Old Vines and Their Wines: A Conversation with Linda Murphy and Joel Peterson

Submitted by edawson on June 6, 2013 - 3:30pm

Joel Peterson

Join the Wine Library Associates of Sonoma County for an evening with Linda Murphy, distinguished local wine writer and co-author of the new American Wine, and Joel Peterson of Ravenswood Winery, also known as the "Godfather of Zin."

Old Vines and Their Wines
Friday, June 28, 7–9 PM
Sonoma County Wine Library
139 Piper Street
Healdsburg, CA 95448

  • Discussion of US Vineyards & Old Vines
  • Book signing of new American Wine Book
  • Open Tasting of Notable Old Vines Wines

Admission: $50 Public; $40 Members of Wine Library Associates of Sonoma County

Reservations: 707-433-1660

The evening will include discussion by Murphy and Peterson on wine in the United States and the role old vines play across the country. Linda will be on hand to sign copies of her new book, American Wine, co-authored with Jancis Robinson. An open tasting of wines by notable producers of old vines wine and delicious hors d'oeuvres will also be served.

Biographies of the Speakers

Linda Murphy

american-wineLinda Murphy is co-author, with Jancis Robinson MW, of American Wine: The Ultimate Companion to the Wines and Wineries of United States. The book, published by University of California Press, celebrates winemaking in all 50 states, and Americans’ rapidly growing love of wine and expanding pride in locally produced bottles.

Linda, a longtime sportswriter in San Diego, left that career in 1990 to move to Healdsburg. She worked as a vineyard Brix sampler and cellar rat for Laurier, Lyeth and Mazzocco wineries, then became a communications director for wineries in Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties, plus those based in Washington State, Oregon, Australia, New Zealand and Italy.

She returned to her journalism roots in 1999, as managing editor of The New York Times’ wine website, then as the first wine section editor of The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper, where she won two James Beard Awards.

Linda, who has lived in Sonoma County for 23 years, now writes for JancisRobinson.com, WineReviewOnline.com, and Decanter, Napa Sonoma and Vineyard & Winery Management magazines. She credits the Sonoma County Wine Library for increasing her wine knowledge on a constant basis.

Joel Peterson

Joel Peterson co-founded Ravenswood Winery in Sonoma with Reed Foster in 1976. He serves as Senior Vice-President of Constellation Wines. His community efforts include his current membership and former presidency of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance and a current post on the Board of Directors for the Sonoma County Vintners. He is a founding board member and two-time president of the Zinfandel Advocates and Producers.

Joel's interest in wine began in his home growing up, and attributes a lot of his interest to the tasting club organized by his father—the San Francisco Wine Sampling Club, now known as the San Francisco Vintners Club. His early career in microbiology gave way to winemaking as he apprenticed with Joseph Swan and eventually opened Ravenswood with Mr. Foster, a Harvard MBA grad, who handled the financial aspects of the business.

Since Ravenswood's purchase by Constellation in 2001, Joel has remained Ravenswood's head winemaker, working closely with hundreds of growers who provide the grapes for Ravenswood's many wines. Joel was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame in 2011.

Peterson is also Senior Adviser to the Historic Vineyard Society, a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the preservation of California’s historic vineyards. Its mission is to keep precious old vines in the ground, through education of consumers about this depleting resource. Peterson’s son, Morgan Twain-Peterson, is on the founding HVS Project Team and is owner-winemaker of Bedrock Wine Company in Sonoma.

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