Randall P. Grahm

January 20, 2011

Porter College - Preferred year 1974: Studied philosophy, literature and pre-med

Current Position: Winemaker and president-for-life, Bonny Doon Vineyard

Randall Grahm, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard, is a legend in the U.S. wine industry for his biodynamically produced, adventurous wines. He is equally well known for his whimsical wit and humor. Grahm's entertaining winery newsletters not only promote his wines but also offer a glimpse into the deeper philosophical questions that attend wine culture.

Grahm's recent book, Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology (University of California Press, 2009), is a collection of newsletter pieces and articles written for various wine publications. In 2010 the book received two important prizes—a James Beard Award for Best Wine and Spirits Book of 2010 and the Georges Duboeuf Award for Best Wine Book of the Year. The New York Times called the book, "Brilliantly observed and beautifully rendered." Food & Wine called it, "Sharp, irreverent musings on wine—everything from literary spoofs to serious essays." Grahm was recently inducted into the Vintner's Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, one of a handful of living winemakers to obtain that distinction. He also enjoys the rare privilege of having an asteroid named in his honor.

Says Grahm of his time at UCSC: "I was fortunate enough to have been exposed to some great meta-thinkers at UCSC, Gregory Bateson and Norman O. Brown, to name just two, and I think that this in part propelled me to often look into the deeper meaning of things. There are some advantages to remaining a puer aeternus, as sometimes happens to UCSC alumni—the ability to continually look at the world with fresh eyes."