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Essere Franco | Verismo Wines

Essere Napa Wines

Essere is the Italian verb “To be ”. We are a small lot winery steeped in the history in Napa Valley with a collection of award winning wines. Originally founded by Frank D’Ambrosio, the D’Ambrosio Family are long time entrepreneurs and grape growers in Napa Valley with over 70 acres of land in Napa Valley located primarily between Coombsville and the Oak Knoll district (AVA).

In the early 1980’s the D’Ambrosio family entered into the grape growing business focusing on using premium farming techniques. This was important since Frank knew that "you can’t make great wines unless you start with great grapes".  Frank grew the farming business to over 200 acres of prime vineyards and his fruit was in demand and was sold to a number of well known high end producers in Napa Valley. In 2006, the family decided to also step into winemaking side of the business and released their first vintage. Through the years, the family created various labels and a very dedicated and loyal following.

In 2016, Frank decided that he would like to slow down and step back from the front-end of the wine business and return to his love of grape growing. Frank shared his desire with a group of friends, who were also proud Essere Franco Wine Club members, as well as young business owners of their own wine, Wolfs Head Wines of Napa Valley. This group of friends lead by Shaun Mesher saw an opportunity to carry on Frank’s Legacy and ensure the label and the legend lived on.

The idea of helping a friend and continuing a high quality family business made it a done deal. Shaun said "Just like that, we were having “caffe” on Frank’s patio overlooking the vineyard and signing a deal to become partners with a real legend and pioneer of Napa Valley." Today, this group of oenophile friends pride themselves in continuing the next chapter of the legacy. We have built Essere Wines upon our original Essere Franco beginnings-   providing our customers with memorable, award winning wines from Napa vineyards that are hand crafted from start to finish.  We are continuing to add sustainably farmed and socially responsible investments to make wine that make all of our customers proud to be part of our story.

If you are interested in current offerings please call 707-339-8019 or email