The known history of the Stolo Family property dates back to the late 1800's. This property sits at the mouth of the Santa Rosa Valley, one and one half miles inland from the coastal town of Cambria. It is bordered on the north by emerald green hills and to the south by Santa Rosa Creek, a year-round stream and spawning ground for Steelhead Trout. Deer, bobcats, coyotes, wild boars, mountain lions, and the occasional skunk also habitat the valley. To the east, rise the scenic Santa Lucia Mountains.
Sam and Katherine Berri died in the early 1960s and their children sold the property. In the 1990s, John and Peggy Prian purchased the property and began restoration of the historic Phillips/Berri house. The Prians also decided to plant a vineyard. This was considered a brave and experimental endeavor due to their close proximity to the ocean. Consultation from expert sources in the Paso Robles area led them to plant a nine-acre vineyard with Pinot Noir, Syrah and Chardonnay varietals. Crops were harvested and sold to local winemakers.
In 2002 the property was purchased by Don and Charlene Stolo, beginning the current history of TreViti Wines and Stolo Family Vineyard. Future plans include the construction of a winery and wine tasting facility on the property to be completed and the planting of additional vines on the land adjacent to Santa Rosa Creek.
According to local historian, Dawn Dunlap, the first noted purchase of the property was by the Phillips Family in the late 1800's. They established a profitable dairy on the property. They also planted 30 acres of oat hay in the field adjacent to Santa Rosa Creek, and added a second story to their home, which still exists on the property. Phillips sold the property in the early 1900's to Italian-Swiss immigrant Salvaore (Sam) Berri and his wife, Katherine. The Berris enlarged the dairy operation and built the barn you see on the property today. They sold dairy products to the creamery in nearby Harmony.
In his native Switzerland, Sam Berri learned the basics of making wine and grappa. After settling in Santa Rosa Valley, he began buying grapes from the York and Pesenti Family Wineries in Templeton. According to local ranchers, during Prohibition, he would secretly crush and rack the juice into barrels to ferment.
He also pressed the leftover skins to make a fiery, yet smooth, grappa. His still was rumored to have been set up in a hidden cellar under the barn. However, this location has yet to be discovered. There was a ready market for his special grappa in the local saloons. For over 30 years, Sam enjoyed a lucrative grappa business in Cambria. In the 1930's, the going price for his grappa was $5 for a pint flask, and $30 for gallon bottles, which was sold to famous saloon owners Rosa Camozzi and Joseph Reali. To this day, you can still visit Camozzi's bar in downtown Cambria.
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