Forward-A-Friend Email Sign Up
Fotinos Brother's Winery
Home Fotinos Facts Vineyards Wines Purchase News & Press Resources Contact Us

Carneros History

Carneros, or "Los Carneros", meaning, "the sheep", originated with early Spanish land grants, and has a long history as a farming region.It consists of 36,000 acres of rolling hills with a few flatland areas. Grape growing dates back to the early 19th century. The first vineyards were planted in the 1830's, and the first winery in the 1870's. The wine industry thrived through the turn of the century, but from 1906-1933 it was nearly destroyed by a combination of phylloxera, the 1906 earthquake, prohibition, and The Great Depression.

In 1972, there were only 200 vineyard acres planted in Carneros, and Fotinos vineyards were approximately 10% of those. Its image as a grape growing region didn't really return until the 1980's. In 1983 it was designated an official American Viticultural Area (AVA), and the first wine region to obtain this distinction based on climate rather than political boundaries. By 1992 there were over 6,000 vineyard acres planted, and that number has increased to over 8,000 acres to date. About 3,000 of these acres are Pinot Noir and there are approximately 60 growers in the region. Carneros is one of the few AVA's whose wines display a distinct style and character.

Our vineyards and winery are located in one of the few flatland areas, on the east side of Old Sonoma road, between the Carneros Highway and the town of Napa. This is the heart of Carneros, with the largest concentration of wineries.