DON & DEEDEE SODARO
Sodaro Estate Winery was founded in 1998 by Don and Deedee Sodaro. Rooted in a deep love of agriculture, its inception was drawn from Don’s lifelong passion for farming, which began at age 10 on his father’s land in Illinois. Among the quiet of the countryside Don found endless tranquility, and in its bounty he developed a profound appreciation for the art of growing fruit.
Decades later, after launching a successful chain of inns across America, Don purchased property in Napa Valley. He hired an experienced vineyard manager and set out to build a world-class vineyard in an area now known as Coombsville AVA, revered for its exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Years of testing and planning ensued before Don and his vineyard manager planted even a single seed. Finally, it was time to break ground and together, they carefully nurtured each vine to develop the vineyard that yields Sodaro Estate Winery’s world-class wines today.
Within a few seasons of harvest, it became evident the soil and terroir were ideal for producing outstanding fruit. An expert winemaker soon joined the team, tasked with deploying his connoisseur’s palate and depth of knowledge to transform the berries into fine wine. Thus Sodaro Estate Winery was born and the rest, as they say, is history.
In addition to wine, Don also founded and is currently a partner in Hanford Hotels, a company that owns accommodations throughout California. For 25 years, Don has been on the Chapman University board of trustees, serving 11 of those years as chairman. He remains on the board and is chairman emeritus.