Well, Kermit, I knew Kermit back when he had a tiny little shop in Albany, California, a little hole in the wall, really a tiny little place, and people seldom came to see him.1 Well, I guess some people did, but he was sort of fighting the good fight. He had some obscure producers called Jean Louis Chave, that no one had ever heard of. So, he somehow kind of staked out this — I guess he had the instinct to find these really great producers back when no one was really that interested.
And he was kind of a voice in the wilderness trying to popularize them. Nobody knew anything about Rhône varieties or southern French varieties, southern French wines. But he kind of stuck at it, and then the world sort of came around to his point of view, lucky for him.
So, those days he was there in his shop, you could go and talk to him, he wasn’t that busy. And we had many conversations about these wines. And I sort of came away with this impression or belief or intuition that you could — that somebody could grow these grapes in California and make really good wine from them. And it turns out that that intuition was correct.2 Somebody could, you could.
In other words the ideas that the Rhône Valley and Southern France were similar to California than other areas, and therefore these varieties really kind of belong here. We’re not fighting city hall. There’s a natural affinity for these varieties.