The Proust Questionnaire: Randall Grahm

17th May, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

The original Rhône Ranger, Randall Grahm is the founder and owner of Bonny Doon Vineyard in Santa Cruz, California. He lives in Santa Cruz with his muse Chinshu and their nine-year-old daughter, Amélie.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A magnum of  ’49 Comte de Vogüé Musigny and a corkscrew.

What is your greatest fear? 

That it will be slightly corked.

Who do you most admire?

Among wine writers, it has to be Andrew Jefford.  More globally, the Dalai Lama.

What is your greatest extravagance?

A number of bottles of ’05 Burgundy that I purchased when I was feeling more flush. I’m glad that I did; they’re a great consolation in these most uncertain times.

What is your current state of mind? 
Low to mid-level anxiety with occasional glimmerings of hope and sunny skies.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? 

Wisdom.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

Counter-intuitively.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?

My daughter, Amélie.

When and where were you happiest?

When I lived in Bonny Doon on my estate vineyard and was able to futz around in aforesaid vineyard every day.

Which talent would you most like to have?

A green thumb.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

To be more present and observant, and more sensitive to the needs of others.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement is yet to come: a sincere commitment to producing a “real” wine in the New World, i.e. a vin de terroir.

Where would you most like to live?

Right where I am.

What is your most treasured possession?

My 1972 Citroën DS-21, which is currently broken.

What is your most marked characteristic?

Intense curiosity about some things, great indifference to a lot of other things and an ability to think orthogonally.

Who are your favorite writers?

Vladamir Nabakov, Richard Powers, John Barth, Günther Grass, David Mitchell, Miguel Cervantes, David Foster Wallace and Henning Mankell, my guilty pleasure.

Who is your hero of fiction?

Don Quixote.

What is it that you most dislike?

Indifference.

What is your greatest regret?

Selling my vineyard property in Bonny Doon after a serious infestation of Pierce’s Disease, and the sale of my potstill.

What is your motto?

Vini terrae faciles sunt.

Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?

German Existentialist Martin Heidegger (though I’d have to be careful not to mention the war), German American political theorist Hannah Arendt (I’d love to see the sparks fly), Albert Hofstadter (Heidgger’s translator and former professor of mine), French philosopher Jacques Derrida and Burgundian vintner Henri Jayer. If an older vintage of Maximin Grünhauser Abtsberg Auslese doesn’t revive them, nothing will.

One Response to “The Proust Questionnaire: Randall Grahm”

  1. Would love to ba a fly on the wall at that dinner!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More Proust Questionnaires

The Proust Q&A: Daniel Pi

The chief winemaker of Trapiche in Mendoza on the importance of perseverance, more...

The Proust Q&A: Christian Seely

AXA Millésimes managing director Christian Seely on his fears, loves and hates more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Tim Atkin MW

The award-winning wine writer speaks of his voracious appetite for literature, more...

The Proust Questionnaire: André van Rensburg

Vergelegen winemaker André van Rensburg on his loves – from Château d'Yquem more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Michel Chapoutier

Biodynamic trailblazer Michel Chapoutier on his love of love, fear of more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Brent Marris

New Zealand wine pioneer Brent Marris on his admiration for Bart Simpson, fear more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Nicolas Joly

Biodynamic wizard Nicolas Joly talks of his dislike of fiction, awaiting the more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Max Riedel

Vienna-born, New York-based Maximilian Riedel of the Riedel glassware dynasty more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Chester Osborn

This week, the gregarious chief winemaker of d'Arenberg Chester Osborn talks of more...

The Proust Questionnaire: Adolfo Hurtado

In a new series on db.com, we put famous winemakers through their paces more...

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

On-Trade Channel Manager

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Trade Marketing Analyst

Delegat Europe (UK)
London, GB

Key Account Executive

Delegat Europe Limited (UK)
London / Midlands, GB

Senior National Account Manager

Bibendum PLB
London, UK

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 31st March 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more