It is particularly fitting, and some might say even destiny, that the Celani’s ancient coat of arms consists of three silver-masted ships sailing from a grove of green poplars over a rough sea in search of a new land. Vincenzo Celani came to America in 1912 from his native town of Ferentino, near Rome. He settled in Uniontown, Pennsylvania and began raising his young family, and working in the mills in the area before moving to Detroit and pursuing a career with Ford Motor Company.
Vincenzo’s son, Benedetto, had three children, including Tom, who is the proprietor of Celani Family Vineyards. Tom began his love of wine in the 1960s, helping his grandfather make his own table wine. From these early days, Tom went into the distribution and selling of beer and wine in the Metro Detroit area working for his father. Together they grew their company, Action Distributors, into one of the largest Miller Beer distributors in the U.S. It was then that he discovered the public’s passion for trying the new California wines, although not at the time respected as worthy competitors to the classic French and Italian vintages. In 1983 he began to seriously collect wine, even traveling to Europe to visit vineyards. His passion for fine wine was deepening.
Given Tom’s rich Italian family traditions and keen interest in wine, and then winemaking, it is no surprise that he fell in love with and purchased this Tuscan-style estate, with its 17 acres of grapes and 120 olive trees in the foothills of the Vaca Mountain range, where tiny villages with their twinkling lights dot the evening skies. As the proprietor of the Celani Family Vineyards, Tom has chosen to bottle wine without costs becoming a consideration. This is about quality, not quantity. To Tom Celani winemaking is not a business, but a passion. The greatest compliment he could receive is to have a perfect stranger tell him that his premiere vintage Ardore is the best wine that he—or she—has ever tasted. “If we never bottled more than 24 barrels of Ardore a year I would be satisfied, because our commitment is always going to be to quality,” states Tom.
In little more than one lifetime his descendants have succeeded in transplanting so much of the enduring culture of their native land to their new home in America. Now it is yours to enjoy with the introduction of the Celani Family Vineyards.