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History of the Besson Family

A Century of Down to Earth Family Roots


From Vine to Wine, An Immigrant that Started a Legacy 

One could only imagine in the early 1900's what an immigrants journey to America was like.  This journey would lead a Frenchman, Jean Auguste Besson to the shores of San Francisco, CA where he would bury his life savings at Golden Gate park and travel south in search of property.  Weeks later, destiny would guide him to a town by the name of Gilroy, population 2,800.  Little did he know then that the land he would settle on would end up being in the family for five generations.  With warm summer days and coastal fog settling on the hills in the evening, the land and climate served the family well and provided all that was needed to survive and thrive.  Ample acres for livestock, groves of fruit and olive trees, row crops, and yes, acres of vineyards.  Some of the oldest vineyards in Santa Clara County today.  Grenache planted in 1910, Zinfandel planted in 1922, and Mission Vines planted in the late 1800s all gnarly and robust.  During prohibition, it wasn't an uncommon occurrence that grappa was made in the cellar of the original home that remains on the property today. Bottles can still be unearthed from the early 1900s. 

With farming deeply rooted in the family's history, it was no surprise that son George Besson Sr. and grandson George Besson Jr. would continue to work the land, the focus on the vineyards.  Planting and grafting new varietals, tending, harvesting, and selling grapes that have contributed to some award winning wines. These wineries include, but not limited to, David Bruce, Birichino, Bonny Doon, Calera, I. Brand, Orin Swift, and our next door neighbor, Sarah's Vineyard, 

For the first time in the family's history, Besson Family Vineyard is bottling under the family name.  With a petite boutique emphasis, focus will remain on the carefully hand tended vines that translate into quality wines.  Open only one weekend a month (weather permitting) and BFF special wine club events and release parties, 100 years later, the legacy can now be shared with you.  

From vine to wine, nothing pretentious about our wines, simply down to earth. 

“The Besson family has a long history of growing the best grapes in Santa Clara county so they already have the basis for great wines. When you work with great growers like George Besson and his family, the resulting wine is almost made in the vineyard. I’m proud to have worked with George, Denise, & James in showcasing the fruit with their own line of wines.” – Pedro Vargas, Vino Vargas