The Graziano family is one of the oldest grape growing families in Mendocino County. Greg’s cousins Eddie Graziano and Gil Tournour, manage two separate parcels of the original Vincenzo Graziano Vineyard in Calpella. These vineyards contain original plantings by Vincenzo Graziano of Carignane and Moscato. Newer plantings of Zinfandel and Charbono grace these unique white Pinole clay loam soils. Some of these grapes are utilized by Greg and his Graziano Family of Wines. To carry on this tradition of grape growing, Greg and his wife Trudi have planted two small vineyards. One is located in the eastern hills above the Ukiah Valley, Bella Vista Vineyard, where the rare Aglianico from Southern Italy is grown along with several acres of olive trees which contain the Italian varieties Croatina, Frantoio, Leccino, Maurino, Moraiolo and Pendolino.
The other vineyard of 20 acres, is located in the beautiful high elevation Potter Valley, which is located on the eastern fork of the headwaters of the Russian River. This cool continental climate is perfect for a number of white varieties. With this in mind, we have planted numerous white Italian varieties. The main varieties are Arneis, Moscato Bianco, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Tocai Friulano. We have also planted several acres of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir clone Pommard #4 and Dijon clone 115 for our red and sparkling wine projects. Because of our love of Italian white wines we have planted an acre of experimental vines. In this plot we have planted the Campania varieties; Coda d’ Volpe, Falangina, Fiano and Greco di ‘Tufo and the Friulano varieties; Moscato Giallo and Ribolla Gialla and finally the Sardinian Vermentino. From this vineyard we have produced some very nice blends and mono varietal wines which will help us in the future to make decisions about what and where to plant future vineyards.
Below is the third vineyard site in Calpella, old vine Carignane planted by Vincenzo Graziano, currently being reinvigorated by Tom Barrett, Greg, and the vineyard crew. The bulk of the Carignane remains, but new plantings of Primitivo, Barbera, and an experimental plot of rare Italian varietals will add to the growing portfolio of estate grown wines.
In the spring of 2015 my Aunt Adelina Solomon and cousins Gil and Lorena Tournour, offered us the opportunity to purchase one of their vineyards that was planted and owned by my grandparents Vincenzo and Angela Graziano. This
15 acre vineyard, which we have named the Vincenzo Vineyard, was a section of an original 100 acre property which was purchased in 1918 by Vincenzo and his future brother-in-law Charlie Comino. It is located in the heart of this 100 acre property and in the center of the Calpella District. This vineyard was last planted 65-70 years ago by my grandfather Vincenzo, my uncle August Solomon and my father Joseph Graziano. It contains Carignane, Valdiguie and Moscato. We have been busy replacing weak and missing Carignane vines and inter-planting a section of the Carignane with Primitivo that had an extra wide spacing, (8X10 spacing instead of the traditional 8X8 spacing. This will give us 1,089 vines per acre instead of 545). We have since planted 2 acres of Barbera and 1 acre of Sangiovese which was once planted to Colombard. We have removed the Moscato and Valdiguie and planted Dolcetto and Nebbiolo and experimental one acre vineyard with many red Italian grape varieties such as Aglianico, Montepulciano, Negroamaro, Nero d’ Avola, Sagrantino, Teroldego and several others to observe how they grow and when they ripen in our soils and climate. This new vineyard is drip irrigated from a well which we developed and is planted with a very close spacing of 8X4 which will give us 1,361 vines per acre. This close spacing will create more tonnage and better grapes because of the competition between the vines.
We now have produced two vintages of Carignane wine from this vineyard and are extremely happy with the wines these old dry farmed vines are producing. We are very much honored to be able to continue the tradition of growing grapes on this land
and to produce wonderful wines from them.