Former Fairfax Mayor Frank Egger and his wife, Ronita, recently earned top honors at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
The Fairfax couple’s winery, Cazadero Winery, won two 2013 awards for its Healdsburg-based winery, which uses grapes grown in Cazadero and has a home office in Fairfax.
The honors are:
- The 2011 Sonoma Coast Bei Ranch Chardonnay was awarded a Silver Medal
- The 2009 Sonoma Coast Bei Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded Best of Class
Cazadero Winery started in 2008 in Sonoma County and had its first release in December 2011. It’s a small winery, producing 250 to 300 cases of wine a year.
Frank served on the Fairfax town council for 40 years and is now on the Ross Valley Sanitary District board.
The Egger family starting growing grapes in Cazadero in the 1920s. Frank's grandfather, Eugene Egger (a turn of the century immigrant to San Francisco from Alto-Adige), planted the original Egger Family vineyard above the headwaters of Ward Creek, a tributary of Austin Creek in 1920. The Egger family ferried to Sausalito and traveled through Fairfax on the Northwestern Pacific Railroad to West Marin and on to Cazadero in the 1920s. The original Egger family ranch, where the family summered and planted a vineyard, was lost at the end of the depression, according to Frank.
Today John Bei, Frank's lifelong friend, grows the grapes on the Bei Family Ranch where John's grandfather, Andrew Bei (a turn of the century immigrant from Tuscany), also planted a vineyard around the same time. Frank and John have teamed up, along with winemaker Eric Demuth, to create the wines.
Cazadero Winery also double medaled at the SF Chron Wine Competition last year.
Both wines will be released at a public tasting in San Francisco at Fort Mason on Feb. 16.
Cazadero Winery wine is sold at Good Earth Natural Foods and the Steakhouse Bar and Grill in Fairfax, as well as Lincoln Park Wine Bar and Ludwig's in San Anselmo.
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