Randall Grahm on Terroir #3


While I found the recent comments made by Randall Grahm on terroir compelling ( Randall Grahm on Terroir #1 and Randall Grahm on Terroir #2), you can’t help but be struck by the distance between Grahm’s commentary, which I agree with, and the results of his winemaking, which I don’t. While he talks a good game, it is well known that the wines of Bonny Doon no longer have any relationship to his wines of the early 80’s. Bonny Doon today is nothing more or less than an industrial wine producer, just like Mondavi or Kendall Jackson.

Bill Zacharkiw recently brought to my attention an outstanding anonymous post on his Caveman’s Wine Blog in response to his provocative post on Biodynamics. This excellent post and thread is well worth your reading and below you will find an excerpt from the long and thoughtful comments of “anonymous” on the topic of Randall Grahm and biodynamics.

 Is it Doonsday for US Biodynamics?
Randall Grahm’s Faustian deal

"Bonny Doon Vineyard, run by the irrepressible Randall Grahm, now produces nearly 400,000 cases of wine, yet it continues to cultivate an image of a small, boutique winery. Some of the wine world’s most innovative packaging is created by this estate, but, as I have written before, the quality in the bottle has declined from Bonny Doon’s glory years (in the mid-eighties) when Grahm was both a pioneer and a committed Rhone Ranger revolutionary. It now appears to be all about image and high production, resulting in somewhat innocuous offerings." - Robert Parker, June 2005

Over the past couple of years, Randall has been at a crossroads. He suffered with a rare bone infection, his estate vineyards died off, he was involved in a lawsuit for smuggling in “suit case cuttings” from France by Caymus Winery, and he has openly admitted to succumbing to “seditious winemaking legerdemain” ie., making bad wine passable by using dubious techniques in the cellar.

Now in a move that has some in the “real wine” movement worried, Grahm the Santa Cruz marketing wiz behind the bulk juice winery Bonny Doon - is taking up the mantel of Biodynamic. He recently lectured on the subject at UC Davis Viticultural program called Terroir and is now holding himself out to his wine professional colleagues that he is now a born-again Anthroposophist – “fighting for the soul of wine”.

What is Biodynamic wine?…

Read the full text of this compelling post on The Caveman’s Wine Blog at the link below.

The Caveman’s Wine Blog.