I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker David Ramey

Episode 468 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features winemaker David Ramey, founder and co-owner of Ramey Wine Cellars and Sidebar Cellars.

David Ramey was a student in the UC Davis enology program during the late 1970s, an era in which that university played host to a number of people who would subsequently become well known names within California wine. John Kongsgaard, Cathy Corison, Richard Ward, Paul Hobbs, Randall Grahm, and many other notables were at Davis around the same years. Like those people, David graduated into a boom time for wine in California, as corporate investments changed the shape of the industry. David would subsequently work at Simi, Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus Estate, and Rudd Estate, and he clearly explains in this interview what he learned at each winery. He also shares what his various trips to Europe contributed to his thinking. Along the way, the listener receives an understanding of how the approaches to several popular grape varieties have shifted over time in California. And it turns out, a lot has changed. What were the norms for making California Chardonnay in the 1970s and what led to technique changes? David explains, while providing the context necessary to understand not just what happened, but also why. If you are curious to understand how a grape variety like Chardonnay expresses itself differently as a result of different decisions in the vineyard and winery, this interview is a gold mine.

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I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine