Bob Blue is a pioneer in the organic wine arena and the founding winemaker for Bonterra, with deep roots in Mendocino’s vineyards. A trail blazer in organic viticulture, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his 25-year dedication to sustainable vineyard management in The Drinks Business Green Awards 2014.
Ironic, given that he grew up in a family of tee‐totalers in Lake County, California. His first taste of wine, in fact, happened on another continent. Bob joined the Army after high school and his world was opened when traveling through Germany as a GI. After graduating from UC-Davis, Bob joined Mendocino County’s McDowell Valley Vineyards and progressed through the lab and cellar.
In 1988 Bob joined what he now calls “Fetzer University,” where he apprenticed and was mentored by legendary California winemakers Paul Dolan and Dennis Martin. He traveled to Bordeaux, Burgundy and on to Australia and the Rhone, broadening his knowledge and sense of style. As General Manager of Fetzer’s Hopland Winery, he continued to influence winemaking and was made Red Varietal Winemaker before being named Winemaker for Bonterra.
Beyond Bonterra, Bob is a passionate table tennis player. He even has a table tennis robot, which has trained him to play ambidextrously!