PinotFile | Joe Rochioli Jr: No Ordinary Joe. A History of J. Rochioli Vineyards & Winery
May 3, 2020
By: Rusty Gaffney
John Winthrop Haeger, Pacific Pinot Noir
Joe Rochioli Jr. (referred to as “Joe” in this article) is a winegrower extraordinaire, the patriarch of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir farming. Ever humble but very proud, he has an indefatigable devotion to his vineyards. His personal history is marked by numerous remarkable achievements that inseparably link him to the history of Pinot Noir viticulture in the Russian River Valley.
Joe’s family history begins with his paternal grandfather who was born in San Vito, near Lucca, in Northern Italy in 1874. At a very young age was left on a doorstep in town. The family that initially cared for him was extremely poor and eventually sent him to an orphanage. Since he had no name, the orphanage gave him the name “Michele Rocchioli” (“Mee-ke-le Ro-kee-o-lee”), a word that had no meaning in the Italian language. He grew up unadopted and became a cobbler.
In 1896 Michel met Maria Assunta Catalani and married her in 1898. Joe’s father, Joe (Giuseppe) Rochioli Sr., was born to the couple in Northern Italy in 1902. He immigrated to the United States in 1912 at age eight years, following in the footsteps of many other Italian-Americans who were to become notable families in the Sonoma County landscape including, Bacigalupi, Martini, Martinelli, Pedroncelli, Pellegrini, Rafanelli, Sebastiani, Seghesio and Simi… Read More at the PinotFile