' Charter Oak Biography - Charter Oak Winery & Vineyards


Charter Oak Winery is a remarkable gem of a winery producing as little as 1,000 cases of handcrafted wines per vintage in the heart of Napa Valley. Charter Oak has a warm, authentic, inspiring history and award winning exceptional wines, meticulously and skillfully made by hand.
Charter Oak Winery is a destination in the Napa Valley where artisan meets artist. It represents a blending of wine and art under the auspices of family and tradition carried forth by five generations of the Ragghianti-Fanucci family.
Today, husband and wife duo, Robert and Layla Fanucci, helm the stunning Charter Oak Winery/Art Studio in Saint Helena, California where they create and produce their award-winning wines and world-class art at this one-of-a-kind, historic property.
A true family business, Charter Oak Winery was inspired by Robert Fanucci’s grandfather, Guido Ragghianti, an immigrant from Lucca, Italy, who began making wine in his basement cellar in San Francisco.  Guido brought his winemaking heritage to Charter Oak Avenue in the 1920s where Robert and Layla, together with their three children, now operate the family’s winery and art studio.
Charter Oak is the definition of handcrafted artisan wines.  The winemaking here is purist in style, but it is really no different than the wines that were made over 100 years ago in Lucca, Italy by Robert’s ancestors.  Everything is done by hand without any industrial equipment. 

The wine is artfully handcrafted like no other in the Napa Valley from crush to bottle.  Grapes are handpicked and sorted.  The wine is fermented on indigenous natural yeast from the Charter Oak Vineyard for several generations, pressed down meticulously several times a day with several handmade, well-stained purple Redwood bats skillfully made by Guido. The fermented must is then pressed out by hand using a 120-year old Redwood basket press handed down by Guido from generation to generation.   
Even the malolactic fermentation is allowed to occur naturally.  Once the wine has gently been pressed out from the seeds and skins, it is then transferred by hand to the barrels for aging, blending and bottling.
Robert inherited his grandfather’s old winemaking tools in December of 1986 when Guido passed away at the ripe old age of 98 but just right after teaching grandson Roberto the art of winemaking during the fall harvest of 1986.

Charter Oak is also home to Layla Fanucci’s art studio. Fanucci is an internationally well-known artist and author most famous for her unique cityscape paintings.
Charter Oak Winery and Art Studio is located at 831 and 839 Charter Oak Avenue in Saint Helena, California.