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Randall Grahm Goes Naked

L-R: Randall Grahm with his award-winning book; one of his new wines; a view of Bonny Doon
© Randall Grahm/Naked Wines | L-R: Randall Grahm with his award-winning book; one of his new wines; a view of Bonny Doon
Wine lovers fund Bonny Doon founder's new brand.

Irreverent U.S. winemaker Randall Grahm may have been "Doon So Long," according to the title of his recent book, but things are certainly looking up for the producer following a $150,000 cash injection from Naked Wines.

Naked is a British wine merchant which recently expanded to the U.S. and Australia. It asks customers to sponsor independent winemakers by paying a monthly subscription fee, which is redeemed against their next order. In America, members known as "Angels" pay $40 a month in return for savings of “at least 40 percent."

Santa Cruz-based Grahm has been “crowdfunded” by these angels to produce two Rhone-inspired blends: Close But No Cigare – a play on the name of his most famous wine, Le Cigare Volant – as well as a syrah/viognier blend. The wines bear Grahm’s name rather than that of his winery, Bonny Doon. They are currently on sale on Naked's U.S. website priced $17.99 and $14.99 respectively.

“There is a finite limit to how much we can produce under Bonny Doon," says Grahm. "With I have the freedom to experiment, the flexibility to blend, and the fact that they pay for the grapes helps me big time."

Grahm, who won a James Beard award for his "Doon So Long" vinthology, is a prolific Twitter user, with close to 340,000 followers. He laments the changing nature of the wine business, including the “proliferation of brands and the consolidation of distribution.”


Related stories: 

Q&A: Randall Grahm, Bonny Doon Vineyard, California

Randall Grahm Takes Aim at Wine Industry

Naked Ambition




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