The estate was founded in 1852 by the French-born Éthienne Thée, who named it after a nearby mercury mine. It is one of the oldest wineries California, on its own website it is called the oldest. The original location was south of San José between Los Gatos and Almaden. Due to its historical importance, it is registered as "California Historical Landmark 505". Due to the urbanization, the city was relocated to the city of Madera in the San Joaquin Valley (southern part of the Central Valley ). After the merger with Madrone Vineyards, Thées son-in-law Charles Lefranc (+1887) took control of the winery. He planted the first European vines at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains. At the beginning of the 1880s, he later became famous as the "Champagne King of California" Paul Masson (1859-1940) as marketing manager in the company. After Charles Lefranc's death in 1887, Masson married his daughter Louise.
After a short-lived partnership with his brother-in-law Henry Lefranc, he founded his own winery in Almaden. After his brother-in-law's accidental death in 1909, he also headed Almaden Vineyards until it was sold to Charles M. Jones in 1930. After the American prohibition (1920-1933) Almaden produced the first popular rosé wine in the USA. In 1989 the old winery was destroyed by fire. After several changes of ownership, the company of Constellation Brands to the Wine Group sold. The vineyards cover 800 hectares of vines with the red varieties Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot, Grenache Noir ( Garnacha Tinta ) and Zinfandel, as well as the white wine varieties Chardonnay and Riesling are planted. There will be a wide range of varietals (Varietal wines) and cuvées. A Californian specialty is the light-pressed branded wine White Zinfandel, The mass wines simple cut for quick enjoyment Bag-in-Boxes, as well as filled in 1.5-liter, 3-liter and 4-liter bottles. Almaden is one of the five largest US wine brands, which are summarized as GAMIT (A = Almaden).