Headshot of Christopher Silva

Christopher Silva

President & CEO, St. Francis Winery & Vineyards
Department: William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration


As President & CEO of St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Christopher Silva has a specific focus: crafting world class Sonoma wine. As a result, St. Francis uses hand picked, 100% Sonoma County grapes in all its wines. “We built a reputation on consistently high wine quality, and our passion is to exceed high expectations by constantly elevating that quality.” Widely recognized as a Sonoma wine quality leader, St. Francis is committed to being the premier producer of Sonoma wines in each of its target categories.

Chris is a fifth generation Sonoma County native and member of the well-known Zucchetti and Cassina dairy farming families, who came to Petaluma from Switzerland in the late 1800s. He was elected Student Body President in both high school and college before graduating cum laude from Loyola Marymount University in 1986 (he spent his senior year at Loyola University Rome, Italy), followed by Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1989. He is fluent in Spanish and Italian.

Chris retired from the practice of law after nine years to begin employment at St. Francis Winery in 1998. He soon began traveling extensively in the U.S. and internationally as the Winery's spokesman. At the age of 38, he became St. Francis’ President & CEO on January 1, 2003.

Chris served for 5 years on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sonoma County. In 2009, he was elected to his second term on the Dean’s International Advisory Board of the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. In 2006 he began serving on the Board of Trustees of Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Chris taught college classes in legal research and legal writing from 1993 to 1996, and often lectures regarding wine, law, and business topics. His son Joseph, 13, and daughter Sydney, 11, are sixth generation Sonoma County natives and attend local public school, where Chris served for 2 years on the Board of their School District Foundation.

"Our time at St. Francis will not be measured in years. It will be measured by the contributions each one of us makes--as individuals--to constantly improving the quality of our grapes and our wines. 'Good enough‟ is contrary to our mission."
--Christopher W. Silva