Ron Fenolio is now the sole proprietor of Veedercrest. He has been part of a farming and winemaking family with heritage going back to the 1880’s in northern Italy, where his great grandfather grew merlot and pinot grigio grapes on the family farm in Friuli. The family immigrated to the United States in stages starting in 1907 and ending in 1920. In the 1920’s his maternal grandfather bought a farm in eastern Contra Costa County (East San Francisco Bay Area, California). There the family grew cherries, apricots, walnuts, almonds and grapes, and like many Italian families, made wine in the basement. Ron grew up on this farm helping with farm chores and experiencing the tastes and flavors of fresh farm produce, the wonderful food cooked by his Nonna, who had learned how to cook working in her aunt’s restaurant in Cuneo, Italy, and experiencing the wines made by his grandfather. He also was allowed to experience the various wines made by several great uncles in their basement wine cellars. In the 1920’s on his paternal side, his cousin’s great uncle in law was an owner of Charles Krug. This was prior to the sale of that venerable winery to the Mondavis. On his maternal family side, three cousins are winemakers as well as a distant cousin by marriage. Today there are six wineries in the family owned by these five cousins as well as two wineries now sold but founded by two of these cousins.
In addition to his background in winemaking and farming, Ron has law, tax and accounting degrees. He has been a real estate developer, an investment banker in Japan and China, a diplomat for the United Nations in Southeast Asia, a practicing attorney and university lecturer (law, real estate, entrepreneurial studies), and a member of the board of companies ranging from auto parts and auto assembly, to circuit boards, real estate investment trusts, and wineries. In addition he has served as a board member of many non-profit organizations includng the American Institute of Wine and Food, Family Winemakers of California, the Knights of the Vine, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival, the Napa Valley Symphony, and Camp Soaring Eagle (camp for children with terminal illnesses), among others. He is a dedicated Italophile who also owns an imported Italian wine distribution company. In addition to his winery duties he is the past Director of Wine Education at Ramekins Cooking School and Inn in Sonoma, California.