Continuing on from yesterday's post about Santa Cruz, today I want to talk about a Santa Cruz winery - Bonny Doon.
This is Randall Grahm, who started Bonny Doon in 1983. The Snooth.com website says:
Based in Santa Cruz, the heartland of New Age thinking and dreaming, Bonny Doon Vineyard has a not so surprising history of idealism and innovation. Founded in 1983 by Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon is known for strikingly original wines made from “lesser” known grape varieties, the so-called vinous Ugly Ducklings. Originally focused on pinot noir, Bonny Doon Vineyard made its mark on the vinous world with its pioneering work with Rhône varieties and innovative production techniques. Since the adoption of Biodynamic® farming practices in 2004, Bonny Doon Vineyard wines evince a deeper sense of place, complexity, varietal expression and a noticeable sense of organization.
An even better recap of Grahm's career with Bonny Doon is this article on TribLIVE website Here's an excerpt:
Creative label art and pun-laden wine names became synonymous with Grahm's unique brand of salesmanship and outsize humor. He never took himself too seriously, but he embraced any gambit to sell quality wines at good value.
The labels are indeed very creative! All kinds of colors and images. I would buy the wine just for the wonderful labels! Take a look at this row of bottles and all of the colorful labels:
And the wines are unusual - Rhone style, some with grapes you have probably never heard of. Personally, I like trying unusual types of wines
Grahm also earned a well-deserved reputation for irreverence toward the sacred cows of the uptight, pretentious wine establishment. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, he penned "Periodic Transmissions From the Mothership" in hilariously esoteric and satirical newsletters now collected on the Web site.
The Bonny Doon newsletters have always been witty and off-the-wall and absolutely hilarious. Take a look on their website for some examples.
I received a gift of two bottles of Bonny Doon wine recently - 2007 Ca' Del Solo Orange Muscat and 2005 Bonny Doon Syrah Le Pousseur. Both very tasty. And look at the beautiful labels:
PS - I had a comment from Cubbies, one of our Slow Travel members who told me that the New York Times had just published an article about Randall Grahm.