The Bourn Years
A Golden Opportunity
Marciano Estate revitalizes a proud winegrowing history that dates back to the mid-19th century. The property upon which our vineyards are planted was part of the Bourn family estate, a country residence for one of San Francisco’s most successful and influential families during the time of California’s Gold Rush. When the Bourns purchased the St. Helena property in 1872, the estate – which the family called Madroño –
included over 100 acres of vineyards, orchards and grazing pastures, two cottages and a home. Though the Bourns replaced the original house with a much larger home, complete with Victorian towers and decorative stone work, this new home burned down in 1888. A second home – one that utilized the original stone walls along with a few oak doors -- was completed in 1903-1904, and still stands on our property today.
The Bourn family had a keen interest in Napa Valley’s burgeoning wine industry, particularly Sarah Bourn, the family matriarch. After her husband, William I died, she devoted herself to learning everything she could about grape growing. In the meantime, her son, William Bourn II, recognized the need for additional winery capacity in Napa Valley. He and his partner, E. Everett Wise, built Greystone Cellars in 1888/89, one of Napa Valley’s
grandest structures and today the home of the Culinary Institute of America’s west coast campus. Though the onset of phylloxera dampened William II’s enthusiasm for the wine industry and triggered the sale of Greystone in 1894, the Bourn family continued to maintain their residence at Madroño, adding to their Napa Valley vineyard holdings and selling grapes to wineries throughout the valley.