This week marks Frank Family’s 28th anniversary! Our doors opened to the public on July 4th weekend in 1993 and here we are preparing for yet another memorable holiday in Napa Valley. Our winery has grown from a passion into a business, and we are grateful for 28 years of hosting guests, telling stories, and connecting over wine with all of you. Today, we’re sharing 28 fun facts about our winery then and now in honor of 28 amazing years.
1. Our winery property in Calistoga has been grounds for winemaking well over 100 years. First constructed in 1884, our Historic Stone Building is considered an archetype of California’s wine country – appearing on the National Register of Historical Places and listed as a Point of Historical Interest in the state of California.
2. In the 1990s, the Napa Valley Vintners, the region’s leading nonprofit trade association, housed their offices in the restored Craftsman house on our property that is now the Frank Family tasting room.
3. The first Cabernet Sauvignon we produced was under the label “Frank-Rombauer Larmead Cellars,” created in partnership between lifelong friends, Rich Frank and Koerner Rombauer. In 2000, after a massive electrical fire tore through our property, the two decided it was time to part ways as business partners. Rich rebuilt the damaged portions of the winery, with the historic stone building still intact, and that is when Frank Family Vineyards was born.
4. Frank Family was the first Napa winery to use silk screen printed labels on our wine bottles which won an international award for their creativity and design in the early 2000s.
5. Frank Family was one of the last wineries in Napa Valley to continue the tradition of hand riddling sparkling wine.
6. The Frank Family tasting room has humble beginnings. It was originally housed in a small white trailer until 2008 when it was removed to make better use of the natural surroundings of the estate.
7. Over the years, Frank Family has hosted many prominent celebrities at the winery including Oprah Winfrey in 2008.
8. Frank Family owns four vineyards throughout Napa Valley which are important to our family, not only for the grapes they produce, but for their namesakes – Rich and Leslie’s grandchildren – Lewis, Stella, Jeremy, and Benjamin.
9. Frank Family has been home to many family celebrations, the most important being Rich and Leslie’s wedding on May 5, 2012.
10. Frank Family Vineyards is the “second career” for both Rich and Leslie Frank. Rich served as the President of Disney Studios for nearly a decade where Aladdin, the Lion King, Cheers, Pretty Woman, Golden Girls and many other television and movie properties achieved phenomenal success. Leslie, an Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist, spent more than 25 years as a news anchor and reporter, the last decade of which was spent at KABC in Los Angeles.
11. The first vintage of Patriarch was awarded 98 points from Robert Parker, which Rich presented to his father, Hy Frank, on his 98th birthday.
12. Frank Family has been a proud member of the Napa Green program since 2014, when we became 100% third-party certified sustainable for vineyard and winery.
13. Our RHF Cabernet Sauvignon was created in 2015 and named in honor of founder, Richard Harvey Frank but also stands for Rutherford, hillside, and floor from which the grapes for this wine are grown.
14. Frank Family’s red barn was painted by Berlin-based artist and designer, Michael Duté in 2017. Since then, the barn has become an iconic building in Napa Valley and is easily the most photographed space on our property by visitors.
15. The Frank Family tasting room was redesigned in 2017 by famed Napa Valley designer, Erin Martin transforming our 1930s Craftsman house into a classic yet contemporary space that embodies the spirit of family in every room.
16. The Frank Family tasting room has three private rooms inside, each dedicated to a different theme. The “Patriarch Room” features wood baseball bats and patriotic touches that point to Rich’s father’s life. The “Hollywood Room” is filled with film memorabilia including two Emmy awards from both Rich and Leslie’s former careers in the entertainment and news world. The “Office” is our special VIP room which is the former office of Frank Family’s original tasting room manager, Dennis Zablosky.
17. In Fall 2017, Frank Family launched our first biannual printed magazine which has evolved into a 28-page editorial issue covering new wine releases and what’s new at the winery.
18. Philanthropy is very important to Frank Family. The winery launched our annual “Frank for a Cause” campaign in 2018 which supports a different charity every year. Some of our charitable partners have been the James Beard Foundation, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Feeding America, and Autism Speaks.
19. Frank Family’s Napa collection of wines can be found in restaurants and wine shops in every US state, as well as in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, and throughout Asia.
20. Many of Frank Family’s staff members have been part of our team for decades, working their way up from packing boxes and working in the cellar to various management positions throughout the company.
21. Frank Family’s Owner’s Blend is the only wine we make that is available exclusively in magnum 1.5L format.
22. 2020 was the first vintage our winery ever produced a still rosé. We call it Leslie Rosé after Proprietor, Leslie Frank’s love for Provencal rosés.
23. Our dogs are an important part of our family winery. Our original vineyard property, Winston Hill, was named for Rich’s late English Springer Spaniel, Winston. We honor him and our second dog, Riley with their namesake wines, Winston Hill and The Riley. Today, German Shephard rescue, Magnum follows in their footsteps as the official winery greeter.
24. There are nearly 30 different wines in the Frank Family collection spanning sparkling to Cabernet to port and everything between.
25. Frank Family’s winemaker, Todd Graff has worked in wine regions around the world including Napa and Sonoma Valley, Mosel, Germany, Bordeaux, France, and Hunter Valley, Australia. Todd has been our winemaker since 2003 and was awarded the Napa Winemaker of the Year award in 2020 from the North Bay Business Journal.
26. Frank Family’s Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most sought-after and popular wines in America’s top restaurants, appearing in the top ten of Wine and Spirits Magazine’s Annual Restaurant Poll the past nine years in a row.
27. In February 2021, Frank Family installed a state-of-the-art MBF Superblock bottling line that automates bottling, capping, labeling, and packaging, creating a safer and more efficient work environment for our production team.
28. Although Cabernet was the first wine we produced, our Chardonnay is now what our winery produces the most of and has become synonymous with our brand.