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Today my guest is Dr. Richard Peterson with his new book “The Winemaker.”

the winemakerThe Winemaker is the fascinating story of a young man born in the depths of the American Depression whose passion for chemistry led him to the very epicenter of the California wine renaissance: a witty and engaging account of life behind the scenes by a leading winemaker for some of California best known wine labels. With candor and fascinating detail, Peterson chronicles how an industry completely decimated by Prohibition was to transform itself with incredible speed into a world-famous wine region. His remarkable journey led him to work alongside many of the most colorful and legendary names who shaped the California wine industry. His  extraordinary depth of experience sheds an entertaining, candid light on the wine industry’s path to success.

Dick Peterson

Dick Peterson

Dick Peterson is well-known in the California wine industry as an innovator, winemaker, educator, international wine judge, viticulture/enology consultant and expert witness in legal cases. After earning a BS in Chemical Technology, a MS in Food Science and a PhD in Agricultural Chemistry, he started his working life in 1958 with E. & J. Gallo Winery in Research and New Product Development. He then replaced the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff as winemaster at Beaulieu Vineyards. He is responsible for creating many well-loved American wines and brands such as Lancers Vinho Branco, Monterey Vineyard and all the original Taylor California Cellars wines. He oversaw the development of Atlas Peak Vineyards, excavating some of California’s largest wine caves.

Learn more about Dick and order a copy of the book and some wine!

He is a former president of The American Society for Enology & Viticulture, director of the Wine Institute, and founding member of the Society of Wine Educators and the American Institute for Wine and Food. And by the way…his daughters are equally famous winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett and her sister Holly a talented Chef.

Heidi Barrett, 47, has made wines for Screaming Eagle, Grace Family Vineyards, Dalla Valle Vineyards and others. Several of her wines have received perfect 100-point scores from influential critic Robert M. Parker Jr., and sell for thousands of dollars at auctions. Married to Bo Barrett, winemaker at Chateau Montelena in Calistoga, Heidi also has her own two brands, La Sirena and Amuse Bouche.

Her sister, Holly Peterson, 45, teaches food and wine dynamics at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, and heads Sea Star, which imports sea salt from Brittany, France. After she graduated from La Varenne culinary school in Paris, Holly worked at Chateau Mouton-Rothschild, Krug and RemyMartin, and at Tantris, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Munich.

Good Life Guy’s Wine of the Week:
2014 Richard G. Peterson Pinot Noir
Peterson PNLegendary winemaker, Dick Peterson, handcrafted this true, old-world style pinot from his vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA situated just south of Monterey Bay.  It is here that Dick planted his vineyard with a footprint unlike any other. Boasting a cool climate and one of the longest growing seasons in California, the Richard G. Peterson property cultivates two distinct clones – Wrotham and R-4. Discovered near Wrotham Village in southeast England; the cuttings were introduced there by the Romans some 2000 years ago. The Wrotham clone produces a uniquely rich color and a spicy characteristic not often found in other Pinot Noir wines. In 1980, Dick Peterson brought the first and only Wrotham cuttings back to California and planted them on his 10-acre property.

This Pinot Noir is elegant in its Burgundian style and offers an energetic profile on the palate with an array of earthy notes and minerality. Flavors of black currants, cardamom, sautéed porcini mushrooms and smoked game meat complement the wine’s uniqueness. This Pinot Noir will be ready to drink upon release and will continue to age beautifully over the next 25 years.

“A big and rich style with soft and velvety tannins. Lots of dried-berry and chocolate character. Delicious finish. Drink now.” – James Suckling, December 2016
Watch this great video with Antonio Galloni of Vinous

Richard G Peterson

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