Nine years ago, Gregory Graham set out to produce world-class wines from Lake County. His hands-on approach to winemaking, complemented by 25 years of experience, is giving consumers fresh, structured, fruit-forward vintages that are reflective of a high quality winegrape growing region
“Wines are made in the vineyard, and harvest should take place at the perfect moment – not when dictated by a schedule” is Greg’s approach to his winemaking.
In the vineyard, he harvests the grapes at the peak of fruit flavor development. In the winery, he uses boutique winemaking techniques and early bottling to preserve the flavors. His techniques allow him to control the quality, bringing out the grapes’ superior characteristics. The results are excellent Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache, Cabernet, Viognier, Sauvignon blanc, and Riesling.
While working as winemaker at Rombauer Vineyard in Napa Valley, Greg envisioned producing wines under his own label. He began to do so in 1992, using fruit he purchased in Napa, Carneros and Knights Valley. In September 2000 Greg seized the opportunity to grow his own wine grapes and thus increase the quality of his wines. He and his wife Marianne purchased a 13-acre Zinfandel vineyard in the Red Hills Appellation of Lake County.
The Grahams live in their home upon a hill overlooking the span of vineyards, the estate winery and tasting room. Following the purchase of the property near Lower Lake, Greg replanted seven acres of the Zinfandel to pursue his dream of producing Syrah and Grenache, two varietals the Grahams had enjoyed during their honeymoon in Gigondas, France. First production from the vines occurred in 2004, and in February of the same year, the Grahams expanded operations by purchasing the adjacent property including a 13-acre Cabernet vineyard.
Gregory Graham’s winery sitting at the base of the vineyard-covered hills was constructed in 2006. The on-site facility (solar-powered since 2011) with its proximity to the vines allows the winemaker to harvest his grapes at the perfect time and engage in the winemaking immediately. As the grower and winemaker, Greg believes that grape selection, well-timed harvest, and careful production are critical to making great wine.
His practice of winemaking techniques has resulted in a number of awards. Consumers enjoy bright, fresh fruit aromas and intense, flavorful wines. He now uses the Stelvin® screw cap closure on his white varietals which preserves the wine’s vibrant fruit while eliminating cork taint and other problems associated with corks.