Although audiences rarely see this side of Guy Fieri on his TV shows, the culinary daredevil is actually a big wine nerd. The Platinum Prince grew up in Ferndale, California during a time when the wine scene in the nearby Napa Valley was exploding. Guy’s celebrity chef origin story is inextricably linked to a French wine cork salesman who happened to be passing through town and eventually helped Fieri travel to France, where his love of food truly blossomed. And the famous chef decided to start his restaurant empire and make his home in Santa Rosa, California, a city that’s known as “the urban heart of wine country.”
In recent years, Fieri has actually taken his wine appreciation to the next level by starting his own winery. And on this, the ninth day of The 12 Days of Guy Fieri, it’s time to explore the Mayor of Flavortown’s passion project.
5 Facts About Guy Fieri’s Hunt & Ryde Winery
1) The wine is not just part of some banding or merchandise deal: Fieri actually bought a five-acre Pinot Noir vineyard in the Russian River Valley and installed organic farming methods. He’s working with local vintner Guy Davis, of the celebrated Davis Family Vineyards, on this project. “This isn’t juice that somebody else made that we just put in a bottle and put my name on it, which a lot of people do,” Fieri told GQ three years ago.
2) The name is a reference to his two sons, Hunter and Ryder. “I wanted the wine to stand on its own without my name,” Fieri told Wine Enthusiast in 2017. “I wanted quality, organic, and a price that’s approachable. If you can give something like that to your kids — God’s not making any more land in the Russian River — it’s a legacy they can have.” The Food Network star’s name is not prominently displayed on the label; the only Fieri branding is a tiny “Guy” stamp on the back of the bottle.
3) A few years ago, Fieri tried to open a tasting room near his winery but the NIMBYs on the local community board shot down the proposal, fearing that the new business venture would attract noisy, raucous crowds.
4) Currently, Hunt & Ryde only makes three wines: a Pinot Noir, a Zinfandel, and a Cabernet “Trophy” blend. Regular bottles are priced between $50 and $75, and a magnum of the Pinot Noir is $100.
5) The 2013 Zinfandel got a 92-point rating (“outstanding”) from Wine Enthusiast. Critic Virginia Boone described it as a “balanced wine marked by savory black olive, black pepper and a strong current of Italian deli aromas and flavors.” The 2014 Pinot got a 91-point rating, with high marks for its “subtly toasty oak, cinnamon and dark cherry flavors.”