September 2020 is California Wine Month
This gives us a great opportunity
to highlight some of the many
incredible wineries we’ve visited
over the years.
We look forward to visiting these
wineries again very soon.
We are featuring Storybook Mountain Vineyards in Napa Valley.
Storybook Mountain Vineyards, originally known as Grimm Vineyards and Wine Vaults, was founded in 1883 by Adam Grimm. Grimm purchased 400 acres of high-elevation land four miles north of Calistoga and planted extensive vineyards on the site. In 1889, he was joined by his brother Jacob – yes, the Grimm brothers!
By 1919, with Adam relocated to San Francisco, Jacob was making sacramental and medicinal wines, which were permissible during Prohibition. Post-Prohibition, the winery was abandoned and the vineyard subsequently destroyed in 1964 by the disastrous Hanley Ranch fire.
In 1976, Jerry Seps, a former professor of European history, and his wife, Sigrid, fell in love with the wild, abandoned site and purchased 90 acres surrounding the original winery, planting roughly half to grapevines. The Seps renamed the vineyard Storybook Mountain to denote its fairytale beauty and to honor the brothers Grimm. Advised by legendary winemaker Andre Tchelistcheff that the hills above Calistoga, with their red clay-loam soils and eastern exposures, were the best place in California to plant Zinfandel grapes, the Seps replanted the vineyard to Zinfandel. Subsequently they added Cabernet Sauvignon, other red Bordeaux varieties, and Viognier.
The first Storybook Mountain Zinfandel, released in 1983, earned a gold medal, and more accolades followed. In 1989, the 1984 Reserve Zinfandel became the highest-rated Zinfandel in history. In 2003, Wine & Spirits Magazine named Storybook Mountain “Artisan Winery of the Year” and included Storybook among its Top 100 Wineries in the World, an honor they have won 14 times.
Learn more about Storybook Mountain Vineyards here.