Shortly after moving to Spring Mountain in 1978, John and Shawn Guilliams began producing homemade wine. Their property had once been planted with vines, but they were abandoned during the Great Depression.
At an elevation of 2,000 feet, the mountain slopes were perfect for Bordeaux varietals. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc were planted using environmentally sensitive farming techniques. In 1984, Guilliams Vineyards was bonded to commercially produce and sell wine.
John majored in Engineering and Conservation of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley and applied his education to grape growing. He is a member of the committee that wrote the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices for the California Wine Institute, as well as a Director of the Napa County Farm Bureau.
Guilliams Vineyards first estate wine was their 1985 Spring Mountain release was our 1985 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was aged in 100% French oak for 2 years. The winery currently makes about 1,000 cases of a red blend that is mainly Cabernet Sauvignon. They also produce very small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.