The Beginning

From Italy to Napa

Giacomo Migliavacca & the founding of Migliavacca Wine Co.


Giacomo Migliavacca

Born in Pavia, Italy, in 1833, Giacomo attended the University of Pavia before going into business with his father - a large producer of liquors and cordials - in his native Italy. 

Giacomo eventually made his way to the U.S., arriving in 1857 via the steamer Golden Gate. He made his home in San Francisco, operating a lucrative vinegar factory, until he moved to Hornitos, California, to embark in the grocery business. 

Hornitos had a large population of Italian immigrants at the time; many well known Italian families from Liguria (Giacomo was Lombardian) had settled in the area - Giannini, Chichizola and Ghirardelli to name a few. It was in Hornitos that Giacomo met his wife, Miss Madelena Semorile, an Italian immigrant from Zoagli; as the story goes, Madelena selected Giacomo out of a lineup of men, to be her husband. They were married on February 16, 1860, in Merced, California.

In 1866 the Migliavacca family moved from Hornitos to Napa and the Migliavacca Wine Company was born. In a few short years they became an award winning winery, a household name and one of the largest producers in California.

Giacomo and Madelena created a significant life in Napa, growing their family, their businesses and their real estate ventures over the years. 

Napa was home for the remainder of their lives; today they rest inside the family mausoleum at Tulocay Cemetery.


A History of Honorable Awards

Time Line

1866 to Today


Napa Becomes Home


First Napa County Resident to Receive U.S. Patent for "Bottle Corking Apparatus"


Migliavacca Wine Company Builds Winery in Downtown Napa

Giacomo Migliavacca sitting in the horse cart, circa 1890.


Migliavacca Mansion is Built

The Migliavacca Mansion, circa 1895.


The G. Migliavacca Investment Company is Formed


The Migliavacca Commercial Building is Constructed

Giacomo Migliavacca stands in front of his newly built commercial building, circa 1906.

Digital reproduction of the Migliavacca Building from the California Historical Society Collection at the University of Southern California.


Giacomo Retires, Passing Business to Sons


Giacomo Passes Away


The Past and the Future Coalesce