I met winemaker Larry Dino of Cuda Ridge Wines back in April of 2022, although I had tasted some of his wines earlier it was at a meet the winemaker event portion of the 3rd annual Cabernet Franc Celebration & Competition that I got to meet the winemaker himself. I was privilege to be one of several judges for a second time. The event is an interesting one in that there were two sets of judges, those that are winemakers or truly professionals in the wine industry, and there was the people’s choice table made of a few wine enthusiasts. While the two judging groups were not in exact agreement with all the decision on which wines were to receive which rating or awards, it was amazing how many of the 70+ bottles of Cabernet Franc wines that were in the competition that we all agreed upon.
I was pleased that Larry agreed to meet with me during the week before all the harvesting work began so he could host California Corks for this interview on one of Livermore Wine Country winemakers. How this husband-and-wife team went from the love of visiting Napa and Sonoma wineries to home winemakers, from home winemakers to opening their own winery.
Cuda Ridge Wines, what’s in a name. I you chose to view the interview here in this post you can listen to Larry Dino explain in part how they decided on the name. I found it interesting that Dino and his wife Margie were in the process of looking to purchase a vineyard, but the deal didn’t go through. Disappointed, and being someone who appreciated muscle cars a Barracuda with a for sale sign was off the road on their way home. Disappointed that the were not able to complete the vineyard purchase Larry decided that he could at least get this Barracuda he spotted for his next project. I will let Larry tell you the story but let us just say that this restoration project had a little something to do with the name of the Dino’s winery.
While at the winery in July Larry poured two wines for us to review together. Larry poured one of his bottles of Cabernet Franc and the second was his Carménère. Both were delightful and we will be doing some editing to the review and discussion that Larry and I had in another couple of videos that we will post to our YouTube Channel. ( California Corks - YouTube) I do hope to visit with Larry later this year to see how the harvest went and to try a few other wines with him as well.