Former Race Car Driver Claims Wine Spectator’s Top Spot for 2016

From the Indianapolis 500 to the Wine Spectator 100.

Randy Lewis’ best finish at the Indianapolis 500 was 14th in 1990 and 1991. Twenty-five years later, he’s got the Wine Spectator checkered table cloth in his sights.

From the magazine’s Friday unveiling of its top 100 wines for 2016:

Randy decided to become a winemaker in Napa Valley, learning on the job working for friend and vintner Bob Miner at Oakville Ranch while [his wife] Debbie studied the business. Miner’s death in 1994 forced the couple to seek a new path, but they have navigated it well, producing a bounty of exceptional wines over more than two decades. …

Debbie, 72, is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up farming in the Sacramento delta. Randy, 71, has been racing cars since he was a teenager in Atlanta and says the biggest difference between his racing days and those in the cellar is that he never had the best cars, but he does have the best grapes. Debbie’s son Dennis Bell, 54, is winery president, while Josh Widaman, 37, oversees winemaking.

The no. 1 vintage from Lewis Cellars, a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon, retails for $90. The top wines were selected from a pool of over 18,000 by Wine Spectator editors through blind tastings.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Wine Spectator Is Now Officially a 40-Year-Old Vintage

Screen grab via: winespectator.com