10-year-old Marietta Bertolucci emigrated with her family in 1901 from Lucca, Italy to America. The family eventually made its way to Northern California during a logging boom and found reasons to stay beyond the blue skies and looming redwoods.
In the 1920’s, Marietta bought a small Inn with mineral springs in Cloverdale, California that catered to bay area Italian families. She ran her business with grace and hospitality and served true, rustic Italian fare. Her husband Armé ran the bar, right through Prohibition.
In 1946 Chris “Christo” Bilbro was born to Marietta’s niece Emilia. Childless yet full of wisdom and love, Armé and Marietta took Christo under their collective wings and taught him the important things in life—love of family, fishing, hard work and how to cook a mean minestrone.
Great Aunt Marietta did not live to see the day her name was on our bottles, but it’s her indomitable spirit that is captured in our wine.
For the first 20 years after starting Marietta Cellars, Dad basically did everything. He sourced the grapes, made the wine, sold it nationally, and grew the business to the point where it had its own winery facility and 30 acres of vineyards.
Today, Dad has two responsibilities: he checks fruit during harvest and helps Scot during final blending. In his free time he hunts in California and Montana, fishes in Alaska, enjoys wine, reads a lot, and spends time with his six grandchildren. He has even started going to Pilates classes.
We bought the winery from our father in 2012, enabling Dad to take his hard earned time off and our brother Sam to pursue his goal of creating his own wine brand (www.idlewildwines.com). We now have a whole new respect for what it takes to farm the land and run the winery. But we still don’t understand how our father managed to do it all singlehandedly for so long.
Jake has been at Marietta Cellars since 2000 and has worked his way up from being a member of the vineyard crew, to tending all the vineyards, to running the bottling line, to managing national sales, to President of the company. Jake’s next challenge is to guide Marietta Cellar’s growth and to stay relevant under this next generation of Bilbros – all while keeping connection to the history and ideals that have made the winery unique.
Scot joined the family business in 2007 after completing a degree in Viticulture and Enology at Davis. He is now Winemaker and General Manager at Marietta Cellars. Scot is passionate about making beautiful, accessible wines without pomp and circumstance. It was a perfect fit to blend his technical training with Chris’s 30 years of instinct and experience. The success of Scot and Chris’s partnership has enabled Marietta Cellars to branch out and increase production, while continuing to uphold their promise to make the best possible wine at the best possible price.