Monday, July 19, 2010

Good memories of Graeser Winery

Graeser Winery tasting room © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Sad news to report... Graeser Winery has closed its doors. I have been honored to show my work there for the last two years, to hold my last two Open Studios there, and, for a little over a year and a half, to be their artist-in-residence.

Sequoia painting at Graeser Winery © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's a scene from a plein air paintout some of my students joined me for last year. That's Calistoga artist Sequoia Buck painting in the shade of the lane leading up to the tasting room.

Richard Graeser's Victorian home, originally built by Dr. Cole © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

Here's a view of the lovely Victorian house, built in the 1880s, as you see it about from where Sequoia was standing. The house was built by Dr. Richard Beverly Cole (for whom San Francisco's Cole Valley was named) in 1888, along with the barns and other outbuildings.

View of Graeser Winery's hillside estate vineyard © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

The far side of the long red barn, once home to many, many chickens – looking up to the estate vineyard on the hillside. Richard Graeser's parents bought the property – which Dr. Cole had named "La Perlita del Monte" – in the 1950s. Richard Graeser began growing grapes and established his winery here in the 1980s.

View of Graeser Winery from the hillside estate vineyard © 2009 Karen Lynn Ingalls

This looks down from the hillside estate vineyard, toward the tasting room and house, with views of Mt. St. Helena beyond obscured by the fog. The winery feels like a place outside of time, in its own small, very beautiful world.

Here's to a magical place, and a wonderful winery! I wish Richard and Rebecca all the best, and I thank them for their friendship, and for loving my paintings.


  1. Dear Karen,
    Thank you so much for all the years that we shared together at Graeser, I will miss your smiling face and the great laughs that we shared during our short time together. Richard and I parted as you may already know by now but all is well with my soul! I will be in Napa soon and I look forward to seeing you at that time. Love much,
    Rebecca Ahl

  2. Dear Rebecca,
    It's good to hear from you! It would be great to see you when you are in the area. Keep me posted!
    Looking forward to seeing you then,