In the early 1930's Modestino Farina, my maternal grandfather, established a business to supply the immigrant home wine maker with California grapes in New Jersey. He also opened a winery in New Jersey to bottle and sell California bulk wine. In the 40's he had one of his sons move to California to insure the availability of only good quality grapes and wine. Most of the grapes were shipped out of Napa Valley!
All through the 50's, my father and his brother -in-law ran the grape distribution business. In the late 60's I started to come to California to work with my uncle in securing quality grapes for the continuation of the New Jersey business under F. COLAVITA & SON. The winery had closed down in the early fifties due to laws that were passed that banned the bottling of 100% out of State wine. However, we did supply many wineries mainly in Canada with bulk shipment of grapes. In the early seventies Sunniland Fruit Inc. was formed. For close to 30 years, Sunniland Fruit Inc. became a major worldwide supplier of California wine grapes.
Starting in 2002, F. COLAVITA & SON took over the wine grape operations of Sunniland Fruit. Our business continues to grow. Our main source of grapes is District 11, the Lodi and Linden Foot Hills District. We do not raise any grapes ourselves. With our extensive experience our main sources of grapes are from some of the best growers in their regions. Wineries from over 10 States are now using our wine grapes for their needs. For our home wine making customers, our "Colavita's Northern Special" on the side of the lug emphasizes the premium northern California sources of our grapes. In 2014, my daughter's Alison and Anna (fourth generation), began to take an active role in the business.