My Interview with Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon

Featured Posts, Wine — By KF Louis on October 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

Randall Grahm has been making wine for more than 30 years and pushing the envelope when it comes to standards for premium wines in the United States.  For example, he put screw caps on premium wines in 2000, at a time when research showed affluent consumers would scoff at such practices.  When most wineries were focusing on Chardonnay and Cabernet, he introduced new grapes to the U.S. market, such as Muscat and Mourvedre and, to much surprise, succeeded.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Grahm for an article in Edible Monterey Bay.  He is a breath of fresh air and a visionary wine maker. The gist of my story can be summed up by this excerpt:

“I’ve done some nutty things in my career and not all ended well. I don’t know how I’ll fare at the sanity trial when that day comes, but it’s been a nice ride,” he said with a distinct seriousness during an interview in the Bonny Doon tasting room recently.

But Grahm, now 58, clearly isn’t afraid of his sanity trial. Nor of failure. If he was, he’d just retire now, instead of pushing forth on the most ambitious endeavor of his 30-year winemaking career: to create from seed a unique vin de terroir, the hallowed French term for a natural wine whose character comes principally from its place of origin, without much human intervention or modern winemaking manipulation.”

Yep, that’s right.  Against daunting odds, he’s creating a new wine grape from scratch, and doing so on a new chunk of land in San Juan Bautista.  Check out the full story here.

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