The Dufrane and Lombard family legend is; the coming together of a Napa Valley Lilly and a well known money lenders family of gold rush years of California. The families funded many gold expeditions and traded equity for land over the subsequent years from their landings. Today the families are still involved in financial services, winery compliance and lending but for hard assets-land. The family name is most familiar to visitors of San Francisco for one of the most famous streets holds the patriarchs name -Lombard Street. Lombard Street named after Genoa and Florence (the Lombard's). Lombard Street is best known for the one-way section on Russian Hill between Hyde and Leavenworth Streets, in which the roadway has eight sharp turns or switchbacks that have earned the street the distinction of being the crookedest most winding street in the world. The switchback's design, first suggested by then property owner Carl Henry and instituted in 1922, was born out of necessity in order to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles to climb.
From the family tree and a few switchbacks later of Genoa and Florence was born Mason. Mason carried on the family tradition of "loaning money." Mason then "got involved" with a young debutante with a decent lowery and land owner “from the Valley”- (Napa Valley that is). Ms. Annabelle Dufrane, was one of the famous, “Lilly’s of the Valley.” Fair skinned, refined and rich in prune orchards and vineyard properties she acquired via her many “involvements.” Ms. Dufrane was just what Mason was seeking; independent, a bit on the wild side but focused on getting what she wants.
The two made a perfect combination loving land, wine and managing winery financial services. For decades and today the family continues in that tradition. Enterprising and congenial, ultimately; Mason and Annabelle produced “a few fruits” along the way. In that tradition DuFrane Lombard Cellars was born. Today, the family is more reclusive then in the decades of the past. Discretion is now their mantra. For wines carrying the family name, only the best fruits from the finest properties of the hillsides of Napa and Sonoma are showcased. Each wine that is produced under the family label represents the best in fruit flavor, whites typically not oaked and always meaning quality with a nod to crooked street that is their family heritage always on the label.