Seebass Vineyards is located in the Mendocino Appellation, where rugged coastlines, breathtaking beaches, majestic redwood forests and America’s Greenest Wine Region beckon you to a slower pace. Our family estate sits in the lush Russian River Valley between the Mayacamas and Coastal Mountain ranges.
Family Estate History
In the early 1980’s Brigitte Seebass purchased the property now known as Seebass Vineyards. Formerly a pear orchard decades before it was planted under grape, the historic barns and drying sheds still remain much as they were nearly one hundred years ago. Brigitte replanted and improved the vineyard as time went on, replacing less productive varietals with Chardonnay, Syrah, Merlot, and Grenache. She left the vines planted in the late 1800’s as old-vine Zinfandel that today produce some of the most prized grapes in the region.
For nearly 30 years, Brigitte and her vineyard management team have grown premium grapes that have been part of the top winemaking programs at many Mendocino, Sonoma and Napa appellation wineries and are now being produced in our own winemaking programs. The fruit produced by Seebass Vineyards has always been highly sought after by premium wineries for its quality, flavor and reliability. Additionally, Brigitte would craft some of her own Chardonnay with Gregory Graziano to produce what we now call the “Family Chardonnay.” This wine, that our family and close friends have been enjoying for years, is a crisp, light styled Chardonnay, with only a single fermentation and very neutral oak.
Seebass Family Wines reflects the work and resources of three generations. Brigitte Seebass continues to manage the vineyard and the grape growing business. Her daughter Michelle Myrenne Willoughby now owns the winemaking operations with her husband Scott Willoughby. Their son Aidan has grown up on the vineyard, riding tractors, picking grapes and helping deliver and sort the fruit at the wineries.
Seebass Family Wines, and its family relationships and decades of personal friendships in the winemaking world, has very unique winemakers working with our vineyards, viticulture, and winemaking programs. We are blessed to have two outstanding winemakers, representing very different styles and influences.
For over 30 years, Gregory Graziano has personally overseen the winemaking for Brigitte’s own personal Chardonnay, and now our Zinfandel and our red blend, Mysteriös. Gregory is a fourth generation Mendocino winemaker, well-known for his creations of Italian varietals and crisp clean white wines. Greg works closely with Seebass Family Wines to bring out the nuances of our 100-year old Zinfandel vines and our award-winning Family Chardonnay. For many years Greg has recognized the outstanding quality of the fruit being grown on Seebass Vineyards, and as a close family friend, strives to bring out the best from our estate vineyard.
Since 2011, Stéphane Vivier has created several award-winning wines for us, in classic Provençal, Rhône, and Burgundian styles, ranging from our Gold Medal 93 point Grand Reserve Chardonnay to our Rosé of Grenache, and our acclaimed Grand Reserve Syrah and Merlot wines. Stéphane brings with him skills in vineyard management and winemaking from around the world. Born and raised in France, Stéphane’s skills were cultivated in the vineyards and cellars of Pommard, Meursault and Chassagne-Montrachet and then expanded through his work in Switzerland, New Zealand and finally in the Sonoma Coast Appellation. With a strong background in biochemistry and advanced degrees in enology and viticulture, Stéphane turns his focus toward the vineyards and the soils to develop our Seebass Family Wines.
The Family Crest