The key to making great wines is great farming in the vineyards, and, over the years, Spencer Graham has learned that the key to great farming is nurturing great relationships. So, Spencer spends a great deal of his time finding vineyards, meeting the farmers, and establishing the relationships that help yield the grapes that we ultimately make into Elizabeth Spencer wines.
Spencer establishes and nurtures these long-lasting relationships with our grape growers on the basis of mutual respect and trust, overall goodwill and an agreement about how the vineyards are to be farmed and the land protected and respected. Spencer has a bit of the old school in him as he prefers agreements made on “one’s word” and sealed with a “firm handshake,” and we back this up by paying our growers fairly and on time.
Today both Spencer and Winemaker Sarah Vandendriessche spend a good deal of time in the vineyards throughout the year, and especially during the growing season, to discuss and oversee farming practices with growers and to assure that only the finest, best quality fruit makes it to the winery. They work closely with growers on best practices and goals for grape quality, grape maturity and harvest dates. We enjoy solid professional relationships with our growers and, over time, Spencer and Elizabeth have become close friends with these remarkable vineyard partners.
We began working with growers in the Napa Valley, and, in fact, have continuously produced our Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon every vintage since Elizabeth Spencer’s debut as a wine label. Within Napa, we have farmed and produced several different wines, including Cabernet Sauvignons from Oakville, Rutherford, Mt. Veeder, Atlas Peak, and Howell Mountain, and Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc as well. Spencer’s undying curiosity for all things viticultural led him outward and beyond the Napa Valley and into some of the excellent and different neighboring regions. Today, we produce elegant and amply fruited Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Grenache from the unique and cooler climate of the Sonoma Coast. Newer relationships with a small handful of outstanding and experienced growers in Mendocino now produce a inspiring fruit for a clutch of vividly fresh and endearingly delicious wines, including our popular, label-certified organic Sauvignon Blanc, as well as some Chenin Blanc, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, and a vibrant Grenache.