I have been an apprentice winemaker for many years, learning from the master, Mr. Bill, who has been making premium California zinfandel since 1974. I hope to continue making wine in his legacy (and that of his friend and mentor, Dave Bennion).
A few stories about Bill:
Bill Peterson makes Zinfandel wine from his home-based operation (InMenlo story by Linda Hubbard, a journalist with whom we randomly shared some of our Peterson zin at Camper restaurant in MP one evening):
THE TRESPASSER, A Documentary about Bill Peterson, A Private Winemaker:
Related stories about those related to our "family tree" of winemaking:
From the New York Times, March 17, 1991, Section 7, Page 11 Buy Reprints
"The rise and fall and rise of zinfandel is inextricably bound up with the story of Ridge Vineyards, a smallish winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains south of San Francisco that specializes in the wine, and with the two men who have guided Ridge since its beginning in 1959. Burly, laid-back David Bennion, a Stanford University engineer, was a Ridge founder and its first winemaker; Paul Draper, at one time affiliated with the Central Intelligence Agency, an intellectual enamored of Jungian psychology and a perfectionist in the cellar, joined Ridge in 1969. He replaced Bennion as winemaker in the 1970's and as president of Ridge in the 1980's. Bennion later died in an automobile accident on the Golden Gate Bridge."
Eric Baugher, head winemaker at Merus (formerly at Ridge, where he made wine in the Dave Bennion style and gave me lots of good advice on everything from barrels to submerged-cap fermentation, as well as many yummy tastings):
And stories about our friend and long-time source for the grapes, Beni Dusi, and other worthy growers we work with
Following the zinfandel trail through California (nice story about Beni's grand-niece Janell, who makes lovely wine herself, and whose father Mike grows amazing grapes, continuing Beni's and Dante's family tradition and our relationship with the Dusi family)
Joe Duarte provided us with grapes for the first three vintages I made at Valley Forge (2017, 2018, and 2019)