Whenever I think about driving through Mendocino county in my Saab, (which I adore even though its battered and bruised) I think of two things now.
That lovely song by Willie Nelson and Lee Ann Womack called “Mendocino County Line”, full of tranquility and which evokes thoughts and feelings of wanting to be behind the wheel and driving through the quiet and peaceful roads up here. Secondly, my thoughts go back to a little journey in my Saab when I first came up to this wine area in November 2004 to source wines and I drove along the Anderson valley to visit Husch and Navarro and Handley and other delectable wineries, then cut across to Jepson in the Ukiah valley. In the summer of 2005 I returned and I was asked the question on more than one occasion
“ Heh Buddy, have you seen Sideways?”
What is Sideways!!” I said to my bewildered self as I left each tasting room.
It was only a few months later that I was so intrigued by this film that I watched it and realised why they were asking me this question, since the star of the film, a lover of Pinot Noir, Paul Giamatti also drives around in a beaten up old Saab convertible.
Greg Graziano, Redwood Valley, Mendocino
Greg Graziano, as one can tell from his name, is a man of Italian heritage who has been making wine here, high up in the Redwood forests of Northern California for over 30 years. His vineyard is as far north as one can go in the Mendocino wine region on route 101 that heads north from Ukiah to the Oregon border. It took me about 3 years to track him down after first tasting his wines in November 2004 but after much persistence I eventually managed to get hold of his home number and phoned him there. We met, tasted a number of wines and it kicked off from there.
Greg offers great wines, a stunning array of varietals over four different branded labels, with a strong influence from Italian grapes ( Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Montepluciano and Peppolino to name five) and they are cleverly priced too. Please click on the wines below to see tasting notes:
Please click on the link below to see the vineyard website as well as individual tasting notes and bottle shots for each wine: