The essence of the boutique brand is the word family.
Not only is Essere Franco family owned, but to say it is a family operated business is almost an understatement. Between our staff of 5 we have a combined half a century of experience working with the D'Ambrosio family. This level of commitment has allowed us to build programs that trully represent the family essence of our brand.
Meet the Team
Frank & Toni D'Ambrosio - Proprietors
In 1983 Frank and Toni fell in love with Napa Valley and bought a cute house from Doc Williams who was retiring and moving to the city. That small ranch came with a tractor, a thousand pinot and chardonnay vines, and a pair of Felco pruning shears. The Doc graciously showed Frank the ropes of vineyard management and in his first year sold 8 tons of fruit, giving birth to his agricultural career. Over the past three decades Frank and his brothers have owned and managed over 240 acres throughout the valley, selling most of his fruit to the big boys, and keeping the ultra-premium lots for his private labels. Throughout the years Frank and Toni's generosity and lust for life has graciously left a mark on anyone who has had the privledge of knowing them.
Trish Langfitt - Director of Consumed Wine
Trish is an independent wine professional with extensive sales experience. She has sixteen years directly in wine sales and marketing, holds wine education certifications as well as sommelier training. She has been friends with Frank and Toni D'Ambrosio for seventeen years and helped them open their first tasting room with Verismo's 2006 vintage. When Trish is not acting as our rock star host and sales manager, she is spending her time with family in the Cayman Islands.
Francis Dayton - Brand Manager
Francis received his BFA in graphic design from Virginia Tech in 2007 and moved to the Bay Area from New York in 2012 pursuing his MFA in advertising at the Academy of Art. While in graduate school Francis began working in winery operations and immediately fell in love with the craftsmanship and artistry involved with the process of winemaking. It's the love for the art that attracts Francis to the wine business. In his free time Francis looks for creative inspiration by exploring local and regional landscapes, music, and art.
Lisa-Mei Downs - Controller
Lisa is the controller for Essere Franco and the CFO for D'Ambrosio Brothers Investment Company. With 25 years of experience in the accounting and finance world, she has inherent ability and passion to ensure a company's success and growth. When Lisa isn't crunching numbers, she is working towards a degree in Economics, kayaking, as well as spending time with her family and dogs.
Gloria Limon-Valentine - Operations Manager & Director of Vineyard Management.
Gloria has been working with the D'Ambrosio family for 20 years and splits her time between being thr Operations Manager for the D'Ambrosio Brothers Investment Company and the Director of Vineyard Operations for D'Ambrosio Vineyards. Gloria negotiates and sells our fruit, coordinates harvest picks and delivery times, manages all vineyard personel, and maintains a culture of safety and safe work practices both in our offices and in our vineyards. Gloria keeps herself busy in her free time by coaching competitive soccer and softball.