I am proud to say that I have recently been asked to sit on the Board of Directors for Rhone Rangers, the preeminent organization for Rhone varieties produced in the US. I am honored and humbled by the invitation, but above all, I am psyched to lend an ‘alternative’ voice to the leadership of this group.
There are challenges for ALL of us in the wine industry and for all organizations like Rhone Rangers, especially in the light of the current economic situation. This particular organization has an even greater challenge of elevating into the consumer spotlight the varieties that its constituents produce – from the ‘known’ ones such as syrah, Grenache, mourvedre, viognier, Marsanne, and Rousanne to others such as Rolle (otherwise known as Vermentino), Picpoul Blanc, and Terret Noir (who knew?!?!?). A complete list of the 22 varieties can be found here.
As I prepare to ‘make my mark’ on this organization, I have a few ideas I’d like to look into in the near term. They are as follows:
• Truly ‘branding’ of the Rhone Rangers name, ensuring that any time a domestic producer or one of the 22 varieties is noted ‘in the news’, Rhone Rangers are quoted as well
• ‘Changing the playing field’ as it relates to some of the more popular varieties covered, starting with Syrah. I’m tired of hearing about how tough a sell this variety is – I LOVE syrah and continue to feel that it is the best red QPR on the market these days . . . . period.
So I thought I’d ask you for your ideas of things I should address in my new role . . .Anyone out there want to give it a shot?