Storybook Mountain Vineyards, originally known as Grimm Vineyards and Wine Vaults, was founded in 1883 by Adam Grimm. Grimm purchased 400 acres of high-elevation land four miles north of Calistoga and planted extensive vineyards on the site. In 1889, he was joined by his brother Jacob. By 1919, with Adam relocated to San Francisco, Jacob was making sacramental and medicinal wines, which were permissible during Prohibition. Post-Prohibition, the winery was abandoned and the vineyard subsequently destroyed in 1964 by the disastrous Hanley Ranch fire, however the caves survived.
In 1976, Jerry Seps, a former professor of European history, and his wife, Sigrid, fell in love with the wild, abandoned site and purchased 90 acres surrounding the original winery, planting roughly half to grapevines. The Seps renamed the vineyard Storybook Mountain to denote its fairytale beauty and to honor the brothers Grimm. The Seps replanted the vineyard to Zinfandel. Subsequently they added Cabernet Sauvignon, other red Bordeaux varieties, and Viognier. The first Storybook Mountain Zinfandel, released in 1983, earned a gold medal, and more accolades followed. In 1989, the 1984 Reserve Zinfandel became the highest-rated Zinfandel in history. In 2003, Wine & Spirits Magazine named Storybook Mountain “Artisan Winery of the Year” and included Storybook among its Top 100 Wineries in the World, an honor we have now won 14 times.
During the 42 years since the Seps family purchased the estate, Storybook Mountain has earned distinction after distinction. In 1994, The United States Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden, poured Storybook Mountain Zinfandel to honor that year’s Nobel laureates. The wines have been served in the White House by three Presidents. In 2005, famed critic Robert Parker characterized Storybook as “representing the pinnacle of wine quality in California” and one of the six best Zinfandels in the world.
Antaeus, the son of Water and Earth in Greek mythology, is the symbol of strength derived from the soil. So too this wine, deriving strength from the matching of site and grape on every part of our land. The 2015 Antaeus is composed of 65% Zinfandel, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Petit Verdot and 3% Merlot. The intensity derived from red clay soils is here in full, while the coolness of our site provides the acid balance so essential to a wine’s grace and longevity.