In 1999, Mark & Jami Grassi bought a 14-acre property in Napa, south of the acclaimed, fertile Stags Leap District. Mark had established a custom construction business, but the seed of another life kept beckoning. That seed had been planted decades before, when Mark studied viticulture in college before pursuing a career in the construction industry. By 2000 Mark dug the first test pits on the Grassi family’s Napa Valley land and set aside four acres for planting. Early on, key guidance and wisdom came from Mary Maher, vineyard manager for Harlan, and Peter Franus of Franus Wines, who also helped oversee their first three vintages. Within two years, planting was almost complete and the vineyard taking root. Then, 2008 brought the first commercial release-the 2005 Grassi Cabernet Sauvignon. The Wine Spectator included Grassi among "hot new" Napa Valley Cabernet producers. In 2010 they released their first vintage of Ribolla Gialla, an aromatic Italian white wine inspired by their Italian heritage, and a varietal they enjoyed for many years before producing it themselves. Now, Mark and Jami’s daughter, Cassandra Grassi, is carrying their family business into another generation-and they are dreaming of more harvests.
Robbie Meyer began working with Grassi Wine Company in 2009. He maintains his own labels, L’Angevin and Peirson Meyer, and consults for several winemaking projects in Napa Valley and Santa Barbara.