With Naidu Wines, Raghni Naidu Achieves Her DreamApr 13, 2023 06:14PM ● By Fran Miller
Raghni Naidu (pictured) never planned on being a wine industry trailblazer, but as the first female Indian immigrant to found and own a winery in the United States, she is exactly that. As founder/owner of Naidu Wines based in Sebastopol, California, her portfolio of varietals, including Estate Pinot Noir, Viognier, and Rosé of Pinot Noir, has received numerous accolades and awards, including Double Gold, Gold, and Silver medals at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Naidu Wines are also served at Healdsburg’s three Michelin-starred SingleThread. Naidu was also named one of Santa Rosa Press Democrat’s “22 People To Watch in 2022 in Sonoma County.”
Naidu discovered her passion for food and wine as a young girl in Punjab, India, where she was surrounded by international flavors and spices. After moving to Melbourne, Australia to pursue her studies in marketing, she continued to explore her interest in wine while discovering unique restaurants and delving into different cultures and cuisines. It was during an idyllic trip to Provence, France with her husband and children that Raghni’s dream of owning her own winery emerged. The dream became a reality when she took a leap of faith and purchased her vineyard in Sebastopol, California, launching Naidu Wines in the midst of the 2020 pandemic.
“I felt a calling to share my passion for creating memorable experiences for others, as I feel wine has a unique way of doing so, unlike anything else,” said Naidu. “Naidu Wines was fueled by that passion and is inspired by the farm-to-table lifestyle I experienced during my travels over the years; especially one very special family road trip from Monte Carlo, Monaco to Barcelona, Spain via Les Baux-de-Provence, France. This experience compelled me to begin searching for a similarly personal wine country setting back home in gorgeous Northern California's incredible rolling hills, sprawled with vineyards. I soon stumbled upon a remarkable Pinot Noir vineyard, owned by a second-generation Italian American couple that had planted and farmed it for more than 30 years. The terroir was so beautiful, the fruit award-winning and this was the moment where it all began; Naidu Wines was born!”
Naidu’s single vineyard, single varietal, sustainably made wines emanate from Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast AVAs. Current releases include;
- Non-Vintage Sparkling Brut, North Coast
- 2021 Grenache Blanc, Catie’s Corner, Russian River Valley
- 2021 Rosé Of Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
- 2021 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
- 2022 Viognier, Catie’s Corner, Russian River Valley
- 2021 Estate Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
Each is crafted by winemaker Matt Duffy who has worked the estate vineyard for many years. He and Naidu closely collaborate on each barrel blend, both sharing a commitment to the highest quality with respect for the terroir that Naidu farms and cultivates.
“My dream is to create a wine that is always limited production, high quality, with a focus on terroir; while working with artists that share the same vision that I do,” said Naidu. “My wine label bears my family name, to convey the essence of my family and its belief in the freedom to create one’s own path by following your dreams and passions with a tremendous amount of hard work, perseverance and grit, while remembering to always pay it forward. I am an immigrant woman claiming my space within this traditionalistic industry, because despite what others may say; I belong…. and you do too.”
Naidu Vineyard and Tasting Location:
2567 Blucher Valley Rd, Sebastopol, CA 95472
Photos courtesy of Naidu Wines