Wine Tube TV: The Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley from StarkSilverCreek.com on Vimeo.
The ceremony will take place March 2010.
Vintners Hall of Fame, Class of 2010
Randall Grahm was educated at UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis, while earning a reputation as an “enfant terrible” for telling everyone he planned to make the first great American Pinot Noir. Instead, he found himself entranced by “ugly duckling grape varietals” thereby introducing American consumers to vinifera far beyond Cabernet and Chardonnay. His vintage 1984 wine “Le Cigare Volant” proved that it was possible to craft and sell great Rhône wine blends from California. His amusing marketing still defies and at times defines the pretentious approach, such as when he held a funeral for the Cork (aka Thierry Bouchon) in 2002. Grahm, a longtime proponent of biodynamic viticulture, downsized his production in 2006 to focus on small estate wines. His first book, Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology, was published by U.C. Press in 2009.
Andy Beckstoffer came to Napa as a corporate executive in 1969, after earning an M.B.A. from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Recognizing the potential for growth in premium wines, he started a farming company which he eventually purchased in 1973. Beckstoffer Vineyards has grown to be the largest vineyard owner, farming group, and winegrape seller in the Napa Valley and the North Coast, delivering grapes to more than 100 of the state’s most famous wineries. Andy Beckstoffer developed a formula for paying growers based on the finished wine value, thus reducing the incentive for excessive yield and focusing growers on quality. He has played a major role in preserving agriculture in the Napa Valley and has contributed to efforts to restore the Napa River.
Established in 1968, Al Brounstein’s Diamond Creek Vineyards was the first wine estate in California to be planted solely with Cabernet Sauvignon. Noticing three distinct soil types on his property, Brounstein became one of the first California wineries to produce different Cabernet Sauvignons from single vineyards (Red Rock Terrace, Gravelly Meadow, and Volcanic Hill) on the same estate, setting the stage for what was to become known as super-premium Cabernet Sauvignons from Napa Valley. His 1978 Lake Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon – a wine produced only in exceptional years – was the first California wine with a suggested retail price of $100 a bottle—an important milestone in the production of premium wine from California. The graceful aging of Brounstein’s wines continues to be one of his main legacies to the fervent fans of Diamond Creek wines.
Considered a seminal historian of wine in the United States, Leon Adams is best known for his 1973 book The Wines of America, a comprehensive and ground-breaking history and survey of wine and wineries throughout the country, which celebrated American regional wines and their styles. Mr. Adams was a tireless advocate of the farm winery bills passed by many states in the 1970s and 1980s which eased the way for grape growers to open wineries and sell their wines retail and wholesale. Leon Adams was also a founder of the Wine Institute, a public policy and advocacy group for California wineries.