Wine’s Bad Boy Grows Up

For years I’ve been a fan of Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon
fame, ever since he entranced me with a Roussanne that turned out to be
a Viognier when someone took a closer look at the vines. My favorite of
his wines has been the Big House line, especially the Rhone-like Big House Red
that proved California can indeed make delicious wine for $10 a bottle.
Like many of Grahm’s fans, I was disappointed when he announced this
summer that he had sold the Big House label. A few weeks after his
announcement, I met with him at the offices of Bonny Doon Vineyards in
Santa Cruz, California. Grahm spoke at length about his determination to
focus on premium, estate-grown wines farmed biodynamically, as well as
the transformative power of fatherhood. The maverick who held a public
wake for the cork and derided Robert Parker with the mock headline, “The
Emperor Has No Nose!,” now says, “I need to shut up and make wine.”
Read my account of the interview in WineLine 57.

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