July 21, 2015 – Winemaker Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyards is on quest to discover new breeds of “genius grapes” and today he launched a crowd-funding campaign to finance his dream to the tune of $350,000. EMB first reported his plans last spring, but we weren’t sure how serious he was until the indiegogo site went live at 6:30am this morning. He plans to breed 10,000 completely new varieties of grapes on his ranch in San Juan Bautista, hoping to find a New World “Grand Cru” that has drought resistance, disease resistance and is “unspeakably delicious.”
The project will take place at his Popelouchum Vineyards, a magical place with good geology that Grahm believes has the potential to produce grapes that express the site’s unique terroir.
Nearly $20,000 was raised in the first few hours of the campaign, through donations by Grahm’s legions of fans and twitter followers. Supporters who donate $85 or $100 get the opportunity to have one of the new grape varieties named after them—along with clippings of their own varietal in about ten years.
Other rewards include wine tastings, gourmet meals and signed copies of Grahm’s book “Been Doon So Long.” A $250 donation will get you an invite to the very first harvest party at the new vineyard, expected to take place in 2025. Be sure to watch the video and contribute to the campaign here.