It was almost inevitable that Graham would pursue winemaking. It’s a career that draws upon his agricultural heritage and his love of the outdoors, while also offering creative outlets and an intellectual challenge. To him, no other product that humans make offers the complexities and artistic value of wine, uniting people of all cultures. As Graham likes to say, “few wars were started over a great bottle of wine.”
Graham began his career working harvests in his native South Africa, later moving from the vineyards to the winery as a cellar hand. His stint as a cellar rat secured him the post of assistant winemaker at Mulderbosch Vineyards, where he assisted with the production of their iconic Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc. Graham then spent a season working for Château de Terrefort-Quancard in Bordeaux. In that time, he earned his degree in viticulture, wine science, and pomology from the Elsenburg Agricultural College in Stellenbosch in 1996.
Graham first became acquainted with the Mayacamas Mountain Range and its potential for growing world-class wine in 1999 when he spent a harvest working at Vérité Winery in Sonoma County. After that season, he returned to South Africa where he worked as a winemaker for a few smaller wineries before joining Bellingham Winery. By 2004, he made his way back to California to become winemaker for Stonestreet in Alexander Valley. In 2014, Lisa Valtenbergs took over winemaking at Stonestreet. Today, Graham oversees vineyard and winemaking operations for several wineries within the Jackson Family Wines portfolio, including Capensis, Stonestreet, Arrowood and Matanzas Creek.
From the mountain ranges of South Africa to his current home of Sonoma County, Graham Weerts is no stranger to mountain winemaking. During his time in California, Graham affirmed his affinity for mountain fruit, believing it is the most complex with unmatched potential. As winemaker for Legacy, he returns to the rugged Mayacamas Mountain Range bringing his years of experience and expertise to identify key vineyards in Alexander Valley and craft the winery’s flagship Chardonnay and Bordeaux-style Red Wine.