In Response to: All in the Family

Kudos for your story on Princeton families in the wine business (June issue of PAW). People don’t realize what a precarious hand-to-mouth business it is for so many, with years of red balance sheets despite prize-winning wines. A pre-World-War family winery on Lake Balaton, Hungary, was the inspiration to start a one-man-band Napa Valley operation in 2013 for son Ralph, who happily has had a nose and palate miles beyond any of us, maybe like bloodhounds. 

But a precarious venture? As he was swamped, I delivered for him a load of wines to enter a competition two hours’ drive away, with my smartphone leading me astray, arriving at the right door a scant five minutes before the final submission close. He got two prizes out of it from Sunset Magazine — two golds. Five minutes later, I’d have been mud. So it goes.


Paul Hertelendy ’53 (occasional deliver jockey for Hertelendy Vineyards)
Piedmont, Calif.