Our Mission

The Rhone Rangers is America's leading non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wines. 

History of the Rhone Rangers

In the early 1980’s, several maverick American winemakers and wine growers began experimenting with Rhone-style wines. By the mid-80's, several California Rhone producers including Steve Edmunds of Edmunds St. John, Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard, and Bob Lindquist of Qupé, were meeting informally to share winemaking information and insights. 

In 1989, Grahm was featured on the cover of the Wine Spectator in a blue polyester cowboy outfit with a white horse under the headline, “Randall Grahm, California’s Rhone Ranger”. In his book American Rhone: How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way America Drinks, Patrick Comiskey writes, “In that single indelible, iconic image, the course of the movement’s next several years was established.” He continues, “Tucked behind a feature article about Grahm was perhaps the most comprehensive critical assessment of American Rhone wines to date, with the first formal evaluation of the wines.” 

The American Rhone wine movement flourished, with the Rhone Rangers formally becoming a 501(c)(6) nonprofit membership organization in 1998.

The Rhone Rangers Mission

Our mission is to educate the public on Rhone varietal wine grapes grown in America and to promote the production and enjoyment of these wines, with emphasis on integration into our daily lives. 

American Rhone-style wines are made from the same grapes that have flourished for centuries in France’s Rhone River Valley, and their growing popularity in the United States speaks to their versatility with food, wide range of rich flavors, and to the skills of American winemakers.

For a wine to qualify as a “Rhone Rangers” wine, the winery must be a member of the organization and 75% of the wine’s content must include one or more of the twenty-two traditional Rhone grape varieties as approved by the French government for the wines of the Cotes du Rhone (including Petite Sirah/Durif).

The resources on the Rhone Rangers website include a database of winery members and the grapes they grow, our educational materials, and our listing of member winery events. We invite domestic wineries, who grow and craft Rhone wines, to consider becoming a Rhone Rangers member for further access to other wineries, wines, and resources dedicated to these terrific grape varieties.

Inquiries: please email us at info@rhonerangers.org.