LATimes: BonnyDoon&Randall

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LATimes: BonnyDoon&Randall

Postby TomHill » Wed Aug 09, 2006 11:58 am

Comments. I happened to have followed 'em from the very start!! :-)
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Re: LATimes: BonnyDoon&Randall

Postby OW Holmes » Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:27 pm

From the San Francisco Bsns Journal:

"Santa Cruz-based Bonny Doon sold its Big House and Cardinal Zin brands to the privately held Wine Group, based in San Francisco, one of the nation's largest wine producers. The wines will be produced by the Wine Group's new Underdog Wine Merchants division.

Fritz Lance, president of the new Underdog Wine unit, said the purchase added two "truly iconic brands to our international portfolio of fun and distinctive wines," including emerging brands such as Pinot Evil, Tempra Tantrum, Killer Juice and Herding Cats."

My taste of Pinot Evil last week does not bode well for the future of Big House Red.
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My Comments...

Postby TomHill » Wed Aug 09, 2006 1:28 pm

Interesting (and smart) move. When I visited w/ John Locke at the AWS Conference last November, he indicated that they were rethinking everything at BD...strategizing as to where they were going.
Randall has made and knows how to make truly great wines. My feeling is that over the yrs, he's been too focused on marketing tricks&gimmicks and not enough on both the grape growing and the winemaking.
It appears that he is returning to his roots and original passions. He will have a vnyd focused on Rhone varietals and one on Pinot. It'll be interesting to see where he buys these vnyds. The SonomaCoast would be the obvious choice. Mendocino would actually be the smart choice in my mind. Or maybe LakeCnty for the Rhones.
Interesting that he's dropping OldTelegram. It was once an exceptional wine from ContraCosta OldVine Mourvedre. It's certainly not been the case of late. Good, but pretty pricey for what it was.
It also doesn't indicate what'll happen to his Soledad vnyd, where he had a lot of very interesting Italian varieties. The article seems to indicate that he's no longer so interested in Italian varieties. Too bad if that's so, because some of those DEWN wines were very/very interesting wines. I hope he continues them.
All in all, kudos to Randall for making a move I thought was long overdue. He IS one of Calif's great winemakers and most innovative thinkers. This move should put him on track for the recognition he rightfully deserves. And it's clear he's keeping his sense of humor, one of his most endearing traits.
And, BTW, if you've ever met his Mom, Ruth, you know what a gem BD has in her. She's a keeper.
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Re: My Comments...

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:58 pm

I'm with you on your comment regarding the DEWN program, Tom. My first thought in reading that article was, "Oh my God, he's not dismantling DEWN, is he??!!!" As you said, he's put some very interesting wines out under that program.

Otherwise, I like what he's doing. The Big House wines have been fine for what they are, but a new focus on finer wine should be good for him. As always, it will be very interesting to see where Randall goes next.


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