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Gregory Graham Winery
by
Kathy Sullivan

Gregory Graham WinerySummary: Gregory Graham Winery is a solar-powered winery where the owners are delighted to have visitors come to meet them and taste quality wines. Red wines are produced from the onsite Crimson Hill Vineyard. Gregory Graham’s goal is to “help to raise the bar” in Lake County. A Vineyard Guest House is located in the midst of the vineyards and is available for rent. The Grahams support the nonprofits Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association and Konocti Regional Trails.

Gregory Graham Winery can be discovered just beyond a large red decorative gate with the words Crimson Hill. In addition to the winery facility with a tasting room inside, Gregory Graham Winery has vineyards onsite.

The tasting room for Gregory Graham Winery is located inside a modern winemaking facility. The boutique tasting room provides ambiance with a tasting counter made from oak staves, grapevines stenciled on the walls, and the soft glow of lights.
We met Gregory and Marianne Graham, a delightful couple, and owners of the winery. Gregory is also the viticulturist and winemaker. Graham grew up in Ohio on a vineyard. Since 1980 he has known what he wanted to do and has been a winemaker for 35 years. Graham believes that in order “to be a good winemaker one has to be a consumer.” In our conversation he added, “Wine should be everyday for people.”

Gregory Graham WineryCrimson Hill Vineyard

The Crimson Hill Vineyard consists of 27 acres surrounding the Graham home located at the top of a hill. Grape varieties include Zinfandel, Syrah, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sixty percent of the harvest is sold to other wineries. To produce white wines the grapes are sourced. Graham noted that all work in the vineyard is done by hand.

The Vineyard Guest House is located among the Cabernet Sauvignon vines. The three bedroom, two baths house sleeps eight. One of the features is a hot tub on the deck. From this vantage point there are views of the vineyard, Anderson Marsh and Clear Lake.

Gregory Graham WineryFrom the top of the hill of vineyards, you can see the winery below. The roof of the winery is covered with solar panels. Much of the electrical needs of the winery are met by the electricity generated by the solar panels.

In addition to the Guest House in the vineyards, another unusual aspect of the vineyards is the vineyard trail that can be hiked. The trail leads from the tasting room, through the vineyards and then to a gate. Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can enter the gate, walk across the road, enter another gate and walk through Vigilance Vineyards to the Vigilance tasting room.

Gregory Graham WineryWhite Wines

A patio area was set up outside the winery building. Tables and chairs are available so visitors can enjoy wine tasting outdoors. The area serves as a crush pad during harvest. We tasted several wines with Gregory and Marianne, while enjoying the outdoors and the vineyard just a short walk away.

Current production at Gregory Graham Winery is 4,500 cases. Sauvignon Blanc Rolling Knolls 2009 was a straw color. The aroma and taste had notes of grapefruit and tropical fruit. A touch of sweetness was on the finish. Sauvignon Blanc Windram Vineyard 2011 offered nuances of grapefruit and tropical fruit. The finish was crisp and fruity. The wine reminds one of summer in a glass. Viognier Bartolucci Vineyards 2010 was barrel fermented in neutral oak. The wine was a light yellow.The taste and aroma included floral notes espcially roses, caramel and tropical fruit. Riesling Roumiguiere Vineyards 2009 was yellow with floral and peach notes.

Rosé Wine

Rosé Wine Crimson Hill Vineyard 2009 was a blend of Syrah and Grenache. This light red wine had red berry fruit notes.

Gregory Graham WineryRed Wines

Grenache Crimson Hill Vineyard 2008 was a dark red. Nuances on the aroma and taste included spice and black cherry. The wine finished with mild tannins. Syrah Crimson Hill Vineyard 2007 was a dark ruby to purple color with nuances of dark fruit and licorice. The wine had bold tannins on the finish. Cinder Cone was a blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache and Malbec. This dark ruby wine had dark fruit and licorice notes. Tannins and spices were on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon Crimson Hill Vineyard 2008 was a dark ruby with dark fruit notes. The finish had chewy tannins and was fruity. Zinfandel 2009 was ruby with an aroma and taste of layers of berries. The finish was crisp with mild tannins and very fruity.

Gregory Graham Events

Each year Gregory Graham Wines has four events. This year a major event is planned in June for the Cattails & Tules festival that is to help the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association and Konocti Regional Trails.

Gregory Graham wines are available around the country and online. If you have the opportunity, visit Gregory Graham Winery where you can taste wines while enjoying views of the hillside vineyards. If you have extra time whle visiting Lake County, consider renting the Vineyard Guest House for a night or two.

Gregory Graham Winery
13633 Point Lakeview Rd
Lower Lake, California 95457

GPS: N38º 54.834’ W122º 39.458’

 


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