Don Raffaele EstateWe are pleased to invite you to try our latest vintages.
Our estate is named Don Raffaele, a translation from Italian meaning Sir Ralph, in honor of Peter’s father, who was knighted by the Italian government for heroism in World War I. That was just prior to his emigration to the United States. Ralph often compared the Don Raffaele Estate to the land he had known, growing up in a small village in the south of Italy. Our Crane Family name comes from Fran, whose maiden name was Crane.
At 300 feet of elevation, the property is in the foothills of Mount Veeder, a hillside with good sun exposure and drainage to a seasonal creek. The soils are varied from gravelly loam to alluvial clay with shale below the hilltop soil.
The careful cultivation of the vines on the Don Raffaele Estate assures that we will consistently produce grapes that we can count on for flavor and aroma. The high hillside, diverse soils and sweeping exposure to the sun provide a wonderful combination: good drainage, a lot of warm sunlight and soil complexity. The result has been that our wine grapes effortlessly form the ideal chemistry for making a wine unique to the terroir. Our grapes have always developed the requisite sugars and chemical balance that is near perfect. An earthiness originating from the shale in the high ground is clearly discernable in the wine. So is the spice that is derived from bay leaves that fall from trees that line the vineyard to the west.