Ken Musso – Winemaker
Most days, you’ll find Ken among the vineyards, walking the rows, stirring the soil and caring for the vines. It’s the terroir, the “sense of place”, that drives his passion for Italian wines, as well as his attention to detail and commitment to the vineyards that makes every bottle of Due Vigne so special.
The name Due Vigne means (“two vines” in Italian). The first vine represents where the varietal originally stems from in Italy, and the second vine represents the varietal planted on California soil. The difference in terroir between our high elevation Foothill vineyards in California and the steep terraced hillsides of Italy, lead to wines that are bolder, more fruit forward, and beautifully balanced with nice acidity. These are the wines of Due Vigne.
Ken’s life-long passion for wine began as a young boy watching his father and grandfather make wine in the basement of a landmark building in San Francisco. The unmistakable sight and smell of fermenting grapes remained etched on his memory as his passion for winemaking grew stronger over time. His intrigue continued when he and his cousin discovered several bottles of their grandfathers last vintage in their basement, the 1937 Zinfandel. It was then that Ken knew he was destined to carry on the family tradition.
In 1973 Ken began a career in firefighting that would span three decades and put any thought of commercial winemaking aside until Due Vigne came to fruition in 2004. Even as a relatively new firefighter in 1975 Ken brought his first ton of Zinfandel home from Sonoma in the trunk of his dad’s car and fermented them in the garage just like his father and grandfather before him. The wine was a great success among family and friends, so he made it his mission to look for more grapes, hopefully those that he could farm himself.
Ken would continue to make wines for family and friends consecutively for thirty vintages while honing his skills as a winemaker through classes and seminars at UC Davis and other educational venues. Then, in 1995, the opportunity to find land and start a vineyard was realized when Ken and his wife Ann purchased a five-acre parcel in Garden Valley, California where they planted their now Gold Medal Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Sagrantino.
In 2004, Ken released his first vintage of Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Cabernet Sauvignon under the Due Vigne label. Since then, Due Vigne has grown to more than 3,000 cases per year and over 15 different varietals, most of which are deeply rooted in the Sierra Foothills. Ken and his business partner, Nina Fadelli, have created a portfolio of well balanced, richly complex and unique Italian varietals, cultivated and grown in California soil.
Due Vigne Winery is proud to be a certified member of the Fish Friendly Farming community. FFF offers farmers access to expertise on such problems as erosion and soil loss, stream bank failure, and water quality degradation. Implementation of this advice by the farmer not only benefits the environment, but also represents a cost-effective and efficient management strategy for the farmer.