Berges & Domeniconi, wholesale dealers in California wines and brandies, 708 and 710 Sansome street, San Francisco, are successors of the firm of Frapelli & Domeniconi, which was started by the purchase of the Victoria wine cellars and distillery of Sonoma, in 1874. This property also embraced a small vineyard, and increasing the output by the purchase of grapes they manufactured annually about 100,000 gallons of wine and 400 gallons of brandy. In 1876 they opened salesrooms at the present location on Sansome street, and continued their business until 1882, when Mr. Berges purchased an interest and the firm became Frapelli, Berges & Domeniconi. In 1889 Mr. Frapelli retired. The house largely increased its business, and now manufactures annually about 300,000 gallons of wine and 500 barrels of brandy, dry wines and brandies being specialties. In their cellars they carry a stock of 500,000 gallons besides handling large quantities in other cellars. They sell largely throughout different parts of the East, their principal market being New York city.
P. B. Berges was born in France, near Bordeaux, in 1839. His father being a vineyardist and winemaker, he received the benefit of years of experience in every department of the business. In 1855 young Berges started for California, by sailing vessel, via Cape Horn, and after a voyage of nine months landed safe in San Francisco. Going to the mines, he worked about four weeks, with poor success, after which he returned to the vicinity of San Francisco. There he found employment on a vegetable ranch, and two and a half years later purchased a half interest in the 175 acres, and followed the business until 1865, when he sold out and became a partner in the Miners' Restaurant, in San Francisco. In 1871 he again sold, spending the following two years in rest and travel. In 1873 he purchased an interest in the restaurant, and started a branch house at 737 Market street, where he built a four-story building, and did an extensive business up to 1882, when he sold his restaurants, retaining the building. He then purchased an interest in the wine business. In 1875 he bought the Falls vineyard of 160 acres and winery of Green valley, and manufactured wines for his restaurant purposes. His vines have since died by the vine disease, and he is now resetting with the resistant vine, which he thinks impervious to disease.
He was united in marriage in San Francisco, in 1873, to Miss Blanche Hirth, a native of New York. They have two children, Jules E. and Eugenie B. A. Mr. Berges built his present residence, corner of Pine and Webster streets, and also owns other improved city property. He is a member of the Ancient Order of Druids.
Anselmo Domeniconi was born in Switzerland, in 1841. He, too, was educated in the vine and wine business. He left home in 1860 by steamer, for New York, thence via the Panama route for California, where he arrived April 25, same year. He was then engaged in a liquor and grocery store in San Francisco until 1863, when he went to Virginia City, Nevada, and started a wholsale and retail grocery, doing a very successful business until 1870, then selling out and returning to California. He purchased a ranch of 610 acres at Monticello, Napa county, but after a few years sold out and engaged in his present business.
In 1877 he was married, in Coulterville, Mariposa county, to Miss Amelia Gazzoto, a native of California. They have four children, Severena, Leonora, Albert and....... Mr. Domeniconi is a member of the I.O.O.F., and of the Swiss Benevolent Society. He owns a fine property, 2,008 and 2,010 Taylor street, where he resides.
Transcribed 9-10-04 Marilyn R. Pankey
Source: "The Bay of San Francisco," Vol. 1, page 508-509, Lewis Publishing Co, 1892.
© 2004 Marilyn R. Pankey.
California Biography Project
San Francisco County
Golden Nugget Library