Grasso Vineyard: winery information
Winemaker: Jay Buoncristiani
Jay attended Santa Clara University in California and received a Bachelor of Science degree in the combined disciplines of Chemistry, Biology, and Physics. After graduation in 1996 he returned home to the Napa Valley, became the Enologist for the Hess Collection Winery and developed a passion for the art and science of wine.
In 1999 he started the Buoncristiani Family Winery and vineyard management company with his brothers where his role became Winemaker and Viticultural Advisor for their label.
In 2001 Jay was promoted to Winemaker for the Hess Collection where he remained until the spring of 2005, all the while gaining further knowledge and insight to all facets of the wine industry. During these years Jay’s own Buoncristiani label became highly sought after, garnering scores between 91 and 93 points from Robert Parker and Wine Spectator.
Jay then moved on from his post at Hess before the crush of 2005 to pursue his current role as hands-on Consulting Winemaker. The Grasso project is among Jay’s first group of new labels. In 2005 Jay helped Frank Grasso bring his first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon to fruition.
Annual Production: 525 cases
The Grasso Estate’s Olive Ridge Vineyard “terroir” is characterized by the soil, the cool evenings and warm days that bring light summer breezes over Mt. George, and the surrounding hills that gently ventilate the vines bringing a slow and balanced ripening of the fruit. This unique “terroir” has produced a concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon exploding with superior character. Olive Ridge Vineyard is approximately 3 acres utilizing a GDC quadrilateral trellis system with the row direction planted north/south to take advantage of east/west sun. The vines are planted on 1103P, clone 7 on the slopes and 5C, clone 7 in the flat areas. The vineyard is never tilled but mowed to prevent erosion. Canopy management is constantly worked throughout the growing season. Total yield in the vineyard is limited to 3 tons per acre to ensure a concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon.
Grape Varieties Planted