I’ll Drink to That!: Richard Sanford and the Hot Tub Time Machine Wine Fermenters

A new episode of I’ll Drink to That! has been released, and it marks a major milestone—500 episodes of deep conversations about wine with some of the world’s most interesting wine people. A hearty congratulations to Levi Dalton for this achievement and the monumental body of work that it represents.

Episode 500 features Richard Sanford, who co-founded the Sanford and Benedict Winery, planted the Sanford and Benedict Vineyard, founded the Sanford Winery, and founded the Alma Rosa Winery, all somewhat nearby to each other in the Sta. Rita Hills of California.

Look around: war and social issues have galvanized protests in city streets and on college campuses. Americans have deeply conflicted feelings about government institutions. Travel has increased as people take solace and inspiration from other cultures. Many wonder what kind of self-growth they have achieved over a turbulent few years. The difficulties of making it as a business in the California wine industry are apparent, and growers are cautioning against planting new vineyards. New winemaking trends are taking hold and the wine market is being reshaped by a new generation of buyers. Does this describe today, or is it the late 1960s that Richard Sanford is talking about in this interview? Seemingly, it could be either. That is part of the resonance of this particular conversation. There are direct throughlines between the moment when Richard was searching for a place to put down vine roots in Santa Barbara County, and today.

Richard escaped the culture wars of the moment by heading off into nature to plant a vineyard. Decades later, the vineyard that he planted had been joined by so many other nearby vineyards that the motion picture Sideways had plentiful wine country scenes to film in that exact area. The subsequent boost in wine sales for Santa Barbara County, and the increased interest in Pinot Noir, is not something that Richard could have envisioned when he was planting the first Pinot Noir vines in the region. To escape the mass culture he was raised in, Richard had gone off into the wilderness to plant a vineyard. He ended up changing the drinking culture of the entire country. This deeply felt and frank interview about what happened should not be missed.

Episode 500 is available on many listening platforms, including at these links:

Apple Podcasts


I’ll Drink to That!, one of the world’s top wine podcasts, is hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram.

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Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/06/ill-drink-to-that-richard-sanford-and-the-hot-tub-time-machine-wine-fermenters