A Legacy of Place

Madrone Estate is one of Sonoma Valley’s most historic estates. Grapes have been grown on this site for over 150 years and the first commercial wine business was established here in 1863. It is the longest operating winery in Glen Ellen. 

George Whitman planted vineyards and developed the first commercial wine business on the site in 1863, eventually acquiring over 300 acres. Within a few years he was producing 50,000 gallons of wine and 2,000 gallons of brandy.

Twenty years after Whitman took over the property, Eli Sheppard purchased the vineyards and winery and named it Madrone Vineyards. Sheppard built the stone winery cellar in 1887 and just a year later, sold the property to Senator George Hearst. Hearst and his son, William Randolph Hearst, developed Madrone Vineyards into a winery with a reputation as a serious winemaking operation, proudly serving his wine to guests and dignitaries in Washington, D.C.

Upon Hearst’s death and for many subsequent years - including through prohibition - the Estate changed hands again through a variety of corporate and bank owners.

In 1941, Italian sausage makers Enrico Parducci and Peter Domenici purchased the property and named it Valley of the Moon. The Parducci family operated the vineyards and winery until 1997 when F. Korbel Bros. acquired and rebuilt the winery. Today, Madrone Estate continues to produce Valley of the Moon wines to honor this rich era in the Estate's history.

In 2012, The Stewart family revitalized the original property and returned to its original name while maintaining its tie to Valley of the Moon’s significant history. They invested in a small lot winery within the century-old stone barrel cellar and completed a renovation of the tasting room and patio in 2014.