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06/19/2010

One year ago: Robert Young

June 19, 2010 |  7:00 am

Young Third-generation Sonoma County farmer Robert Young started with plum orchards and made prunes. But in the mid-1960s he took a chance and replaced his crops with grapes, a decision that a decade later would lead to his name showing up on wine bottles distributed around the world.

When Young uprooted his trees and planted a vineyard, he put himself at the leading edge of California's emerging wine industry. His focus on quality brought him to the attention of a young winemaker named Richard Arrowood, who became an internationally renowned wine master at Chateau St. Jean in the Sonoma Valley.

Arrowood signed a contract with Young to buy his grapes and, using only that fruit, made a wine he labeled 1975 Robert Young Vineyard Chardonnay -- the first single-vineyard wine so designated in California.

"Bob was one of those visionaries who really applied himself, so he researched things out," Arrowood told The Times. "He was way ahead of the curve."

For more about the successful grape grower, read Robert Young's obituary published by The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Robert Young. Credit: The Young family

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