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Grassini Family Vineyard Photos // Santa Ynez, California, Photographer

June 21, 2017

I am proud to bring you one of my favorite locations I have ever photographed. The Grassini Family Vineyard. Being that I want to photograph couples and weddings with intention, I went out to find the places that I found special and that resinated with my values.

In 2002, the Grassini family began planting vines and selling fruit. They started producing wine in 2007 alongside their first official “Vintage”. The tasting room/winery and the main establishment opened up in 2010. The construction of the winery is very unique and plays into the whole philosophy around the vineyard.

When you walk into the winery you are on the ground level and as you walk back into the barrel room, you are underground, utilizing the natural landscape as a perfect cooling source. The barrel room is amazing. Be patient, you will see those photos below. =) 

The winery is built out of all reclaimed wood from two main sources; abandoned gold mines in Colorado and lumber jack barges from the Columbia River in Washington. Some of these logs were underwater for 150 years! How amazing is that? The Grassini Vineyard is low impact and as eco friendly as possible. The winery has six, giant, solar panels and collects as much water as they can from there on site pond and water well.  They reclaim water and use it as a main source for their irrigation. Also, all of the grapes, from start to finish, are grown at the vineyard. This makes the Grassini Vineyard unique in comparison to many others. The goal is to try to keep everything low impact and on site, thus, creating an environment built around a local ecosystem. 

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Couples get full access to the property, unless there is a smaller private event going on. The staff helps with coordinating and details regarding booking. Couples have different sites to choose from, depending on the amount of people that are invited to their event. The pond is one of the main locations that clients can choose from for their wedding, alongside the Railway Car Bridge and the front of the barn, which you will see below. Everyone’s vision is different, therefore, being flexible and intentional while customizing each clients vision is super important to the Grassini family and their staff.

Picking, sorting, bottling, labeling, and wax dipping all happens on site. Not much is outsourced, which is very important to the vineyard. Part of their philosophy includes never going to buy grapes from another vineyard. This limits the amount of wine that can be made, but goes along side the business model of being 100% estate grown. They do not want to compromise quality in anyway.

Another cool attribute of the vineyard, that I mentioned above, is its Railway Car Bridge. The bridge is an old split railway car put side by side to make a bridge over the creak that runs through the vineyard. All of these sites were made by Tom, the on site grounds manager. He built the bridge, barn, brought all of the wood in, and manages the grounds with amazing care. He was described as the most unique, kindest, renaissance man you will ever meet that genuinely cares about the well being of the guests at Grassini. 

For those that enjoy a good and unique breakfast experience, they also have farm fresh eggs on site from their chickens.

Following the leadership of the Grassini family in the treatment of their employees, hospitality is key to their staff. The staff tries to make every experience more positive than the last; each guest experiences the winery like it is their own. For example, some of their favorite clients and club members, had their first official date, back in 2011, at the winery. The couple came out for the Crush Cookout Event and joined the wine club. They fell in love with the winery, so much so that they got engaged by the pond decided to have their wedding there this fall.

The Grassini family will be opening up the apartment space for members and friends of the winery, creating another type of unique experience for everyone that visits for birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions. With having more events, more ways to experience the space and all that it has to offer, the family and staff have created a space that others can call their own.

They want to convey how gorgeous the property is, pictures can only tell one side of it. Jared said, “You have to experience it for yourself.” The attention to detail that they offer is seen throughout the vineyard. Furthermore, their attentiveness to their client’s needs is hands down why people keep coming back to enjoy the grounds. 

The Barrel Room is below ground as I mentioned above, thus, staying cooler and requiring less air circulation, much like the Roman catacombs.

Mainly, wine club members, industry events, private experiences, and weddings take place on the grounds. If you are planning a wedding, the vineyard requires an event planner, which is amazing, considering they want everything to be perfect. Having an amazing wedding planner will help you achieve a realistic timeline, calmness of mind, great expectations, and goals that will be met. The vineyard and their staff is there to help with details and coordinating to make sure it all comes together seamlessly. 

Depending on the event, size, and availability, they want to accommodate the client as best they can. The more time/the farther out you book, the better. All vendors are approved ahead of time, as they want everything to go as smoothly as possible. They are seriously amazing! 

If you would like to see a beautiful Engagement Sessions and Wedding I photographed here, click the links to David and Ali’s Wedding or their Engagement Session.

 

Cheers!

~Montana

 

 

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