Larry & Sharon Grassini
Instead of joining the rest of the family at church on Sundays, Larry Grassini's grandfather Articondo Grassini was more religious about keeping a garden. He would stay home on Sundays to make that evening’s ravioli from the green bounty of his garden, while enjoying a glass of wine (or two) …. Larry's father Leo Peter Grassini—when 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, and these earthy traditions have now been entrusted to the third and fourth generations.
After falling in love and marrying in New York, Larry and Sharon Grassini journeyed to the West Coast in their red Volkswagon van (complete with peace sign decor!) and eventually settled down in the San Fernando Valley. Over the ensuing years, Larry became one of the most respected trial lawyers in the US, being twice recognized as “Trial Lawyer of the Year” by the Los Angeles Trial Lawyers Association. He was also elected to the Inner Circle of Advocates as one of the top 100 plaintiff’s lawyers in the United States. Sharon kept her hands full raising the couple’s four daughters, but still managed to find time to become a practicing Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT.) She became a Certified Supervisor with both the state and national MFT organizations and served on the Board of Directors of the California Association of MFTs.
One day in the 1980s, on a family vacation to Santa Barbara, Larry and Sharon Grassini stumbled upon the 104-acre parcel of untamed land that we now call Grassini Family Vineyards. At the time, they didn’t have any plans to build a winery or plant a vineyard, but they knew that this piece of land was too magical to pass up. For about a decade after they purchased the property, Larry and Sharon focused on raising their bevy of children and didn’t do much with the land other than leasing it to neighbors to graze their cattle on.
In the late 90’s, the Grassinis realized that the wine industry was starting to bloom in Santa Barbara County, and began to investigate whether or not their land could be a good spot for a vineyard. They called the experts at Coastal Vineyard Care to evaluate the land, looking at everything from soil content, to rainfall amounts, to sun exposure and everything in between. They were shocked when they were told that not only was this dynamic piece of landscape a great place for growing grapes, but it was a perfect spot to try Bordeaux varietals (which had never done well in other regions in Santa Barbara!)
From day one, Larry's wife Sharon and daughters Katie, Corey, Mandy and Molly have been there in support of this exciting and enriching undertaking. At Grassini Family Vineyards and Winery, our extended family’s passion for beauty, the commitment to hard work and a memorable place all come together to make the wine in bottles bearing our family’s label something special. 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.
Katie Grassini, CEO
When Grassini Family Vineyards first opened their winery doors in March of 2010, Katie was thrilled to have the opportunity to combine her marketing, sales and legal skills as CEO of her family's business. She had grown up playing in the hills which were now covered with the family vines, and was honored to be tasked with protecting, growing, and promoting the place that is so near and dear to her, to her parents, and to her three little sisters.
“Having grown up playing hide-and-seek among the ancient oaks that dot these vineyards, nothing gives me more pleasure than introducing someone to the fantastic Bordeaux wines that are grown right here. I’m thrilled to tell my family’s story, and to share our wines with the world!”
Bradley Long, Winemaker
Born and raised in New Orleans, Bradley grew up surrounded by great food, and soon developed a passion for rich flavors. His mother taught him to cook and gave him an understanding of layering and developing flavors. In 2006, Bradley left the Big Easy for the big mountains of California to pursue several lifelong passions, including rock climbing and mountaineering. It wasn’t long before he decided to work a harvest in Napa Valley at the famed Cakebread Cellars. “That was it. One vintage in and I knew how I wanted to spend my time from that point on: making wine!”
Bradley honed his skills at Cakebread Cellars, then began focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon at Nickel & Nickel before settling down at Fantesca Estate and Winery as Cellar Master. After four years at Fantesca, Bradley decided to work a vintage in Australia before turning his attentions toward the Central Coast of California. He was fascinated by one of the newer AVAs in the area – Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara County – which was rapidly gaining a reputation for outstanding Bordeaux varietals.
As Winemaker at Grassini Family Vineyards, Bradley enjoys working with the estate vineyards, and ensuring that the wines provide a true expression of the fruit. “The fruit at Grassini is some of the most complex in the Santa Ynez Valley, and is farmed to the highest standards. Not many people thought Bordeaux varieties would grow well out here, but Happy Canyon has produced truly excellent Cabernet Sauvignon. I am thrilled to be a part of this thriving wine community, and to introduce the world to the wines of Happy Canyon and Grassini Family Vineyards.”
Lauren Dinger, Operations Manager
Jared Kent, Winery Hospitality Manager
Tom Bryant, Facilities Manager & Creative Genius
Our D.O.G's - "Dogs of Grassini"
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