Just found out that George Vare died this last weekend. So sad...we've lost a pioneer.
Most folks probably don't recognize his name. He spent much of his wine career has a high-level exec at BeaulieuVnyds. He retired from that to become co-founder of LunaVnyds w/ JohnKonsgaard....which helped to put Sangiovese and PinotGrigio on the map in Calif...I guess. But his most notable contribution to the Calif wine industry was the popularization (I guess...at least from my perspective) of RibollaGialla. George & his wife made a visit to Friuli some yrs ago and fell in love w/ the variety and decided it should have a place in Calif. He planted a small vnyd of it just North of Napa and, to give it some traction, sold his crop to a number of different/talented winemakers to see what they could do with the grape. They ranged from bright/clean as a whisk varietally-correct Ribolla to murky/funky/full-blown orange wines.
I met George at the FriuliFest event the last two summers. A wonderful old gent with always a twinkle in his eye and an easy laugh. And always encouraging of up & coming winemakers who he thought had talent. I'll hoist a Ribolla tonight in his honor.