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RANDALL GRAHM- BONNY DOON VINEYARD

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Olivia Wilder

Olivia Wilder

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In 1979, Randall Grahm set sail on a voyage to discover the "Great American Pinot Noir." Foundering on the shoals of astringency and lack of finesse, he eventually ran aground in an unexpected New World of Rhône and Italian grape varieties.

His journey, by way of UCSC, then working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills, (where, sampling a large number of great French wines, he became a wine fanatic) to UC Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences, (he was regarded as a "holy terroir" in the hallowed halls of the sober, sedate Dept. of Viticulture) lead him back to the Santa Cruz mountains, where he purchased property in the quaint Scotland-like Bonny Doon.

The colorful Mr. Grahm, raconteur and bon vivant of vino, has been producing award-winning wines ever since, extending his reach to the Ca'del Solo vineyard in Monterey County, planted just beyond the state pen of Soledad's searchlight reach, where an ever-expanding roster of Italianate varieties, including nebbiolo, barbera, pinot grigio, dolcetto, and freisa grow.

Recipient of the "Professional of the Year" awards from both James Beard Foundation and Bon Appétit magazine, and inducted into the "Who's Who of Cooking in America" by Cook's magazine, Randall has a new book out "Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology."

PLUS: This huge pre-Christmas celebration continues with Food Network Chefs Adam Gertler and The Hearty Boys, Steve and Dan, and Oxygen Network's Blythe Beck, of "The Naughty Kitchen," and our own wine curmudgeon, Jeff Siegel.

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