PREMIUM

The David Ramey interview

With an early career influenced by some of the most respected names in the world of French wine, this classically minded innovator went on to become one of the key figures in wine in California. Elin McCoy meets the Ramey Cellars founder...

‘Okay, we’re an American success story,’ David Ramey admits with a satisfied smile as I look at the line-up of 27 bottles on a table at Ramey Cellars in Healdsburg. Most are current releases. ‘Our winery is like a chef-owned restaurant,’ he explains. The wines are signature dishes; he’s ‘the chef of the cellar’.

At 6’ 1”, white-haired and casually dressed, Ramey could easily be mistaken for a laid-back Western rancher – but he is one of California’s most accomplished winemakers, known especially for his lush-textured Chardonnays.


Scroll down to see Elin McCoy’s Ramey tasting notes


 

David Ramey – a timeline

1979 MS in Enology at UC Davis, Intern, Ets Jean-Pierre Moueix

1980 Intern, Lindeman’s Winery, Australia

1980-1984 Assistant winemaker, Simi

1984-1989 Winemaker, Matanzas Creek

1989 Works at Petrus again; marries Carla

1990-1996 Winemaker, Chalk Hill

1996 Founds Ramey Wine Cellars

1996-1998 VP, winemaker, Dominus Estate

1998 Debut of first Ramey wine, Hyde Chardonnay

1998-2002 Director, vineyards and winemaking, Rudd Estate

2002 Leaves Rudd to focus on Ramey Wine Cellars

2012 Buys first vineyard, Westside Farms

2013 Daughter Claire joins winery

2014 Starts Sidebar Cellars; Pinot Noir programme begins

2016 Son Alan joins winery

David Ramey wines: