The GRADE Cellars
1236 Lincoln Avenue
Calistoga, California 94515
© 2020 The GRADE Cellars ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
The proprietors met on a blind date.
It was soon evident that a lifelong bond would grow from our common passion for food & wine, adventure, spontaneity plus an ethic for hard work. Consequently it was no surprise to us that while pursuing careers in New York we purchased a 32-acre vineyard near Calistoga on the other side of the country and began an odyessy into wine and agriculture. We moved to the valley from the East Coast in 2004, and thus began our first blend ~ Big Apple intensity with Napa Valley lifestyle.
We read “The Silverado Squatters”.
We were determined to grow the best fruit that our site could produce. We studied Winkler, dug soil pits, drilled a new well, and in 2000 we replanted the site with multiple blocks of Cabernet Sauvignon. While still immersed in day jobs, we crushed our inaugural vintage of estate Cab in 2004 and bottled as “THE GRADE” which is a name borrowed from the writings of Robert Louis Stevenson. He referred to “the grade” throughout his book “The Silverado Squatters” which delighted us with the metaphorical meaning of “making the grade” as achievements in life.
We teamed up with a first-class winemaker.
Thomas Rivers Brown, our winemaker, recognized our vineyard’s potential when first he came aboard to blend the 2010 vintage. His winemaking skills are now legendary. Thomas also fostered our temperament for a measured and deliberate approach to the wine business. Thomas debuted with a 99 Pt score from Robert Parker for our 2012 Block Five Cabernet Sauvignon which we have named “Kingly Project”. We are also fortunate to have the experience, knowledge and capability of Jason Ray as vineyard manager and on site team leader.
We share joy through experience.
We enjoy the purposeful engagement of grape growing and winemaking across the yearly calendar, but we especially enjoy presenting the finished wines. We have a habit of converting our customers into friends with whom we share wine in both our Calistoga tasting room known (“The Library”) and for alfresco events at our ranch. We are fulfilled to have been in the Napa Valley all these years with the opportunity to share the beauty and bounty of this valley through our wines and spirits.
Brenda Joyce Mixson