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Jenny Wagner's family has a long-standing history in Napa Valley beginning with her great-grandfather, Italian immigrant, Salvatore Emmolo, who planted grapevines and started a grapevine rootstock nursery in Rutherford in the 1920s. He grew and sold phylloxera-resistant vines – the same "resistant" vines that saved the wine industry from the devastating vinifera louse of the late 19th century. His son, Frank Emmolo, ran Emmolo Nursery and built a strong following among Napa Valley grape growers, becoming the leading supplier to Napa Valley vintners for five decades.
After becoming established grape growers, the Emmolos opened up Palermo Winery in 1934, named after the city from which they emigrated. The winery operated for less than a decade, closing due to the public's lack of interest in wine. As things worked out, the family sustained the land over the years and tossed their hat into the ring again, with Cheryl Emmolo establishing the building as Emmolo Winery. Now Jenny Wagner will continue the family legacy of farming vines and making Emmolo wine in the original winery built by her great grandfather in 1934.
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