No matter how familiar you are already with the circuitous outline of Dick Grace’s personal story – the successful stock broker who turned to compassionate works, the Cult winery owner who gave up alcohol – there will be surprises for you in this interview. There is no way there couldn’t be a surprise or two when the speaker is so candid about his beliefs and personal life. This presents an interesting situation for the listener, because we’ve entered an era of wine appreciation this is often focused on the person behind the wine. When people like a wine, there is the sense sometimes that what they like is the person who makes the wine, and what that person represents to them. Conversely, it seems that sometimes when buyers object to a wine, what they are really objecting to is the people. This is true of Napa Valley, and also of Bordeaux, where in both cases you hear criticisms of wines that are really criticisms of people. But Dick Grace is not in any sense what most might think of when they conjure up an image of the typical Napa Valley winery owner. To hear Dick describe his own path, he has steered clear of ego driven decisions, profit motivated decisions, short term planning, extensive marketing, or any significant growth of his business. He is in fact openly critical of such tendencies in this interview. So where does that leave the listener? If Dick doesn’t fit the stereotype of the Napa Valley winery owner, does that adjust your perception of his wine? The answer is something you’d have to tell me.
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: @levi_opens_wine