John Graves, Owner
John Graves began his career in computer technology, and after a decade spent working for others, he left to strike out on his own. Thirty years later he sold a successful B-to-B software business. John and his wife Denise used a portion of the proceeds to establish the Graves Foundation. The mission of the foundation is to provide disadvantaged youth in greater Minneapolis with access to the resources, opportunities, and caring relationships that will propel them to a successful life. Specifically, the foundation focuses on K-12 education reform and providing foster kids with support during the transition to adulthood.
John’s love for wine began as a hobby, influenced by a good friend and by Robert Parker’s reviews in the Wine Advocate. He loved learning about wine, hunting down interesting bottles and sharing them with friends. At length his interest expanded until the desire to learn became a desire to create. Around this time his winemaker friend Cabell Coursey began talking about starting a new label in a style they both loved to drink and share. They soon formed a partnership and the first vintage of Coursey Graves was bottled in 2015.
John and Denise have been married since 1980 and divide their time between Excelsior, MN, Healdsburg, CA, and Naples, FL. They have three sons, 2 grandchildren and 2 more on the way. In addition to making wine, they continue through the Graves Foundation to even the playing field for Minneapolis’s disadvantaged youth.
Cabell Coursey, Owner Winemaker
Cabell’s love for winemaking began in Burgundy where he worked his first harvest during an undergraduate semester abroad. Post grad, he returned for additional vintages picking grapes, scrubbing tanks and barrels, and learning traditional winegrowing methods passed down through generations. His desire for knowledge took him next to harvest in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and later to Christchurch, New Zealand where he earned graduate degrees in Enology and Viticulture from Lincoln University. It was there he developed the passion for cool climate wines that guides his style today. Before starting Coursey Graves in 2017 with partner John Graves, Cabell made wine for Alder Springs Vineyard, Dumol, Flanagan, and Kosta Browne.