Franco Marchesi’s passion for wine began in his hometown of Borgosesia, Piedmont, Italy. As a child he always wondered what it would be like to be a winemaker like his grandfather Achille. In 1977, when he was just 22, Franco came to the states to work as a sommelier for a luxury cruise line based in San Francisco. After 9 years at sea, he decided to stay permanently in San Francisco. His career in the world of wine lasted almost two decades. He became wine buyer for a leading San Francisco Italian restaurant, and soon found himself running his own import company specializing in Italian wines.
Not surprisingly, with over twenty years in the wine business under his belt, Franco found himself leaving California to live in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge region, where the latitude is exactly the same as his beloved birthplace of Piedmont. He fell in love with the spectacular landscape defined by Mount Hood. “The climate and soil here are just like Northern Italy,” he muses.
Franco began planting his favorite Northern Italian grapes on an abandoned apple orchard in Hood River, which he purchased and started to revitalize in 2003. He found it was the ideal location for his very own winemaking business, Marchesi Vineyards & Winery. Finally Franco Marchesi feels at home.
As you arrive you will feel as though you have been transported to Italy. Grape vines will stimulate your imagination as you enter the lovely outdoor patio. Here you can enjoy the spectacular view so reminiscent of the old country— undulating hills and fragrant roses under a splendid sky. The decor is noticeably Italian, with a mural from Piedmonte. Black-and-white photos depict historic wine-making scenes from long ago. The shelves are filled with books about wines and wine making.
We have created our newly expanded tasting room with plenty of seating, as well as made improvements to the expanded outdoor patio. We have undercover seating available with blankets and heaters for those cozy winter afternoons. Come join us for a glass or bottle of award winning wine!