Young Winemaker Making the Leap to Burgundy


Ray Walker departs February 8, 2009 to set up the logistics for his negociant wine business in Burgundy. Only 27 years old, Ray left behind a promising career in the financial world a few years ago to pursue a career in winemaking.

Smitten by Pinot Noir, and Burgundy in particular, Ray quite his job and moved his young family to Sonoma where he was mentored by Ed Kurtzman and others. While many of his type would have been satisfied with a winemaking career in California, Ray felt a pull to return to Pinot Noir’s Holy Land. He immersed himself in the French culture and language and made plans to develop his independent label, Domaine Ilan, in Burgundy.

Join us as we listen to his captivating story.

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Show #233
(33:37 min 30MB)

11 Responses to “Young Winemaker Making the Leap to Burgundy”

  1. 1 Brian Crabtree Apr 23rd, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Pinot envy…I love it.

  2. 2 Howard Cooper Mar 10th, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    This interview got me sufficiently interested in Ray’s work that I now have purchased futures. Cannot wait to try the wines.

  3. 3 Linda Simon Sep 5th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Was very impressed with this young man. Cannot wait to taste his wine.

  4. 4 Howard Cooper Aug 16th, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    When are you guys going to do a follow-up with Ray now that he is established and in Burgundy.

    Also, you should interview John Gilman.

  5. 5 Richard Mathisen Mar 14th, 2016 at 1:04 am

    Yes, when are you doing a follow-up interview as a lot has changed for Ray.
    He’s doing good despite some naysayers spreading lies about him. He’s a one-man operation until he hired Zach to assist him. Now he’s getting out his orders on time. Had he had the help of his always-complaining, lazy wife, Christian, maybe he wouldn’t have had to go through all that abuse from these people. Not once did he tell anyone what he was going through. He took it like a man while his wife gloated and let false statements about him be spread. Someone should ask, who was the the real ABUSER? Who was really being ABUSED? Btw, they are divorcing and it’s about time.

    He has gone through a lot last year and early this year and I say a hearty cheer to this young man who had endured despite all the hate thrown at him on all sides. God Bless this young man and I hope nothing gets in his way of achieving his dreams as well as having some peace. He has been an inspiration to many, including me.

    Just an old fart who knows the truth.

  6. 6 David Wayne Simonoff Mar 14th, 2016 at 1:23 am

    I too heard some rumblings here & there regarding Ray. Let me say, I know this man personally as well as being a client of his. He is an honest young man, as are his parents. They raised him very well and with a whole love of love and support. He’s great and so is his wine. Just thinking about how he pushed on to accomplish his dreams, reading the story of his journey still brings a smile to heart. I don’t know if I could have done it, gave up everything familiar to me to chase a dream. He did it, did it successfully with no help. I have profound respect for the man.

    Regarding Richard Mathisen’s comments, yes, I too have heard about Ray’s impending divorce. Look folks, I met the woman, and all I can say is that never in my life have I heard such foul and viciousness sprew from any ones mouth like Christian directed towards Ray. I was there and I still am not sure exactly what was done to her to account for the, I felt mistreatment of Ray. So I say, goodbye and good riddance to her. He’s young, sincere and passionate about his work, so I wish him all the best.

    I uncorked his some of his 2010 and I think they are superb. Will write another detailed entry about it later.

  7. 7 GrapeRadio Bunch Mar 22nd, 2016 at 6:07 pm

    Richard and David –

    Thanks for listening. The Ray Walker interview will be posted 3/24/16.


  8. 8 GrapeRadio Bunch Mar 26th, 2016 at 10:18 am

    FWIW, the two comments posted on 3/14/16 came from the same IP address. Any more comments from this address will not be approved.

  9. 9 David Wayne Simonoff Mar 26th, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    it doesn’t matter if these came from the same Ip, we are friends, we both know Ray and felt we should write from our own prospective. Yes, we could have did it on seperate ip’s but we wanted to tell you and your followers about how Ray has been treated and how this had affected his shipments not getting out on time. What was written about his wife Christian is the truth and our saying how she has treated Ray can be proven in a court of law. This is not slanderous to her, just the truth. No need to post theeese comments on your blog, just giving your insider info that needs to be told.

    Friends of Ray.

  10. 10 Anonymous Apr 13th, 2016 at 7:43 am

    The last two replies are from Linda Simon Walker, Ray’s mother. Richard Mathisen (Richard Walker’s namesake) and David Wayne Simonoff (Daniel Wayne Walker) Ray’s father. What a deceptive family!

  1. 1 Grape Radio « Domaine Ilan’s Blog pingback on Feb 24th, 2009 at 8:43 am

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