Richard Grant is the father of Heidi Barrett and Chef Holly Peterson.
He invented the Peterson Pallet...the metal structures that are found in most wineries that hold the barrels.
As far as the wine goes, he was judging a competition in Southern England outside Kent in the small village of Wrotham (pronounced Rudem) when he tasted a local sparkling wine made with (at the time was thought to be) Pinot Muenier. He was shown the vines and noticed that though the clusters looked like Pinot Muenier, the leaves looked like Pinot Noir. Also, the leaves had very tiny hairs on them that made the vine look like it had been dusted with flour...in fact, the vines had been nicknamed by the locals, "Millers Vine" after the way the workers looked when they came out of the flour mill. So, as he was intrigued by this natural mystery, he took clippings back to UC Davis and had them DNA tested. The results came back that this was an ancient clone of Pinot Noir that dated back to the Roman Empire. And since they had these fine hairs on the leaves, the vine was naturally immune to any leaf born disease or mold, hence how it survived for over 2000 years! They called it the Wrothem Clone, and Dr. Peterson planted about 4 acres of the vine somewhere in Rutherford. He makes a still Pinot Noir, and also, as you know, a delicious Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine that is made in the traditional Methode Champenoise.
Rutherford, Napa Valley
Dr. Richard G. Peterson