by Fred McMillin
for May 29, 1997

A Tale of Two Wineries


  • In 1890 the Fredson family from Sweden founds the Chris A. Fredson Winery in Sonoma County. Sons Donald and Leonard Fredson move the winery to the Dry Creek Valley. Donald's son Bob likes the winery and learns the business.

  • In 1934 Italian-born Giovanni and Maria Cambiaso buy a 52-acre hillside ranch above the Russian River. They clear land and plant 35 acres of vines. Their three children ultimately take over and in the 1960's begin selling all their Cabernet Sauvignon to the Charles Krug Winery.

    The Rest of the Story: So what do Bob Fredson and the Cambiaso Winery have in common? A lot...he merely caused the winery to change its name! Here's how it happend.

    In 1976 Bob became Cambiaso winemaker. Because of the rising demand for varietal wines, he turned out one under a new brand name, Domaine Saint George. It sold out in a few weeks. Other varietals followed; success was so great that the Cambiaso Winery became Domaine Saint George. Today Bob turns out five very affordable varietals. Try his Cab...for only $8 you get plenty of berry fruit and vanilla oak.

    1995 Cabernet Sauvignon, Apln.—California
    Domaine St.George Winery
    Sonoma County, CA

    Category: Recommended in its price range

    Postscript: Maria and Giovanni Cambiaso would be suprised at the growth of their little 1934 winery. Today annual production is 300,000 cases!

    About the Writer

    Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. He currently teaches wine courses at San Francisco State and San Francisco City College and is Northern California Editor for American Wine on the Web. In 1995, the Academy of Wine Communications honored Fred with one of only 22 Certificates of Commendation awarded to American wine writers.

  • Read more articles by Fred McMillin in the eGGsf

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