We like to tinker with our concoctions to coax each spirit into something distinct and undeniably delicious. We begin by carefully selecting the finest grains, fruits and botanicals available then combine innovation with traditional distilling methods to create an exquisitely balanced spirit that speaks for itself.
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.
And who cares?
It is what it is. Low on pretense, a one-horse town with a lot of heart.
Graah-TON? GRAH-ton? Here in west Sonoma County, the locals pronounce it “GRAY-tin.” Located in the Russian River Valley, the area formerly known as “Gray’s Town” officially became Graton in 1905, but the town is anything but gray.
Once considered a small, out of the way place, Graton has emerged as an eclectic, diverse, active community and a hub for the county’s artists, painters, musicians and the odd tinkerer.
Jeff Duckhorn combines his wine country heritage with the mindset of a maker. He's our accountant gone rogue, since he originally joined Purple Wine + Spirits in 2011 as a number cruncher. He expanded his role by becoming Assistant Distiller in early 2015, quickly working his way to Distiller in January 2016.
We've drawn upon our collective knowledge of fermentation science, distillation, winemaking, barrels, sourcing and blending to make spirits that reflect the artistry, flavors and vibe of our location.