Learn about this famous winery, its famous winemaker and its transformation to a biodynamic, natural approach to winemaking.
Randall Grahm set sail in 1979 for the Great American Pinot Noir, foundered on the shoals of astringency and finesselessness and ended up running aground in the utterly unexpected New World of Rhône and Italian grape varieties.
Randall was born in Los Angeles in 1953 and attended the prestigious University of California at Santa Cruz where he was a permanent Liberal Arts major. Sometime later, he found himself working at the Wine Merchant in Beverly Hills sweeping floors. By dint of exceptionally good karma, he was given the opportunity to taste an ungodly number of great French wines and this singular experience turned him into a complete and insufferable wine fanatic. He returned to the University of California at Davis to complete a degree in Plant Sciences in 1979.
With his family's assistance, Randall purchased property in the Santa Cruz Mountains intent on producing "the Great American Pinot Noir." The GAPN proved to be systematically elusive, but he was greatly encouraged by experimental batches of Rhône varieties. The late, great Bonny Doon Estate Vineyard (1981 - 1994, a tragic victim to Pierce's Disease) was eventually planted to Syrah, "Roussanne," Marsanne, and Viognier and produced achingly beautiful wines, confirming that California's temperate climate is well suited to the sun-loving grapes of the Mediterranean. In 1986, Bonny Doon Vineyard released the inaugural vintage (1984) of Le Cigare Volant, an homage to Châteauneuf-du-Pape.
Since 2006, Bonny Doon Vineyard, shrunk in size by more than a factor of ten; and is now very intently focused on making wines in a more natural, hands-off manner, working almost exclusively with biodynamically-grown fruit and seeking to reflect transparency in everything they do. They are still vectoring in on vins de terroir. Recently, Grahm has purchased an extraordinary property in San Juan Bautista which he calls Popelouchum (the Mutsun word for "paradise"), where he is profoundly intent on producing singular wines expressive of place.
The BONNY DOON Tasting is $50 per person (exclusive of tax and gratuity). Attendees will receive special discounts on wines purchased.
It will be held at Cork Tasting Room - 1805 14th Street.
You must be 21 to attend and space is limited to ensure the comfort of our guests.
Join us for Cork's 4th Annual Valentine's Day Champagne Tasting, featuring six champagnes from our friends at Wine Traditions paired with Small Bites from Cork Market's new Chef, Jason Schreuder.
We have selected a wonderful group of champagnes produced by small growers throughout Champagne. These unique sparklers are wonderful accompaniments to food and represent some of Champagne's best wines. The tasting will feature two new champagne growers, including:
Massif Saint Thierry
The Massif Saint Thierry is a group of undulating hills and forests that slope off toward the vast plain north of Reims and the Vesle River Valley west of Reims. The massif is home to some 900 hectares of vineyards which are spread throughout a dozen or so villages. Due to the challenging climate, it is the late budding Pinot Meunier which is the favored grape type. The soils have a large portion of sandy clays which offer a distinguishing expression to the area's champagnes.
David Bourdaire shares with his parents 8 hectares situated in and around the village of Pouillon. He produces his champagnes from 4 of those 8 hectares. The family began estate bottling their champagnes in 2001 when they left the coop that David's grandfather founded in 1951. David's vineyard is comprised of 85% Pinot Meunier, 10% Chardonnay and 5% Pinot Noir. The oldest part of the vineyard was planted in 1923 and the average age of the vines is 43 years. David farms sustainably, cultivating natural grasses between the vine rows and avoiding chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The vineyard is planted on low yielding root stocks and David vinifies each parcel separately according to the specific stock "porte-greffe". David adjusts the dosage level with each disgorgement, often lowering it as the cuvee spends more time "sur lattes".
This tasting is $75 (exclusive of tax & gratuity) and attendance will be limited to ensure the comfort and enjoyment of our guests. These Champagnes are small production and are not widely available. A selection of these wines will be reserved for tasting guests only to purchase at a discount at Cork Market.
These tastings are complimentary and special discounts apply on wines purchased. Participants must be 21 and will receive special pricing on these wines at Cork Market.
Want to explore the world of wine, but can’t make it to any of these tastings? New tastings and classes are listed each week! Just check back for new postings or join our mailing list to be updated about offerings!