I opened Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in 2007 to honor my beloved grandfather Valeriano Jacuzzi. As a teenager and young man, my grandfather taught me how to tease magic from the soil. The stonework and design of the Jacuzzi Family Vineyards and The Olive Press building is a tribute to our Jacuzzi family home in Casarsa, Italy. - Fred Cline
FROM ITALY TO AMERICA
The Jacuzzi trek to America started in 1907, when my grandfather, Valeriano, and his brother Francesco immigrated to Washington to work on the railroad. A warmer climate beckoned and they eventually made their way to southern California. Years later, they were joined by their four brothers and eventually all went to work in the aviation industry. Soon they would make American history.
In 1911 my great grandfather, Giovanni a skilled woodworker and vineyard farmer, joined them. Two weeks was enough to convince him that my grandfather and his brothers would remain in California. My grandfather and great-grandfather returned to Italy to gather up the rest of the family.
World War I intervened and their trip was delayed until the war’s end. During this time, my grandfather had met my grandmother, Giuseppina, fell in love, married and had their first child. My grandparents, great-grandparents and remaining siblings departed from Italy in 1920.
Soon after their arrival in early 1921, Valeriano joined his brothers and worked at their Jacuzzi Brothers factory. A tragic crash, in Modesto, of Jacuzzi’s first enclosed monoplane took several lives, including that of Valeriano’s brother, Giocondo. Giovanni asked his sons to cease making planes.
Valeriano moved his family to Northern California and purchased a 161-acre farm in Contra Costa County. During the depression, he along with help from his older children, planted a portion of the open farm fields with grapes and in 1936 applied for a license to make wine for home consumption. At that time, production was limited to 200 gallons (approximately 84 cases). The vineyard was planted to Zinfandel, Carignane and Mourvèdre. He sold grapes for $30-$35 a ton.
In 1937, Valeriano returned to work with his brothers at Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc. located in Berkeley, CA where they manufactured water well pumps and eventually, the bath and spa that bears their name.