Ralph P. Fäsi immigrated from Switzerland to the United States when he was 28 years old with about $2,000 dollars in his pocket. Being born and raised in a country where the legal drinking age is 16, it surprises most that this wine enthusiast never had a single sip of alcohol until he was 26 years old. Although Ralph always yearned to live in the United States, he now believes that what brought him to the Central Valley was fate. In 1981, Ralph and his wife were traveling through Yosemite on vacation and were in a horrible car accident that threw them off a 150 foot cliff at Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park. This car accident is what led them to the nearest hospital in Fresno, which later became the location for the start of Ralph’s entrepreneurial domain. At the time, Ralph didn’t know that he happened to land in one of the world’s largest agricultural hubs, but soon found out that the Ag industry is a trade he would come to admire.
After some success in farming, Ralph was able to buy his River Ranch property which included a 42 acre vineyard. At first, the vineyard was planted with Grenache grapes, but in 2000, Ralph decided to plant Syrah grapes in the hopes of creating his own wine one day. He quickly realized that he is no winemaker, and that this career takes someone with far more experience, and in turn, began donating a portion of his grapes to a local college, California State University, Fresno, for the viticulture students to produce wine.
Ralph’s passion to create an amazing wine did not stop there. His business ventures brought him to Argentina many times, and he was always told about Mendoza and the amazing wine produced there. After years of flying over the Andes, he was connected with a winemaker in Argentina by the name of Karim Mussi. Karim and Ralph instantly connected and understood one another. Ralph wanted to invest in Karim’s wine operation and soon thereafter they became business partners and set out to create something wonderful, FÄSI ARGENTINA wines.
Whether you want to taste something extraordinary, learn something new, or simply enjoy an afternoon, we welcome you to our winery. Our tasting room is pleasantly cool on a hot summer day (don’t forget to bring a light jacket) and the patio area invites guests to relax, catch up with friends, drink a glass of wine and maybe even spot a hawk or a coyote, all while situated along the beautiful back-drop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Fäsi Estate Winery is located on Road 208, right off Highway 41, just 15 minutes north of Fresno’s River Park Shopping Center.