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Richard Ward, Napa Valley Wine Pioneer, Dies

01 - jun - 17

One of the earliest Pinot growers in California, Richard Ward, has died. According to, Ward lost a long battle with cancer. He was 67 and is survived by his wife and children.

Ward was among the first growers of Pinot and Chardonnay wine grapes in California. Along with his college friend and business partner David Graves, he set up his own winery, Saintsbury. The winery specialised in growing these varietals in the early 1980s when Pinot Noir and Chardonnay weren’t very common in the area.

Ward had initially studied structural engineering but his love for wine brought him to California. Here he enrolled in UC Davis for a course in oenology. It is here that he met Graves. The duo initially worked in the Chappellet and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, but their passion to grow Pinot made them start their own wine venture.

Friends and family of Richard ward are planning a memorial in his honour this summer.


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