Grassini Family Vineyards

2016 Overview of Grassini Family Vineyards


Grassini Family Vineyards is a family-owned and operated, boutique winery which specializes in the handcrafted production of wines made exclusively from Bordeaux varietals. We focus on farming our estate vineyard to its fullest potential using renewable and sustainable resources. A hands-on artisan approach helps us to make wines which represent the uniqueness of this special site and climate.

Location Description

Located in the historic El Paseo shopping plaza in California.


  • "Our extended family’s passion for beauty, as well as our commitment to hard work and this special place all come together to make the wine in bottles bearing our family’s name something truly unique."

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
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  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
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  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

Average Bottle Price

$ 50.00


The Grassini Family winery is as singular as the wines crafted inside. Borrowed and adapted from 17th century southern European approaches, the winery itself is embedded in a prominent hillside with the rear opening into spectacular wine caves. (The Romans stored their wine in catacombs, while the French used abandoned creyeres from which limestone had been excavated.) The caves ensure humidity and temperature control, while using a fraction of hydrocarbon or electrical energy sources.

All the wood in the winery is reclaimed antique fir, having been milled from timbers discovered recently in the Columbia River. The timbers were used in the late 1800s to move materials downriver to lumberjack camps. These same reclaimed timbers were used to build the handcrafted bar in our tasting room in the Wine Collection of El Paseo in the historic Presidio Neighborhood of downtown Santa Barbara.

The entire winery and vineyard is solar powered and the water used for irrigation is from the estate’s well-fed lake. Additionally, all water used in the wine production process is reclaimed and used to irrigate all of the landscaping surrounding the winery.

With a constant eye towards sustainability, both history and the future will be served.

The Team

The Grassini Family:

Instead of joining the rest of the family at church on Sundays, my grandfather, Articondo Grassini, who came from Pisa, Italy in the early 1900s with his wife Afiora Tinucci, was more religious about keeping a garden, and stayed home to make that evening’s ravioli from the green bounty of his garden, while enjoying a glass of wine (or two)… He also kept chickens. As a nod to Grandpa Articondo, industrious fowl roam our vineyard while sustainably fertilizing the vines.

My father Leo Peter Grassini—while not making ravioli on Sundays—was equally passionate about keeping a garden to grow much of the family’s food. He shared his love for the soil with his children and grandchildren. This firmly-entrenched tradition has been lovingly passed on. A vegetable garden has been planted at the vineyard and provides us with many of the treats served with our wine.

Now, these earthy traditions have been entrusted to the third and fourth generations. From day one, my wife Sharon, and daughters Katie, Corey, Mandy and Molly, have been there in support of this exciting and enriching undertaking. Different blocks of our recently planted Cabernet Sauvignon clones proudly bear the names of all of our children.

At Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery, our extended family’s passion for beauty, the commitment to hard work and a special place all come together to make the wine in bottles bearing our family’s label something special… and it is our hope that you will enjoy the poetry of the wine and its sense of place and tradition with your friends and family. Articondo would have been proud.

Practices & Techniques

What makes a great wine? It is, and always has been, a blended confluence of complexity, balance, finish and finesse. A bit of alchemy and a bit o' luck. Truly memorable wines are a marriage of vineyard and winery. The vineyard management works tirelessly and closely with our winemaker to ensure that every vine in the vineyard gets the kind of personal attention that will allow each precious berry to ripen to perfection.

High-density planting, vine crop reduction and hand-training and careful timing of the pick come together to produce the soft tannins and overall balance of the structure, vineyard acid levels, beautiful aromatics, and an elegant mouthfeel in the resulting wine.

Each lot from the different vineyard blocks is then fermented separately in small batches to ensure proper fermentation temperatures. As in the vineyard, patience in the wine caves pays off. Both red and white wines are allowed to spend leisurely and generous amounts of time in barrel in order to mature and reach the sought-after balance. When all goes well, our wines accurately express the unique character of this special estate and those who work there. In the Cabernet-based wines, this approach results in the inherent power and richness of the Cabernet grape being balanced with the finesse and elegance that define its character. In the whites, all of this work is intended to capture the typical freshness and liveliness of the Sauvignon Blanc grape and balance it with concentration and depth.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

Some believe terroir makes the wine. When the Grassini Family decided to plant vines on the property the family had owned for decades, they called upon Jeff Newton and Larry Finkle, the talented creators of Coastal Vineyard Care, to help them realize their dream. The vineyard would be placed in the best, and most experienced, of hands. Ben Merz, the vineyard manager, provides daily direction to the entire team. Ben planned and planted the vineyard in 2002.

Vineyard foreman Manuel Cardoza and his dedicated crew do all the heavy lifting that makes it all possible. Manuel and his crew planted every vine on the estate and it is their dedication that has helped create one of the vineyard jewels of the renowned Santa Ynez Valley. In keeping with the Bordeaux tradition of the estate, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot varietals complement the Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, unique Cabernet clones, tended by hand, enhance the exceptional wines produced on the estate.


Voted Best Winery (2014/2015) by SB News-Press Readers

Voted Best Santa Barbara County Red Wine (2014/2015) - Finalist by SB Independent Readers!

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12:00pm - 6:00pm (final tasting of the day begins at 5:30pm)


813 Anacapa St #6
Santa Barbara, California 93101
United States

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