The Proust Questionnaire: Randall Grahm

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

Proust Q&A: Mo Ayoub

Mo Ayoub, winemaker of Oregon's Ayoub Wines chats to dbHK about his fears, his more...

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...

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Manager

The Drinks Business
London, UK

Assistant Brand Manager

Swallow Associates Ltd
Kings Langley, UK

Brand Manager

Swallow Associates
Kings Langley, UK

HR Co-ordinator

Liberty Wines
London, UK

Director of Sales

Gulf Brands International
Bahrain

Head of Trade Marketing

Lanson International UK Ltd
London W1

Customer Development Manager

Love Drinks
London, UK

Junior Brand Manager x2

Enotria&Coe
London, UK

Events Co-ordinator

Liberty Wines
London, UK

Events Sales Executive

The Drinks Business
London, UK

Champagne Masterclass

London,United Kingdom
10th Sep 2018

Cape Wine 2018

Cape Town,South Africa
12th Sep 2018

Bourgogne Masterclass

Brighton ,United Kingdom
18th Sep 2018
Click to view more

The Global Beer Competition

Deadline : 22nd August 2018

The Global Malbec Masters 2018

Deadline : 1st September 2018

Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

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

Click to view more