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Petite Sirah,Sonoma,Video by Diaz Communications,Wine,Winemaker,Winery,Zinfandel

Joel Peterson, the Godfather of Zin

This first video is a photo journal of the 20th anniversary of the tasting room location event. I’m showing you this one just in case you’d like to see Ravenswood Winery and their celebration. The second video below is an interview between Joel Peterson and Jose Diaz, talking about Ravenswood and Joel’s history in the wine business.

I showed up at the winery’s public event, wondering if Joel Peterson would actually be able to find the time to sit down for an interview. It was arranged in advance, but you just never know when things get hopping. I was mentally prepared to not monopolize him during this busy time for him. Knowing that this was the 20-year celebration of his Ravenswood tasting room location, I just couldn’t imagine that he’d be focused for something not “so social” with all of his adoring fans. I felt a little guilty.

As I looked through a crowd of people, I saw a man in a beige cowboy hat headed straight toward me, and my heart actually skipped a quick beat. I was taken aback, surprising myself. It’s been years since something like that’s happened… After being the staff photographer for an FM radio station in the 80s, photographing everyone from Aerosmith to ZZ Top; hanging with stars in Hollywood in a hospitality suite and not even blinking; then, all the winemaking stars that I’ve been working with (including my time working for Robert Mondavi), my heart still did a flip-flop. It made me realize how much I do admire Joel Peterson, even though I’ve only been hearing his name for the last 19 years, in my wine PR journey. It was good to know that I’m still alive.

He walked straight toward me and then right past me, fully engaged with what was straight ahead of him, while guiding someone else forward. It gave me time to compose myself, and brought me back to being the wine professional that I’ve become. (Sigh of relief.)

Jose and I were early, and we knew it. We decided to show up early, so I could take pictures of Ravenswood. I had never been there and wanted to capture as much of it as I could, so I could share with you.

After taking all the shots I wanted, Joel came looking for us. I asked him if he was comfortable with the time/timing. He was more than a gentleman, and was good to go.

Jose Diaz is my person for being in these videos as the interviewer, because he’s so thoughtful. His Q&A session with Joel was perfect… Just spot on. Joel was easy, forthcoming, and very informative. Jose begins by asking Joel to tell us about what life was like before his time at this tasting room location. I learned a lot and hope you do, too.

This is one of a three part series. Joel Peterson is outstanding and no longer peripatetic. (You’ll have to watch this video to get that one!)

Tomorrow will have the next two parts in this three part, 30 minutes series (total time for all three collectively). See you mañana!

2 Responses to “Joel Peterson, the Godfather of Zin”

  1. Great piece and great work as always, Jo!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Marlene.

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