Cante Ao Vinho was a dream started over forty years ago when Frank Farinha was 21 and younger brother Tom was 19. They are sons of Portuguese dairy farmers, rich the in traditions of wine made in the old world style. The brothers bought an old whiskey barrel in Lodi, filled it with grape juice and let it ferment. Needless to say the wine was bad, but they drank it anyway.
As the years went by, families and careers evolved for Frank and Tom, but their curiosity and passion for making wine continued. They joined the Sacramento Home Winemaker’s Club where they furthered their education of wine making. They read as many articles and textbooks they could get their hands on and continue to do so today. As their knowledge about winemaking grew, the better the wine got. They won several ribbons for their wines at the California State Fair in the homemaking division, so they knew they were on to something good.
Frank and Tom planted a vineyard in Wheatland across from Camp Far West Lake in 2003. They both love variety in wine, which is why they chose to plant over 20 varietals in their vineyard. To this day, Cante Ao Vinho has one of the most extensive wine lists on the Placer Wine Trail.
In 2009 Cante Ao Vinho officially became licensed to sell wine because as Frank and Tom famously love to say, they were making too much wine to drink themselves. Cante was then invited to pour at the Wise Villa tasting room in Lincoln until 2010. In 2013 Cante was lucky to find the Historic Barudoni Building on Front Street in Rocklin where they continue to pour and celebrate their wines today.
Cante Ao Vinho remains a family owned and operated winery, making all wines in house at the vineyard in Wheatland. Frank and Tom manage the vineyard and wine production with the assistance of Tom’s wife Jackie. They invited Frank’s daughter in law Shana Farinha to manage the tasting room and various aspects of the business, and in 2017 they brought her and husband Frankie on as partners rounding out the Cante Ao Vinho team.
With the support of loyal customers and wine club members, the Farinha Family has watched Cante Ao Vinho morph into a special place where friends and family gather to enjoy each other’s company, live music and local, hand crafted fine wines. During tasting hours, Cante Ao Vinho samples seven different varietals including reds, whites and port style wines. During most open hours, you will find at least one member of the Farinha Family pouring wine and occasionally tasting along with you. In the evening Cante becomes a wine bar serving their wine by the glass/bottle, with various food trucks providing gourmet street food and local musicians playing live music Friday and Saturday evenings and the occasional Sunday afternoon.
Cante Ao Vinho and the Farinha Family keep two ideals at the forefront – to share their wine with family and friends and have fun while doing it. As long as it continues to be fun, the Farinha Family will look forward to more great wine and even better times with friends, both new and old!
Share Cante Ao Vinho with your friends!