Dan and Mary Ann Dawson at La Beaugraviere Restaurant 2001
Why I Love Rhone Valley Wines

Read the full story, “Why I Love Rhone Valley Wines” in the weekly “Dan The Food & Wine Man” column in The Napa Valley Register published Friday, March 10, 2023.

Why I Love Rhone Valley Wines synopsis:

I reminisce about my travels in the early 1990s and how it influenced my career.  Ah the Good Ol’ Days!

I came to Napa in ’92 and lucked into a job with a deep connection to the best California and French wines. Here I found my Coup de Foudre: Rhone Valley Wines. Crozes-Hermitage, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Condrieu.  Learning about them and the grapes used was like becoming a member of a secret club. I wanted in.

In my 20s and unattached, I took my opportunity to travel, taste, eat and learn.

My Forever memories of The Rhone Valley  

Walking up the steep, terraced slopes of Cote-Rotie are adorned with the names of its prominent land owners.

Caring for the magnum of Jaboulet “La Chapelle” Hermitage 1991 gifted to me by then-owner Gerard Jaboulet. Taking it with me for over a month by foot, bike, bus, train, plane, automobile until I finally got home.

The food’s so good. Except the andouillette. Watch out for the andouillette.

On a tip from a local wine merchant, I dropped in on Monsieur I forgot in Cairanne. It was harvest time. I spent a couple of hours moving hoses and turning pumps on and off with him. That was a good day.

Taking a group to see a young, handsome, blue-eyed vintner in Gigondas and having to hear for days what I hunk he was.

Gathering the rocks that are dead-ringers for potatoes in the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

A Tasting of Rhone Valley Wines in Outer Space

Thursday, March 16, 2023.
Wine Importer Jack Edwards joined me in Outer Space Wines for a Rhone Valley Wines Tasting. We poured a selection of wines from his portfolio including St Joseph, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vacqueyras and Costieres de Nime.


Dan Dawson is the owner of Outer Space Wines, a wine shop, wine bar and event space at 974 Franklin Street, Napa CA. Pay him a visit – no space suit required. Directions and hours.


Ask Dan to send you the full column if you have difficulty reading it The Napa Valley Register website.