Rue Ziegler, cultural anthropologist and RDS member, conducted Ed Chaix's interview on July 9th, 2001. Andy Beckstoffer, Grapegrower and RDS Board Member, was also present. The excerpts below cover the period from 1936 to the present day.
Ed Chaix has lived in Napa Valley since 1936, at age 11. Ed is a second generation Rutherford, Napa Valley grape grower and has been very involved in the Rutherford community, most notably as chief of the Rutherford Fire Department (43 years).
In this interview, Ed recounts the evolution of Rutherford and Napa Valley since the 1940s. More specifically, he addresses Rutherford's transition from an agricultural focus on prunes, plums and walnuts to world-class Cabernet Sauvignon. He also recounts conversations with Andre Tchlistchefft, who recommended against planting AXR-1 rootstock, which ultimately was susceptible to the root louse, phylloxera.