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Winemaker

Can Winemaker Georgetta Dane Replace Randall Grahm with Big House Wines?

You bet she can, and with a lot more pizazz! No offense Randall. Both of you are very colorful figures, I know, but Georgetta’s a lot prettier, you’ve gotta admit…


Image of Randall taken by Alex Kraus. The image of Georgetta is mine.

What astounded me about Georgetta was the answer she came up with for my very first question. When asked about her winemaking style, she responded, “When I’m making wine, I think about it as if I were making perfume. For me, it’s about the aromatics. I want to create something fragrant that best represents the wine, based first on some of this, then some of that, and finally all blended together to become the rich flavors of the wine.”

Meanwhile, her hands were going in this direction, and that direction, and even more directions over there. Romanian born, Mediterranian influences were not lost on Georgetta. I dare to venture that this is a very feminine way to approach winemaking, as I’ve yet to hear the myriad of male winemakers I’ve interviewed ever begin with “perfume making.” Granted, there may be someone out there, because who has interviewed every single wimemaker in the world? In my experience, this was definitely a “first” for me, and therefore it put Georgetta into a very unique category… Ambibrained…

When I was in radio and photographing rock and rollers (as an FM radio photographer), I think only Tina Turner and Sting represented what I think of as ambibrained; that is, not only are they highly creative – using the right-creative side of their brains – but also highly scientific – also using the left-logical side of their brains. Georgetta and Randall also fit into this category, which is why they are both able to craft uniquely blended wines… As in the Big House wines, which are Mediterranean blends versus the Bordeaux blends (the usual and popular way to go for most winemakers).

Georgetta’s background is very scientific. She has a degree in food science, which focuses on the physiology of food substances. While studying food science in Romania, she didn’t know in which area of food she would be her ultimately focus, but winemaking became her passion. Approaching winemaking from this non-traditional avenue gave Georgetta an overview of all food substances and their aromatics, versus what one would find for chemical compounds in vitis vinifera, singularly. Since the flavor chemical compounds for grapes are the same as those found in all other fruits and vegetables, Georgetta became quite connected to those primary sources from a very diverse group of food substances. As anyone can imagine, this must have created a super sensitive nose, able to identify an intense array of fragrances; hence, Georgetta’s perfume making approach to her craft.

Georgetta Dane has layers of personality, is bright and gregarious, and loves the Central Coast for the aromas and flavors that this winegrape growing region delivers. Moving with her husband about 12 years ago, when he won a visa lottery, had landed her in a place for which she admits, she’s never want to stray, because the region offers her more than she could have ever dreamed possible. Georgetta is as happy as anyone could be, crafting her Mediterranian-style wines for the Big House brand.

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