When Cathy Corison packed all her possessions into her Volkswagen Beetle and moved to Napa in 1975, the valley was a very different place.
Back then, she recalls, Napa was ‘rural, poor and depressed: just scratching its way out of Prohibition’. But it was also ‘a time of amazing energy’, as new wineries opened their doors and began to reach a global audience.
Only a year later, Steven Spurrier’s Judgement of Paris tasting of 1976 would prove that California’s wines could compete with France’s best. ‘So the industry was just exploding,’ Corison explains, ‘and there were so many opportunities for young winemakers coming out of school.’
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A Corison vertical:
How it all started