If hospitality could be harvested, there’s no doubt that Richard and Rachel Magnanini would enjoy bumper crops each year. What isn’t homemade at Magnanini is handmade. In fact, the personal touch is evident at Magnanini in everything from Rachel’s homemade delicacies; Richard’s proudest blends of wine, and to his father’s architectural work. From the outset, Galba, who worked in the vineyards when he was a youngster in Italy, has been intent on making the Magnanini Winery a family affair. It has been exactly that since the winery was established in 1983 to the first bottling a year later. In the spring of 1985, the family-style European restaurant was opened.
Galba speaks proudly of his family’s part of the winery. His son Richard is a self-taught winemaker, who’s been working in the 13 acres of grapevines since he was 15 years old. He also helped build the winery and restaurant.The family connection doesn’t end with the father-son partnership. Galba’s brother, Renzo Magnanini, is a renowned European artist who makes his home in the family’s native Bologna, Italy. Renzo was chosen by the Vatican from a group of thousands of artists to paint a “pala altare” (altar piece) in the Cathedral of St. Dominic in Bologna to honor St. Martin of Porres. In 2000, Renzo Magnanini donated one of his paintings, “Descent from the Cross” to the Hermitage Museum.
The artist also painted the murals in the winery and restaurant. He also has his work gracing the Magnanini Wine labels. The property on which the vineyards and winery are located has been in Eileen’s family since 1953, although it wasn’t until 1970 that Galba and Richard began planting wine grapes. “In 1965, I went to Europe. I was touring Europe and I saw American tourists drinking wines. I came back and decided to plant.” While the winemakers perfected their wines, Richard continued to do research on viticulture practices and wine making techniques.
The Magnaninis bottled their first 1,000 gallons for commercial sale in July 1984. Since then production at the winery has reached to 6,000 gallons. Richard and Rachel, with their two sons Robert and David, continue to work to keep the family tradition alive. The Magnanini Family has now been serving estate wines and home cooked meals at the winery restaurant for over 32 years. The food is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine and many of the recipes have been passed down for generations. Specialties such as gnocchi, ravioli, cappoletti, salami, coppa, and prosciutto are all made by hand on premise. The restaurant is open to the public by reservation every weekend from April to mid-December. The dinners are accompanied by live music and dancing throughout each seating so bring your dancing shoes!