About Us

Our Story

John and Denise Graves, Owners

Gazing over the magnificent Bennett Mountain Vineyard, for John and Denise, it was love at first sight. In 2015, they acquired the former winery and sheep farm, driven to revive its innate beauty. While founding winemaker, Cabell Coursey focused on vines and wines, they hired renowned architect Charles Stinson to seamlessly blend three buildings into the landscape. The Winery & Barn debuted in 2017, followed by the Hilltop House in 2022. A guy who loves to play with tools, John handcrafted the pond’s iconic bridge and ornamental boat. He is behind preserving our cherished oaks and planting the vibrant olive trees along the drive. Say hello when you spot John, sporting his signature baseball cap and work gloves, dashing around the estate!

John and Denise’s three children and five grandchildren frequently gather at the Hilltop House for family fun (and the latest Coursey Graves wine). With strong ties to Minnesota, they’ve committed the majority of their wealth to a family foundation led by son Bill, focused on improving the lives of disadvantaged youth.

Cabell Coursey, Founding Winemaker

Cabell’s career started in Burgundy, France picking grapes during a semester abroad. After graduation, he returned to Burgundy to work in vineyards throughout Cote de Nuits. Cabell had the privilege to work some of the very last vintages under Jacky Truchot and Henri Jayer.

Cabell attended Lincoln University in New Zealand, earning graduate degrees in Enology and Viticulture. Cabell’s passion for cool climate viticulture and methodical winemaking led to winemaking positions at acclaimed wineries across AVAs in both Napa and Sonoma. 

Cabell approaches winemaking with an intention to preserve freshness and a concept of purity and age-ability. The result is a wine deeply tied to both a moment in time and place.

Matthew Casalenuovo,  Winemaker

A graduate of UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology, our winemaker, Matthew Casalenuovo’s journey began with a last-minute switch from architecture to his true passion: winemaking.

With stints at renowned wineries like Williams Selyem and Ramey Wine Cellars, Matt’s expertise grew, culminating in global travels through New Zealand, Australia, France, and Italy. Drawn back to California, he found his calling at Coursey Graves.

Five years and counting, he remains inspired by the shared philosophy that farming and winemaking are intertwined. While his heart still holds a fondness for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, his focus now lies in the creation of Bordeaux and Rhone-style wines, with Coursey Graves Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and Red Blend standing as testaments to his craft.

Carlos Pulido Arreola, Vineyard Manager

Carlos Pulido Arreola, a native of Apatzingan, Michoacan, Mexico, grew up as the third of eleven children in a farming family. At age eleven, he began working in the lemon harvest and later moved to the United States at age 17, seeking a brighter future.

After three years working in Palo Alto, California, Carlos discovered his passion for viticulture during a visit to Napa Valley. His journey led him to Coursey Graves Winery in 2017, where he embraced vineyard work with enthusiasm. Carlos’s dedication to learning and teaching has made him invaluable. From grafting to harvest, bottling, and beyond, he continually expands his expertise while sharing his knowledge with fellow workers. Carlos embodies resilience, determination, and a deep love for the craft of winemaking.


Our Core Values

Exceptional experiences every time.
Fearlessly embracing getting better.
Tackling any task, big or small.
Lifelong learners, always seeking growth.
Better together, lifting each other up as a team.

Our Winery & Estate Story

The Coursey Graves Story
Estate Restoration

An Interview with Owners, John & Denise Graves

Our Gardens

By Matt Ripley, Landscape Designer

The Architecture

By Merritt Bambrick, March 18, 2021 

In 2015, John Graves looked at a rugged, mountaintop vineyard and had a vision to create not only carefully crafted wines that showcase the terroir, but also an estate that transports visitors to hillside vineyards and beautiful Monet-style gardens with panoramic views 1500 ft above the valley.

The vision for the property included both preservation of its natural beauty and the crafting of exceptional wine. Despite some major natural challenges along the way, they’ve been committed to restoring the rugged, rocky property to produce phenomenal wines and create an unparalleled tasting experience.

After the 2017 Santa Rosa fires, a swath of the property was reduced to ash and rocky, barren soil. The journey from that blackened landscape to the vibrant gardens and incredible biodiversity of today sprang from the vision and the talent of landscape designer Matt Ripley.


 Inspired by the vines, the hillside and the sun, architect Charles Stinson used the property’s natural assets, native stone and wood to create a one-of-a-kind estate with no detail overlooked.

Explore Our Wines
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Named One of 10 Most Beautiful Wineries in Sonoma County by Wine Country.com