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The Grade Cellars

The Grade Cellars was established in Calistoga in 1997 when the husband and wife team of Tom Thornton and Brenda Mixson bought 32-acres of a former almond orchard with the idea of retiring to Napa Valley and growing grapes. The couple lived and worked in New York City, where Thornton was a practicing architect and Mixson worked in commercial real estate, but became interested in Napa Valley after visits in the 1990s. In 2000 they replanted 12 acres of their property to Cabernet Sauvignon and had their first commercial vintage in 2004. Only 300 cases of The Grade Cellars 100% Cabernet Sauvignon are produced each year and Thornton and Mixson sell some of their grapes to other producers. They also make a Sauvignon Blanc. The widely-acclaimed winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown has produced The Grade Cellars wine since 2011. The name The Grade Cellars is a literary reference to the 19th century American author Robert Louis Stevenson, who honeymooned near St. Helena and later included a description of what is now The Grade Cellars vineyard and the stagecoach route leading past it – which he called “the grade” -- in his book “The Silverado Squatters.”

2009 The Grade Cellars Winfield Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

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