In the 1970s many young or newly arrived winemakers took up the challenge of growing, making, and marketing Zinfandel and other grape varieties that were neither expensive nor chic. Microbiologist-turned-winemaker Joel Peterson decided to make Zinfandel because he wanted to make wine the old way, the “French” way: using grapes from old vines that were dry-farmed and fermented in open-top vats. In 1976 Peterson made his first bottling of Ravenswood wine with purchased grapes and using space in a mentor’s winery. By 1991 he had earned enough from his highly acclaimed wines to build his own winery in Sonoma.
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000