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Randall Grahm to receive first Rhone Ranger award

Bonny Doon founder Randall Grahm is about to be awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Rhone Rangers organisation.

‘Great marketer’… Randall Grahm

This is the first time since its inception in the early 1980s that the group has given an award of any type.

Randall Grahm, who founded his Santa Cruz, California winery in 1983, said he was ‘touched by the acknowledgement’ but played down his role in getting American Rhône blends recognised on the world stage.

‘Being slightly neurotic, it is of course impossible for me to feel that I’ve truly accomplished much. I sometimes say that if were to die anytime soon, people would say, ‘What a great marketer he was!

‘That, of course, would be utterly unsatisfactory (even if I’m dead). The biggest challenge I have right now is to persuade people that I am more than an interesting historical figure, that the work that I’m doing now, or aspiring to do, is what is really interesting and potentially capable of making a real contribution.’

David Gates, president of the Rhône Rangers board of directors and head of vineyard operations at Ridge Vineyards, explained how the organisation decided upon awarding Grahm.

‘Without the pioneering work of winemakers like Randall, these wines would not be made here in the US. There really wasn’t much discussion about who should receive the initial award, he was the obvious choice.’

He continued, ‘Randall Grahm has been a steadfast proponent of American Rhône wines since the earliest days of Bonny Doon, and his Le Cigare Volant is one of the first and finest American Rhône blends made in California.’

The Rhône Rangers’ 16th Annual Weekend Celebration of American Rhônes is taking place between March 22 and 23 in San Francisco.

Written by Louis Villard

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