Rashell (Shelly) Rafanelli is the winemaker and managing partner at A. Rafanelli Winery. “I have had the wonderful opportunity to follow in my great grandparents’, grandparents’ and parents’ footsteps of making wine. As a fourth-generation winemaker working in a family winery, I love to share our rich history, as well as our wines, here in Healdsburg.” Learn about Rashell (Shelly) Rafanelli…
Hometown: Born and raised in Healdsburg.
First job: First job was working on the hand bottling line with my grandfather, father and mother.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I love taking road trips throughout California and exploring new wine regions and restaurants.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is my son, Caden. To become a mother is life changing and has been the biggest motivator to be the best person I can be.
Someone who inspires you and why: So many people have inspired me, it is hard to name just one. Many are the women winemakers, who early on, had to work extra hard and overcome the many obstacles to create their own wines and leave their mark in this industry. They have helped pave the way for the young women who wanted to follow in their footsteps and pursue careers in the wine business.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Don’t be afraid to ask for help and never stop wanting to learn more.
Favorite quote: This is something my dad shared a long time ago: “You should love and enjoy what you do. Grape growing and winemaking are not jobs; they are a way of life. You will only be successful in this business if you are truly happy in it. And you will need to learn how to balance moving forward and progressing while at the same time, preserving what you have.”
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I have been riding and competing on horses my whole life. I am super competitive. I don’t like to cook and I don’t like to garden, but I love to eat and drink wine!
What makes someone fabulous: Someone who pushes past the barriers to accomplish their goals and then is willing to help others do the same.