ra ra wines

Ra Ra Wine from Kara Groom

ra ra wine co

Kara and Daryl Groom with Melissa Galliani, Wine Country Radio

Kara Groom of Ra Ra Wine Co. and her father Daryl Groom of Groom Wines join Steve Jaxon and Dan Berger on California Wine Country today.

Daryl Groom was born in Australia, where he started his wine career. He always wanted to be a winemaker. When he was 17 he went Roseworthy Academy, to the agricultural college in Australia and “sort of never looked back.” He got the job as senior white winemaker after one year, then the biggest winery in Australia, Penfolds, bought his winery and he became the head white winemaker. Then by the age of 25 he got the job as head winemaker also for red wines.

In 1989 Penfold acquired a 50% share in Geyser Peak Wine, so he came to California on a two year contract. 34 years later he is still here. His daughter Kara Groom is also a wine maker and she is also here today. She wanted to visit Australia and her father suggested she work on a harvest down under. So in the next four years she worked six harvests in both northern and southern hemispheres.

Ra Ra Wine Co. is Kara’s wine company. Ra or Ra Ra is her nickname. She wanted to make a Rosé that was “fun and delicious” and to call it Ra Ra, so that’s what she has done.

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Her website is karamariewines.com. Daryl’s other children have careers in fields other than wine.

Dan Berger is here today, despite his voice being afflicted by the common cold. He sounds gravelly and rough, like the kind of soil that produces wines of distinction. Today he has brought a 2008 Chardonnay from Greg La Follette’s GLF brand, from his cellar, for tasting.

Ra Ra wines are all unoaked, even her red wines, because she wants to let the fruit shine. She picks at lower alcohol levels and bottles the wine early, to capture the fruit profile. She has brought a Dry Riesling, a Melon de Borgogne and a Rosé of Grenache, Ra Ra Rosé.

Dan Berger first met Daryl Groom in the early ’90s and proclaimed him the Winemaker of the Year in 1991. Penfolds wanted him to go back to Australia after those first two years. But Dan Berger gave him a great review in the LA Times and made him winemaker of the year. That was the reason he stayed. If his wine was that good after two years, he had reason to keep at it.

Kara’s wines are available at her website and also locally at Wilibees and at Bottle Barn.  Dan Berger is impressed with the quality of her wines. People are looking for “known varietals in unknown places, or unknown varietals in known places,” she says, so her wines are designed to appeal to those desires.

They are pouring their 2023 Melon de Borgogne. It is called Muscadet in France, but we have to call it by the varietal name here in this country. Dan says the aromatics are “unbelievable.” This variety us often used as a blending grape, and rarely is it used by itself.

They also taste Kara’s Rosé of Grenache. Dan notices that it does have strong fruit flavors and it is true to the character of Grenache. Dan thinks that Grenache is the best red wine grape for making Rosé and Kara agrees. She calls it her flagship wine. She started her label with 100 cases of Rosé.

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