Graeser Winery

2.13/4

255 Petrified Forest Rd , Calistoga, CA 94515

(707) 942-4437

About This Winery

Graeser Winery Estate on Diamond Mountain is an oasis of old Napa Valley charm tucked into a picturesque hillside. The surrounding vineyards are planted to the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very special place
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Graeser Winery Estate on Diamond Mountain is an oasis of old Napa Valley charm tucked into a picturesque hillside. The surrounding vineyards are planted to the Bordeaux varieties Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. This is a very special place with a relaxed atmosphere, classic beauty and fine approachable wines.

The house, barn and tasting room were originally built in the late 1800s by the Cole family, and contribute to the peaceful country atmosphere. Bright red umbrellas shade the outdoor patios; a rose garden, manicured lawns, vineyards and redwood trees complete the bucolic setting.

To summon your tasting-room host, pull on the thick rope outside the door of the old house. The tower bell will ring and your host will arrive to offer you a sampling of some of their Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, a Bordeaux blend, Zinfandel, Semillon or a late-harvest Semillon. (For chocolate lovers, take home a bottle of Estate Cabernet that has been covered in a pound of chocolate.)

The tasting room has old redwood flooring and a barrel-stave tasting counter. Old photographs of the Cole family line the yellow-painted walls. A parrot and a cockatiel share the cozy space in this family-run, off-the-beaten-path destination. The park-like setting makes for a great picnic spot.

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Winery Information

Hours: Open daily 10 to 5 pm
Tasting Fees: Tasting fee $10 credited with purchase
Tours: Tours by Appointment
Price Range: $16 to $45 per bottle
Established: 1984
Vineyards: 10 acres
Production: 3,000 cases
Winery Dog: Jack (Lab/Great Dane)

Amenities

  • Barrel Sampling

Ambiances

  • Casual & Relaxed
  • Family Run
  • Historic Features
  • Kid Friendly
  • Off the Beaten Path
  • Resort Like

Wine Types

  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Pinot Noir

Winery Map

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Reviews

2/4
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2.5/4

Graeser is one of those places that remind you of perhaps what Napa used to be. More of a farm-like atmosphere than anything else, Graeser has some pretty good wine that is pretty impossible to find anywhere else. After being warmly greeted by Jack (the local wine dog. Seems like every winery has its own dog these days), we went inside the small tasting room where the owner (Richard Graeser) came down the stairs to greet us. You could tell he was happy to have someone to talk to, as I presume there's not too much traffic going by his winery. He seemed to be a one-man show, (his picture is on the label) and he filled us in on his recent business trips and work done promoting his wine. As I remember, the Cab was pretty decent and the proprietor's blend (Alex's Ruff Red) had another friendly winery dog on the label. The deck looked like a nice sunny spot to have a picnic lunch and it definitely seemed a lot cooler than down on the valley floor.

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3/4

We stopped here in the afternoon, and were "greeted" (well, they flung themselves at our car, causing me to need to panic-brake on the steep drive) by the two enormous winery dogs. Our hostess was an unpleasant woman, who declined to answer questions about the wine and stared expectantly at us as we sampled. This might have been fine were the wine extraordinary. Unfortunately, it isn't. One of the bottles was severely corked (and had been poured through halfway...why our hostess continued pouring such an obviously flawed bottle is a mystery). All of the estate reds exhibited very little fruit and a pronounced camphor character. The zinfandel was brown around the rim and completely exhausted.

My advice? Skip this one: there are friendlier stops, with better service and much better (and less over-the-hill) wine. In all honesty, any winery that persists in pouring such over-the-hill product must be in some seriously dire straits.

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1/4

What a beautiful setting! What horrid ownership, though. At the urging of our B&B, we decided to make Graeser a stop--twice. The first time we went, the place was left closed, despite it being well-past the posted opening (12:30). We went away to other, more open places, and decided to try again the next day only as a result of the continued urging on part of the B&B.

This second trip was much more eventful! On pulling into the driveway, as we were trying to park, our car was attacked by two extremely large dogs who proceeded to jump up on the car, damaging the paint in the process and making it impossible for us to either get out or go back down the hill. We ended up turning the car off and turning on the car alarm in order to get the dogs to get off the car so that we could leave.

A couple of things stand out: first, this winery is apparently advertised as dog-friendly. Draw your own conclusions on that one. We certainly would not bring our dog there. Ever. Second, the winery personne

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