A couple of years ago one of our great local distributors happened into the shop. In the sample bag were a few bottles from the Bonny Doon Winery located in Santa Cruz. We have known the wines from Bonny Doon for many years having enjoyed them on many occasions long before we opened The Dinner Party. The founder and winemaker at Bonny Doon, Randall Grahm is a legend in California winemaking, and has been honored with numerous awards in the culinary arts and for his winemaking including the Wine and Spirits Professional of the Year from the James Beard Foundation in 1994. He has been making the wines at Bonny Doon for nearly 40 years.
Staying up to date on the quality of growing years from Europe has always been a bit more challenging than being aware of vintage variations here at home. With many changes in the “wine press” industry, including the sale of Rober Parker’s Wine Advocate, and the slippage of the Wine Spectator further down the “advertising driven slope” it is even more difficult than ever. Because of wine making style in Europe versus the US, vintage conditions take on an out sized importance in the quality of bottles each and every year.