From the Wall Street Journal:

The Napa Valley has been a little short on legends lately. Not legendary wines—there are still plenty of those—but legendary figures. It's almost three years since the last legendary man, Robert Mondavi, passed away and much longer since he was the one man most synonymous with this great California wine region.

According to Napa grape grower Andy Beckstoffer, the time of legendary men may be over. "The vineyards are the next Robert Mondavi. The vineyards are what matters," he said.

One could argue that this position was either born of great knowledge or was rather self-serving, since Mr. Beckstoffer owns 1,000 acres of vineyard land in Napa.

Unlike many growers, Mr. Beckstoffer only sells grapes to other wineries; he doesn't make wine himself. "That's an entirely different business," he said. It simplifies matters and reduces expenses and also answers the inevitable question about growers who also make wine from their grapes: Don't they keep the best fruit for themselves?

For more, see: The Most Powerful Grower in Napa