Graton Distilling Co.

Nov 02, 2017

Jeff Duckhorn has combined his wine country heritage with the mindset of a maker, be it bread, beer or kombucha, into a successful career as our Distiller. We think of him as an accountant gone rogue, since he originally joined Purple Wine + Spirits in 2011 as a number cruncher, signing on to explore new frontiers of wine and spirits production under the leadership of Purple’s innovative founder, Derek Benham. Impressed by Jeff’s knowledge and enthusiasm for craft brewing, Derek included Jeff as part of the original distillery planning team. Jeff was eager to expand his role, accepting the position of Assistant Distiller in early 2015, and quickly working his way to Distiller in January 2016.
Jeff relishes the opportunity to work with an innovative continuous micro-column still which was custom designed and built by Headframe Stills of Butte, Montana. “It’s definitely a unique piece of equipment,” says Jeff. “It’s like a finicky diva that needs tons of attention and TLC. But it’s worth it, our still is incredibly versatile and when treated right, we can make everything we want to from whiskey, bourbon and brandy to gin and vodka.”

Graton Distilling Company was born out of owner Derek Benham’s love of making stuff cool and his insatiable sense of adventure.
Derek got his start selling wine out of the trunk of his ’67 Mustang for a small winery and ended up running the business. Then, he struck out on his own and made hay in the wine business before the craft spirits bug bit him. Hard.
Under Derek’s careful guidance, Graton Distilling Company operates with a fearless commitment to craft. D. George Benham’s Sonoma Dry Gin, launched in February 2016, was the first spirit to come off our newly built still followed shortly by D. George Benham’s Vodka. Next is Redwood Empire American Whiskey and a killer 10-Year-Old surprise.
We don’t like to make a lot of fuss, we just let the spirits do the talking and hope that what they are saying will blow your mind.


A blend of eleven, five and four year old bourbons with two and three-year old rye whiskeys including a portion of house-distilled rye. Deep amber color with rich, full-flavor, subtle toast notes and pleasant vanilla-caramel finish, and pleasant vanilla-caramel finish.


The taste is big, bold and still well-balanced. It touches every part of the palate. Rich, ripe well-integrated juniper provides the framework. Citrus and exotic fruit flavors  enhance and brighten the botanicals. On the nose, there’s the scent of warm cardamom, baking spices, truffle-like angelica earthiness and floral chamomile notes. On the palate, the full flavors are balanced by sweetness from star anise and creaminess from the orris root.


Clean and crisp, with delicate floral, fruity aromas and flavors, along with a hint of toasty spice and rich creaminess that carries through to the finish. The balanced flavor profile lends itself to a wide range of classic and contemporary cocktails.

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