' Our Vineyards - Gregory Graham Wines

Our Vineyards

Aerial view of the property: houses, vineyard and winery, with Red Hills mountains in the backgroundBecause grape selection and production are critical to making a great wine, Greg has always spent a lot of time working with growers. After exploring several areas for vineyard property, Greg and Marianne concluded that Lake County, and particularly the Red Hills area, was the best choice. First, as a winemaker, Greg was impressed with the climate and soils, and believed the area had great potential for producing high quality wine grapes. The climate is similar to Calistoga, with warm to hot days and cool nights. However, unlike Calistoga, the rest of the Napa Valley, and many other wine growing regions, Lake County has no fog in the summer so the grapes receive sun all day.

The soils in the Red Hills appellation are red, rocky and well drained, and are ideally suited for the Rhône varietals Greg wanted to focus on. Second, although there were a number of vineyards in Lake County, there were just a handful of wineries. Greg and Marianne saw an opportunity to get in on the “ground floor” of an up-and-coming wine region.


What is terroir? A terroir is a group of vineyards (or even vines) from the same region, belonging to a specific appellation, and sharing the same type of soil, weather conditions, grapes and winemaking savoir-faire, which contribute to give their specific personality to the wine.

The Red Hills appellation lies along the southwestern shores of Clear Lake at the base of Mount Konocti, a dormant volcano. It is situated between the Big Valley area on the west and Excelsior Valley on the east, and is part of the Mayacamas range. The Red Hills soils are volcanic in origin, intensely red in color and very well drained due to their rock and gravel content. There are several different soil types, but generally the soils are shallow in depth and rich in minerals and are ideal and unique for growing premium wine grapes. Located between 1,400 to 3,000 feet elevation, Red Hills is not impacted by coastal fog. Sunny warm days are tempered by afternoon breezes created by the area's proximity to Clear Lake and Mount Konocti. Cool nighttime temperatures make the appellation ideal for enhancing wine flavors and complexity.