Randall Grahm is one of the coolest winemakers. Not only does he do a ton of experimenting with his Bonny Doon wines, but he has a ton of fun with the names (like the 2013 I’m Not Drinking Any £#ƒ€!¢ Merlot!) and gives them whimsical labels with alien spaceships (full story on that here).
He recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for a new wine initiative to breed 10,000 new grapes as well as make a Grand Cru at his new Popelouchum vineyard in San Juan Bautista. In order to do that you have to experiment and see what thrives. A lot of people just plant the usual varieties – Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir – that might not be suited to their vineyard at all. So Randall Grahm’s not just trying to see what will work well on his new vineyard site, but discover some awesome new grapes along the way! Who knows, one of these grapes could be the variety that everyone’s knocking back 20 years from now…
As Randall says: “I’m looking to change the wine industry in a big way. It is part of my life’s work to continue to push the boundaries of this very conservative business. I want to create 10,000 new grape varieties over the next 10 years, and to plant a uniquely heterodox vineyard – each vine genetically distinctive from the other – in the hopes of revealing a new Grand Cru in the New World. I am seeking funds to help start breeding these new grapes at “Popelouchum,” and to potentially leave a rich legacy for the next generation of grape growers and wine drinkers.”
Freaking coolness all over the place. He’s campaigning to raise $150k on Indiegogo and there are a ton of really cool things you can get with your donation (click here to learn more and to donate). But I think by far one of the coolest things is to be able to possibly name your own grape! So, what would you name yours? Tweet your hoped-for grape name and the hashtag #GFgrahmcru on Twitter or post a photo with #GFgrahmcru on Instagram, and he might just pick a grapefriend reader’s submission. So cool.