Bella Cavalli Farms

In The Beginning…

They say that everything has a beginning…as distant and vague as it may be…but a beginning. And so, Bella Cavalli originated a long time ago and the owners, Joanne and Jeff Lockwood, had to sort through many of their old memories and reach back a long way to find out exactly how it all did actually begin.

Joanne DiVita (her maiden name) has a very Italian father and a mother from Ireland. Her Italian heritage is quite obvious and is rooted, a generation or more back, in the farming and farmlands around Calabria, Italy where everyone had their own farms and family vineyards from which they made their wine. Joanne had sensed since early adulthood that eventually she would return to the land and so named the farm that she and Jeff purchased, “Bella Cavalli”, which means “beautiful horses” in Italian.

Jeff grew up in a small agricultural town in Northern California and spent most of his time working on the farms owned by his family. His father enjoyed telling friends that Jeff could drive a tractor before he knew how to ride a bicycle and that’s probably true.

And although Jeff has a lot of English and Irish in his background his parents were raised in the Midwest in an area heavily settled with Italian immigrants from whom most of their friends were drawn. As Jeff grew up, he returned to this area frequently with his parents and heard time and again the stories of Grandpa Molinarolo who raised big black juicy Concord grapes crammed with sugar from which many made delicious jellies but Grandpa made a dark full bodied wine that could blow your hat off. And just before harvest, when the wine supply was miserably low, how downright irascible he became!

So, some will say it was foreseeable that Joanne and Jeff would eventually wind up with a farm making premier wine and raising fine horses. Some will say it was fate that they, after searching for years, finally found their dream on a beautiful site in the Santa Ynez Valley that they now call Bella Cavalli. And probably they’re right.

You really must visit Bella Cavalli which is located in the stunning Santa Ynez Valley that is just over the hill from Santa Barbara and widely known for its beautiful horses and world class wines. The Valley, with its mild Mediterranean temperatures, proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean and lengthy growing and maturing seasons, has literally vaulted into the ranks of the premier wine producing areas of the world. Recognized widely, the Santa Ynez continues to impress and reward those looking for fine wine…and Bella Cavalli is now a part of that heritage.