Don and Rhonda Carano, natives of Reno, Nevada, and second generation Italian-Americans, founded Ferrari-Carano in 1981. Rhonda, CEO of Ferrari-Carano, has a degree in Nutrition from the University of Nevada, while Don, who passed away October 3, 2017, graduated from the School of Law at the University of San Francisco. In 1959, upon returning to Reno, Don joined the law firm of Bible & McDonald, and soon thereafter became partner in what today is known as McDonald, Carano & Wilson, LLC. In 1973, Don established the Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Downtown Reno. Together, Don and Rhonda developed the Eldorado Hotel into the area’s premier location for fine dining, great wine lists and impeccable service.
Don and Rhonda were introduced to the beauty of Northern Sonoma County in 1979 while searching for wines to enhance the wine lists at the Eldorado. They eventually purchased a 60-acre parcel in the Alexander Valley. The vineyards that were a part of that property piqued their curiosity about winemaking. As a result, they began taking classes about enology and viticulture at the University of California, Davis. The wine they made in their barn was bottled under the “Carano Cellars” label and was given to friends and family, and eventually appeared on the wine lists at the Eldorado.
Realizing the potential that this area held, the Caranos began to acquire additional vineyard land, and ground was broken for the winery in Dry Creek Valley in 1985. The first wines bearing the Ferrari-Carano label were released in 1987. Those first wines were a 1986 Fumé Blanc and a 1985 Alexander Valley Chardonnay. Today, Ferrari-Carano produces those wines as well as over 20 other white, red and dessert wines. In 2015, Ferrari-Carano’s 24 vineyards earned California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance (CSWA) certification, becoming a Certified California Sustainable Vineyard for their numerous efforts to preserve the land for future generations while producing memorable, sustainable wines of outstanding quality.
Ferrari-Carano has always been a leading producer of world-class, nationally-acclaimed wines. Vintage after vintage, the wines exhibit a remarkable consistency of style and elegance. Don and Rhonda Carano’s uncompromising commitment to quality and excellence is a reflection of their desire to produce memorable wines that enhance the pleasures of gracious entertaining.