Michael’s passion for wine took root in his childhood, with early influence from his paternal great-grandfather and his late father. Great Grandpa Farro made his own red wine at home; from the reviews of family members, it’s clear that Michael was lucky to be too young to taste the wine. When Michael was six-years-old, his dad caught the wine bug and brought Michael along on countless trips to wine stores and tasting rooms across California, seeking out up-and-coming producers. The sights and smells of those experiences have stuck with him to this day.
Michael began his own discovery of wine in his early twenties, with a curiosity for the product that was relatively unknown to him and awareness of the vast expanse of wine knowledge to explore. His research took the form of walking the aisles in his local wine store and avidly reading wine publications to find new and interesting wines to further his learning about this ethereal product.
Cultivated by Sunlight
Shortly after beginning his personal wine journey, Michael joined Premier Pacific Vineyards (PPV), a fast-growing vineyard development firm based in Napa. He was thrown into the world of high-end winegrowing, working hand-in-hand with winemakers who are leaders in their respective regions. The work involved tasting with each winemaker in their cellar and adjusting the winegrowing inputs accordingly to deliver fruit that best met their individual style and goals. Collaborating with over 100 winemakers each vintage, Michael developed an expertise in viticulture and winemaking through his nearly decade-long career at PPV.
Chief among the viticulture practices Michael explored was that of vine balance, achieved by enabling all components of a vine to thrive in perfect accord, from the crop load to the sunlight exposure, in the canopy and in the fruit zone. When the canopy is thinned just right, the effect is described as dappled sunlight exposure for the way light shines through the leaves, a key concept of vine balance. Pezzato, an Italian word roughly translating to dark and light, is a nod to Michael’s Italian heritage and a reference to his affinity for achieving balance by adapting the farming protocols for every vine at each vineyard site.
Crafted by Hand
During a multi-year hiatus in San Francisco’s tech & start-up scene, Michael began longing for days outdoors, getting his boots dirty and producing a tangible product that brought joy to his senses. The lasting relationships Michael developed at PPV opened doors, including the opportunity to work with Russell Bevan, who Michael apprenticed under during harvest off and on over the years. The long days and nights crushing grapes and managing fermentations further made Michael’s heart yearn for the full-time work of winegrowing.
Michael made the permanent move back to wine country in 2017. That year, he joined the Tench Vineyards team for a harrowing harvest, following which he became the Director of Winemaking and Viticulture. Leveraging his expansive winegrowing knowledge, Michael desired to create his own wine brand with the goal of crafting a wine to be enjoyed by family and friends. Pezzato is the next step in Michael’s unique winegrowing journey and represents his deep passion for wine.