In 1977 David Graves and Richard Ward, both UC Davis graduate students met for the first in brewing class. Four years later David and Dick founded Saintsbury focusing on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. One year later in 1982 Saintsbury released their first wines: 1981 Chardonnay and 1981 Rancho Carneros Pinot Noir. Since 2013 Chris Kajani has been Winemaker with Tim Colla as Oenologist and Associate Winemaker.
"Probably the first hint that Saintsbury might turn out to be a bit different from other wineries was when Dick Ward and David Graves chose to make a 1979 Santa Barbara barrel-fermented dry Riesling as one of their first wines, a bottling that didn't exactly have consumer demand behind it. It turns out that the limb upon which Saintsbury's founders stepped in the late 1970s and early 1980s was occupied by a few other trailblazers who were caught up in what David describes as a 'Zeitgeist' of innovation and change that pervaded the California wine industry at the time. ' With the release of Saintsbury's first 2000 cases of Pinot Noir in 1981 and by committing to pursuing high quality California Pinot Noir, Dick and Dave put themselves in the forefront of a movement that would eventually catapult California wines, Carneros Pinot Noir and Saintsbury onto the world wine stage. "