The winery 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 significance, this is registered as "California Historical Landmark 505". Due to the urbanization was a move to the city of Madera in the San Joaquin Valley (southern part of the Central Valley ). After the merger with Madrone Vineyards took over Thées son Charles Lefranc (+1887) control of the winery. This planted the first European vines at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains. In the early 1880s, he later became famous as the "Champagne King of California" Paul Masson (1859-1940) as Marketing Manager in the company. After the death of Charles Lefranc 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 the accidental death of his brother-in-law in 1909, he also led Almaden Vineyards until sold to Charles M. Jones in 1930. According to 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 ownership changes in 2008, the company of Constellation Brands to the Wine Group sold. The vineyards cover 800 hectares of vineyards, with the red wines Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot, Grenache Noir ( Garnacha Tinta ) and Zinfandel, as well as the white wine varieties Chardonnay and Riesling are planted. It will be a big range of varietals (Varietal wines) and cuvées produced. A Californian specialty is the light brand wine White zinfandel, The mass wines simple cut for the quick enjoyment in Bag-in-Boxes, and bottled in 1.5-liter, 3-liter and 4-liter bottles. Almaden is one of the five largest US wine brands, summarized as GAMIT (A = Almaden).