We love writing about John Parducci, also known as "Mr. Mendocino," born in 1918 in Cloverdale, California. At 14, he was hauling grapes to winemakers who had been shut out of business from Prohibition. He founded his winery at 32, and when he sold it, 50 years later, it was one of the most revered wineries in the U.S.
I realize it may be difficult for those who never knew him, to call a man in his 80's a pixie, but for those of us who did, it fit him to a T, as did his overalls. He had a wicked sense of humor, a hearty laugh, and always time to tell a joke. But when it came to wine, he couldn't be more serious.
It could be safe to say that, along with making Mendocino famous, he also "discovered" grapes that nobody had heard of or cared about. Petite Sirah was one that we featured last month. He played with blends to the point of exhaustion, but always convinced that his way was the best, and it usually was.
John lived another 20 years after he sold the winery in 1994, but his stature never faded. Our Cabernet Franc is a testament to that. In the spirit of their founder, the new owners are crafting great wines, as this one will attest. From the soft cranberry and spice to the earth and licorice, here is an offering to offer with everything from turkey carnitas to John's favorite, spaghetti, and meatballs.