About the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone
Get this! The first winery I ever visited in my life was the Christian Brothers winery housed right here in this historic Greystone Mansion, now the home of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. I was exactly 14 years old. My sister and brother-in-law and I were on our way back from a camping trip at Clear Lake. My brother-in-law was very much a wine geek back then. It was the summer of 1957. No, not a misprint, that is when I was there. On that same day, before hitting the Christian Brothers winery, we stopped in at the Old Bale Grist Mill and took at look at that amazing water mill. The mill then ground corn and wheat to provide baking flour for the gold mining generation. I did not taste any wine that day, but I certainly enjoyed looking at that amazing “castle” in St. Helena. Greystone was built back in 1889 and was called Greystone Cellars. Apparently at that time, there was a lot of shady wine business that controlled the price of grapes and wine. The Greystone owners wanted to change that and formed Greystone Cellars. It was, in a sense, a cooperative winery for growers and vintners in the Napa Valley. The Christian Brothers purchased the Greystone Mansion in 1950 and made their Christian Brothers wine there.
The Greystone Manison needed earthquake retrofitting following the 1989 Loma Prieta Quake and the Christian Brothers did not want to bear this expense. Consequently, they sold the building to the Hublein Corporation. A short time later the Hublein Corporation then sold the building to the Culinary Institute. They retrofitted the building and in 1995 opened its doors to students and the public. Today the Institute offers a variety of classes, courses, and degrees in culinary matters and wine studies. Classes are offered for the professional as well as other classes for tourists and travelers to the Napa Valley. Greysone also houses a gourmet restaurant that is open to the public for lunch and dinner. It is quite a view from the terrace of the Wine Spectator Restaurant at Greystone. If you are traveling to the Napa Valley, I suggest you stop at Greystone and take a look at this historic building. It is a wonderful visit.