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Our wines class had our field trip recently at Bonny Doon Winery. 

Chalk it up to me being the international student because I was the only one who did not know what Bonny Doon was and who Randall Graham was. Everyone I spoke to knew who he was and had unified ideas about who he was. Basically, he’s the visionary of Rhone grape winemaking in California, and well, just a visionary in winemaking in general in the United States. 

We were taken to his newest site near San Juan Battista as the viticulture part of our trip where they were growing experimental grape varieties. The  manager Nicole explained to us various concepts in winemaking, among them biodynamics. I’m a tree hugger but I’m not very good at growing plants so while it was interesting, I could barely keep up with the conversation. 

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The place was amazing even though it was relatively bare. The weather was cool and perfect. I kept thinking, “If only I had a horse…and my dogs here, this would have been awesome.” So much space to play and run around and roll around. 

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Look how green the place is! 

No MALLS!!!! (This is in reference to the local mall company who keep cutting trees and destroying the environment in the Philippines to build more malls every 2 miles. Yes, I’m talking about you SM!!!!!!!)

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Here are the baby vine wood stocks.

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These are my classmates walking about the site.

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After that trip, we headed over to the viniculture part of our trip, at the Bonny Doon Tasting Room and Restaurant in Santa Cruz, CA. 

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Randall Graham’s wines

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They got us started with our introductory tasting while waiting for Randall Graham.

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We then met Mr. Graham and he led us to his cellar/holding room with all the barrels where he shared with us his thoughts on winemaking. 

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We also got to taste some of their upcoming releases. 

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I personally enjoyed the Carinena one. It was like drinking Flintstones vitamins!

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Here he showed us where he racks the wines and gets rid of the sediment. See the lees on the bottom. 

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He also showed us the bottling part of his warehouse and that was really cool. I had never seen wine being bottled before. 

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Off to shipping!

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More thoughts on winemaking…

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This caught my eye because it was awarded by my school!

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For the last part of our trip, Randall Graham made us taste the same wine aged in the giant barrel and the smaller barrel. What a difference in flavor and structure! 

The tasting list…

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Finally, I caught a photo of the kitchen preparing for dinner service. I totally would like a restaurant with the same ambiance as this. 

Hopefully, more wine adventures for me.

‘Till Next Time! 

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