Franco Marchesi’s passion for wine began in his hometown of Borgosesia, Piemonte, Italy. As a child he always wondered what it would be like to be a winemaker like his grandfather Achille. In 1977, when he was just 22, Franco came to the states to work as a sommelier for a luxury cruise line based in San Francisco. After 9 years at sea, he decided to stay permanently in San Francisco. His career in the world of wine lasted almost two decades. He became wine buyer for a leading San Francisco Italian restaurant, and soon found himself running his own import company specializing in Italian wines.
Not surprisingly, with over twenty years in the wine business under his belt, Franco found himself leaving California to live in Oregon’s Columbia Gorge region, where the latitude is exactly the same as his beloved birthplace of Piemonte. He fell in love with the spectacular landscape defined by Mount Hood. "The climate and soil here are just like Northern Italy," he muses.
Franco began planting his favorite Northern Italian grapes on an abandoned apple orchard in Hood River, which he purchased and started to revitalize in 2003. He found it was the ideal location for his very own winemaking business, Marchesi Vineyards & Winery. Finally Franco Marchesi feels at home.