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Dec 18, 2012 08:24 PM

Good story about how Joel Peterson of Ravenswood met Frank Teldeschi

While I have not had one in a while, I always thought the Ravenswood Teldeschi Vineyard Zinfadel was a nice wine year in and year out.

This is a good story from Mari Kane about how Joel Peterson met Frank Teldeschi:

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  1. Great story, and it sounds true to Joel Peterson. I have had the opportunity to do several of his "wine dinners," and enjoyed each, even the one that he stated with "I cannot imagine why the people responsible for this event, would ever pair me with a restaurant, that is all about seafood. Across the street, there is a steakhouse, doing the same event, that it's paired with a producer, who only does Chardonnay. How could they get it so wrong... ?" This was at a New Orleans Wine & Food event, some years ago.

    Along similar lines, Cecil DeLoach retired from the San Francisco Fire Department, and wanted to become a winemaker, and move his family (son, Michael, included) out of the "city." He went up to Sonoma, and sealed a deal with a few vineyard owners, who had strong family ties to their property. In three cases, the owners would ONLY sell to him, if he promised to keep the gnarly, old Zinfandel vines, that their families had planted, when the first came to the US. He shook hands, and said that he would.

    Soon, his bankers suggested that he dig up those old vines, an replant with Merlot, which was "hot" then. He refused, and kept working the rest of those three vineyards, planting what he wanted. He kept seeing the property with those old Zinfandel vines, but remembered his hand-shake deals with the sellers, though they were now out of the picture. One day, he decided to try and work the fruit from those old Zinfandel vines, and managed to produce some small-batch Zinfandels, that were very good, even with the very low yield from those vines. Each Zinfandel was a single-vinyard, and before that became popular. That sealed his place in history. [Told by Michael DeLoach]

    Sometimes, a deal, even a hand-shake deal, is good for wine production.

    Thanks for sharing that article, as I greatly enjoyed it.