Winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard at Santa Cruz is one of five members of this year's class of inductees into the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Napa Valley campus of the Culinary Institute of America. Wish I'd known about it before publication of a feature I wrote about Grahm that appears in today's Sacramento Bee, but at least I'm happy that California's most imaginative and literate winemaker is getting this notable formal recognition.
The other inductees are the late wine historian Leon Adams, author of "The Wines of America" (and a onetime McClatchy newspaperman); North Coast vineyardist and environmentalist Andy Beckstoffer; Al Brounstein, founder of Diamond Creek Vineyards in Napa Valley, which was instrumental in introducing vineyard-designated cabernet sauvignons as well as the notion that California wine could sell for $100 a bottle; and Zelma Long, who matriculated in enology and viticulture in the 1960s at UC Davis (where she was the only woman student in the class) and went on to play pivotal roles at Robert Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley and Simi Winery at Healdsburg before establishing her own brand, Vilafonte, in South Africa.
After four years, the spring induction ceremony for the Vintners Hall of Fame has grown from a single formal dinner to a day-long series of tastings and lunches leading up to the finale. More information can be found at this page on the CIA's Web site.
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