SONORA, Calif. — Diestel Family Ranch, sustainably raising turkeys since 1949, is acquiring Willie Bird Turkeys, a like-minded family farm that has become known around the world for its high-quality poultry. The company’s fresh free-range natural and organic turkeys, plus award-winning smoked holiday and year-round products, will be sold by Diestel under the well-loved Willie Bird brand. From extraordinarily juicy and tasty turkeys for Thanksgiving, to maple-wood smoked chicken and duck, Willie’s products are smooth, mild-flavored, and a delight to the most discriminate palate.
A fellow fourth-generation rancher, Willie Benedetti was a legend who began Willie Bird Turkeys in 1963 when he was just 14-years old. In his first year, Willie hatched nearly 500 turkeys and raised them for sale as part of a Future Farmers of America (FFA) project while a Sonoma High School freshman. Willie’s independence and down-to-earth approach to farming is what made his premium offerings an instant hit among his customers. A renegade by night and turkey farmer by day, Willie never left quality to chance. His family-run farm always controlled the entire process of raising the birds and getting them to market. Today, Willie’s products are featured on the main menu of first-class hotels, restaurants, deli’s, and airlines, as well as through Williams Sonoma and independent natural and organic grocers in California.
At Diestel Family Ranch, an insatiable hunger for ‘better’ inspires everything they do, and like Willie Bird Turkeys, the family possesses extremely high standards for farming and crafting exceptionally delicious products. The parallel approach between the two companies made Diestel’s decision to acquire Willie Bird Turkeys a natural one.
“We are honored to welcome the Willie Bird Turkeys brand into our family and into the homes of American meat lovers across the country,” shared Heidi Diestel, turkey farmer. “As long-time family friends, we look forward to keeping Willie’s legacy and independent spirit alive by offering delicious holiday and year-round products, just as Willie did. Here at Diestel, we are turning on the smokers and raising a glass to the man who represented independent family farming at its finest. Cheers to you Willie!”
Diestel Family Ranch is now booking holiday orders for fresh and smoked whole birds for the 2020 Thanksgiving season. In the coming months, the full Willie Bird Turkeys lineup, including turkey bacon, smoked deli meats, smoked duck breast, and more, will also be available. Contact 209-532-4950 or [email protected] for more information.