Chris Bilbro began Marietta Cellars in 1990 when he purchased 30 acres of land near Geyserville, in Sonoma County. He named the winery after the matriarch of his family, Marietta Bertolucci who emigrated to California from Lucca, in Italy, in 1901. He began the “Old Vine Red”, one of the most recognizable wines in America. And he singlehandedly operated the winery for the next twenty years.
In 2012, the second generation took over and Jake and Scot Bilbro have added to their vineyard holdings and increased production to over 100,000 cases. But the Bilbro family has never strayed from their concept of selling fairly-priced wine that over deliver in value. They now make four cuvees, all named after their ancestors, and that derive from their diverse holdings in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Their top wine, Angeli Cuvee, is named after Viola Angeli from whom they bought the original property.
The winery is steadfast not to be open to the public, without a tasting room and without a means to sell directly. Seems crazy in this day and age with the potential profit to the winery, but the family stands by its decision. In fact, the winery isn’t marked from the road and a visit in 2009 by us was a most interesting exercise in secret directions!