Illustration by Rachel Joan Wallis
In 2011, a case of mistaken identity resulted in hundreds of acres of Graciano being planted on California’s Central Coast. The problem? Winemakers thought they were getting something else entirely—Mourvèdre.
But in a surprising twist, these vineyards ended up yielding wines more intriguing than anyone expected. Now, thanks to this fortuitous accident, winemakers may have discovered a new superstar grape particularly suited to this California wine region.
Contributing editor Matt Kettmann talks to Andrew Jones of Sunridge Nurseries and Justin Smith of Saxum Vineyards about how this strange situation came to be and, a decade later, how the wines have measured up.