Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

08 Jan 2004, 11:08 a.m.

Utter Mayhem!

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2004 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Now I know why I grab the Chron's Wine section from the recycling bins to read on BART. Today's article on wine clubs drones on and on, but then kicks in:

Probably California's most unusual wine program is, not surprisingly, that of Santa Cruz-based Bonny Doon Vineyard. The winery's Distinctive Esoteric Wine Network (DEWN) is one club that customers either love or hate.

Like Ridge, many DEWN wines are made exclusively for the club. Unlike Ridge, Bonny Doon ships such eccentric blends as a fizzy Barbera, a Piedmontese grape called Freisa fermented with fresh strawberries, and a blend of 30 percent Viognier (a white grape) with 70 percent Syrah (a red grape).

"We do our best to mentally and emotionally prepare people for the utter mayhem coming their way when they join DEWN, but they don't always understand what they are getting mixed up in," says the winery's creative director, John Locke.

Adds Bonny Doon president Randall Grahm, "It's like, you signed up for weird wines, what do you expect?"