Who are the OGs?
OG Oxlee Graham is a love letter to my grandmothers.
The winery is named for two strong women. Both led by example, were firm yet thoughtful and would do anything for their family and friends. They knew that strength can be found in the quietest of moments and that one should never shy away from doing the right thing. Their unwavering support and love had a transformative power and was their lasting gift.
I have been fortunate enough to know many strong women in my life; women who are passionate, hardworking, funny and always remain true to themselves. With each new wine release, I hope to tell some of these incredible women’s stories. Each label will carry the name of someone who has left a lasting impression on my life.
Thanks for being on this journey with me. Now let’s raise a glass to the OGs!
Elinor “Oxley” Hannah (oops did I spell that wrong on the label? Trademarks can be tricky…)
My Granny was shy, beautiful and always fashionable. She glided through life with a reserved strength and an air of elegance. To her, life was meant to be fun; full of dancing, good food, cocktail parties and travel. Time with her was never boring as she knew how to make every visit an event. A hostess to the max. She was flirty and sarcastic and every one of her jokes was punctuated with a wink.
Elinor grew up in Alameda, California with her mother and sister. Her mother was faced with the difficult task of raising her two girls alone after her husband tragically passed away when my granny was just a year old. Elinor spent her twenties working as a bookkeeper after attending business school. In her spare time, she went dancing with friends and often joked that it was her job during the war to help entertain the troops at parties while they were on leave.
Elinor married my grandpa, Murray, in 1950. Their marriage was full of love and support and would last for 69 years. They lived together in a beautiful house that my grandfather built in the Berkely Hills and raised two girls, my mom being the younger of the two. She was a homemaker who took great pride in keeping the house immaculate and making mouthwatering meals. A definite perfectionist. She provided daily encouragement to her girls and supported them unconditionally. That was Granny, she was the backbone of the family.
Countless family events were celebrated around my grandparents’ dinner table where, laughter, wine and a perfectly crafted meal came together in harmony. Days were spent traipsing around Tilden Park where we would ride the merry-go-round or pet the animals at the little farm. The nights would end as we sat, talked and took in the view of San Francisco from their amazing picture windows.
Mabel "Graham" Murphy
My Grandma was independent, intelligent and practical. She valued building lasting relationships with people and relished the role of caretaker. A competitive round of Bingo or card game matched with good conversation was a highlight in her day. You could always tell when she thought the gossip she divulged was juicy, as her gray eyes would light up and glimmer with excitement.
Mabel grew up in Seattle, Washington as the middle child in a family of eleven kids. She took on a leadership role by helping to raise the younger kids and working to provide income to help keep everyone in the family fed and housed. As a teenager she worked as a carpenter and built houses alongside her father. As she grew older she began working in restaurants, both as a waitress and a short order cook. She earned the nickname “The Sarge” for her no-nonsense attitude.
Mabel married my grandfather, William, in 1947. Mabel’s independence and work ethic never waned. She continued to be the primary bread winner for the family while raising two boys, my dad being the younger of the two. Mabel continued her steady work as a waitress, but also decided that she and Bill should go into the business of property investment. With the acquisition of each new property, the two would work together to fix up the newly purchased home. After Bill’s passing in 1984, Mabel continued to manage the investments alone. That was Grandma, fearless and always holding everything together.
Childhood trips to Washington always involved filling empty Cool Whip containers with freshly picked berries from my grandma’s yard. My sister and I would proudly carry the berries in to the kitchen to sprinkle on our morning Cornflakes. Days would include “visiting”, which meant dropping in on unsuspecting family members to have a cup of coffee and catch up on the good gossip. Nights would end with quiet time together as we watched television and worked on a puzzle.