Welcome to the Diamond Mountain District. You will not actually find diamonds here, but the 45-acre (21-hectare) estate that ... More
Welcome to the Diamond Mountain District. You will not actually find diamonds here, but the 45-acre (21-hectare) estate that grows grapes is worth a visit. The Graeser Winery produces world-class wines that reap a Bordeaux variety. Today, the winery produces about 1200 cases of wine which are packaged and sent across to select wine shops and restaurants around California. Wine tasting and tours are conducted by prior appointment. And when you visit, your tour guide may be Richard Graeser himself—the man behind the Graeser winery.
This winery has, as of mid-July 2010, closed permanently. Graeser Winery was located in the Diamond Mountain District AVA, in the hills above Calistoga. They had roughly ten acres of vines under cultivation, and produced estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and a Bordeaux blend.
There is still some uncertainty as to what the property will eventually be used for, though I would suspect it to enjoy some sort of reincarnation as a winery/vineyard location in the future. The potential of the Diamond Mountain fruit is certainly great. However, for the time being, focus your time on other, more open locations in the AVA.
Late in our trip, driving back from Calistoga to Healdsburg, we saw the sign for Graeser Winery. We decided that we could enjoy one more wine tasting before leaving the next day, and so we turned up the driveway. What a mistake that was!
The owner himself was in the tasting room pouring the wines. Unfortunately, he seemed to have already had too much to drink and was screaming at the top of his lungs about his divorce and pounding on the bar. Just a bit intimidating. The wine didn't offer enough reward for the relative inappropriateness of the experience, either. There are many other more appropriate wineries in the Calistoga area, all of which a better and more relaxing atmosphere, and many of which have better wine. I really wish I could say something more positive, because we do try very hard to support family wineries.
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