The Californian winemaking company was founded in 1971 by Richard H. Graff (1937-1998) and his partner Phillip Woodward. It expanded rapidly and today comprises eight wineries in California
(Acacia, Chalone Vineyard
, Carmenet, Canoe Ridge, Echelon, Edna Valley Vineyards, Hewitt Vineyard, Jade Mountain Winery) and one in Washington
State (Sagelands Vineyard). The total area under vines is over 500 hectares. The two founders got to know Eric de Rothschild
(born 1940), the head of the French company "Domaines Barons de Rothschild", to which Château Lafite-Rothschild belongs
. Over the years, a close collaboration developed and the "DBR" took a share in the Chalone Wine Group. Eventually it was to be taken over completely and the deal was actually already perfect. But surprisingly, in January 2005, "CWG" was bought by the huge beverage company Diageo for 260
million US$. A compensation of 2.5 million US$ was paid to the "DBR".