Wine in Film – “American Wine Story”

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The wine industry always seems to make good subject matter for films and video. Some efforts are based on real figures, others on fictional characters. Some are romanticized versions of how we envision wineries, vineyards, and wines, while others seek to expose the unvarnished truth – embellished or otherwise. Less often, yet frequently more interesting, are films that inform us by documenting people’s experiences with growing, producing, or just drinking wine. The documentary, “American Wine Story” is a film that delves into the passion, the risk, the ingenuity, and the humanity involved in growing wine.

Join us as we talk with filmmaker David Baker about his film, “American Wine Story,” and his team’s efforts to capture, as David puts it “the story behind the bottle.”

For more info:

American Wine Story: americanwinestory.vhx.tv/

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #382
(30:18 min 29.1 MB)

2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Burgundy & Oregon: Parallels in Latitudes – a Look at 45º North, Part 2 – Burgundy

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Part 2 of the 2014 WOPN seminar on Oregon and Burgundy takes us to Pinot Noir’s homeland in Burgundy, France. We were very fortunate to have Louis Jadot’s Technical Director Frédéric Barnier, present a vertical of the Premier Cru vineyard, Clos des Ursules, which included vintages: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2003, 1997, 1990, and 1985.

The Clos des Ursules is a walled site within the Vignes Franches climat, at the southern end of Beaune’s group of Premier Cru vineyards near the commune boundary with Pommard. Being on the lower eastern side of the Montagne-Saint-Desire hill, the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vines here make the most of the morning and early afternoon sunshine in Burgundy’s marginal climate.

Join us as we hear from Frédéric Barnier about the Clos des Ursules climat, the various vintages he presented for tasting, and discussion of the past few “short” vintages in Burgundy.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

GrapeRadio interview with Frédéric Barnier: www.graperadio.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #381
(01:10:00 min 66.8 MB)

The Wines of Bordeaux – with Château Gruaud-Larose

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As with many of the Châteaux of Bordeaux, Gruaud-Larose has a fascinating history. Originally, Joseph Stanislas Gruaud was the owner of the Ténac, Sartaignac and Merle Crus in the 18th century. He united them in 1757 under the name of “Fonbedeau”, also called Gruaud. When he died in 1771, he left the property to Monsieur de Larose. In 1781, the name of the new owner was added and the Cru became Gruaud Larose.

Upon his death in 1795, Monsieur de Larose passed the Château on to Messrs Balguerie, Sarget and Verdonnet. By 1865, the undivided estate was shared between the heirs Balguerie and Sarget, generating two crus: Gruaud Larose-Bethmann and Gruaud Larose-Sarget.

In 1917, Désiré Cordier bought the Sarget family’s share. In 1935, several years before the start of the Second World War, he also acquired the Bethmann family’s share, and took the opportunity to unite the estate by buying Gruaud Larose-Faure. Once restored, the estate covered 137 hectares with 68 under vines.

The Suez Company bought the Cordier empire in 1983 becoming owners of Gruaud Larose. Then, in 1993, Gruaud Larose was sold to the industrial group Alcatel-Alsthom. Finally in 1997, the Merlaut family, already owners of several Medoc cru estates, bought Gruaud Larose.

Join us as we talk with David Launay, Managing Director
 at Château Gruaud-Larose about the history and winemaking at the Château, and what makes the wines of Saint-Julien so special.

For more info:

Château Gruaud-Larose: www.gruaud-larose.com/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #380
(41:03 min 39.4 MB)

The Wines of Champagne – with Jacquart

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‘Tis the season, as they say, so we thought we’d finish up the year with a show featuring one of our favorite wines – Champagne!

The Jacquart story began in the early 1960s, as an effort by the Champagne growers’ to control their own destiny. Rather than selling their grapes or juice to the large Champagne houses, a small group of growers decided that they needed to launch their own Champagne label. The Champagne Jacquart brand was released for the first time in 1962, and the ‘Mosaïque’ label was chosen to represent the patchwork of grower families across the region, all joined together with a common vision. Champagne Jacquart is headquartered in the Hôtel du Brimont in Reims, a 19th century Art Nouveau listed building, situated on the Boulevard Lundy in between the houses of Krug and Roederer.

Join us as we talk with International Communications Manager Diane Gonzalez about the beverage, the region, and the Jacquart brand.

For more info:
Champagne Jacquart: www.champagne-jacquart.com/en

Sponsor: The Wine Club: www.thewineclub.com/

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Show #379
(50:55 min 48.9 MB)

2014 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Burgundy & Oregon: Parallels in Latitudes – a Look at 45º North, Part 1 – Oregon

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Pinot Noir’s homeland will always be in Burgundy, France. But, outside of Burgundy, is there actually a more “suited” place for growing and making world class Pinot Noir? Obviously, this is a subjective matter – one for which there may be no definitive answer. Why? Because, as we already know, every ounce of grape-growing soil is different – all across the globe. Pinot there, is not Pinot here. That being said, is there some hidden meaning in the preponderance of Burgundian visits made to Oregon? Or, how about the purchases of Oregon vineyard land by Burgundians? What’s up with that?

Listen in, and judge for yourself, as a panel of Oregon winemakers from the 2014 WOPN discuss their local their soils, processes, and thoughts for growing and producing the best Pinot Noir possible in the New World. Panelists include: Moderator – Katherine Cole, Robert brittan – Brittan Vnyds, Steve goff – Colene Clemens, Rebecca pittock-shouldis – Ghost Hill, James Fry – Trisaetum, Rajat parr – Evening Land, and Lynn Penner-Ash – Penner-Ash. We guarantee your first impulse will be to go out and buy some Oregon Pinots!

(Editor’s note: due to technical difficulties, the quality for the first 10 minutes of the seminar portion of the recording is poor. However, it does become resolved thereafter.)

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #378
(01:04:11 min 61.6 MB)

Top Chef Delivers Modern Chinese Cuisine to the OC

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Born and raised in Beijing China, Shirley Chung was exposed to the world of true cuisine at an early age by her grandmother, Liang Si Yi, former Director of The Red Cross in China. Emigrating to the U.S. at age 17, Shirley obtained a business degree as a prelude to embarking on a position in the family trade in the Silicon Valley. However, Shirley had other desires, and instead decided to follow her passion for food and enrolled in culinary school.

Trained in classic French and Italian cuisine, Shirley has worked and opened restaurants for Thomas Keller, Guy Savoy and Mario Batali. After she opened CarneVino as Chef de Cuisine for the Batali group, CarneVino earned multiple international awards for Best Steak House. She has appeared on Top Chef, and was the Executive Chef for China Poblano by Jose Andres. China Poblano was nominated for a James Beard Award as the Best New Restaurant in 2011.

Shirley loves to travel, feeling she learns about local cultures through their regional foods. She draws inspiration from all the places she has visited and from the favors of her childhood memories. She is scheduled to open her first restaurant in a somewhat surprising place – Orange County, CA. “Restaurant Twenty Eight” will be her homage to “Modern Chinese” food, and is slated to open in December 2014.

Join us as we talk with Chef Shirley Chung about her sources of culinary inspiration and how this translates to her new Restaurant Twenty Eight in Orange County, California.

For more info:

Restaurant Twenty Eight: www.twentyeightoc.com/

Chef Shirley Chung Facebook page: www.facebook.com/chefshirleychung

Restaurant Twenty-Eight Facebook page: www.facebook.com/twentyeightoc

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #377
(40:42 min 39.1 MB)

The Wines of Chablis – with Domaine Laroche

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Located in northeast France, the Chablis region was annexed by the Dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. While it is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region, it is separated from the Côte d’Or by the Morvan hills. In fact, the town of Beaune located is more than 70 miles away. This makes Chablis relatively isolated from other winemaking regions. In fact, the southern vineyards of Champagne are actually its closest winemaking neighbor.

Before becoming part of Burgundy, Chablis was once considered part of Champagne, and the two regions share many climatic similarities. Chablis’ far northern location puts it at the extreme edge of sustainable viticulture – too much rain and a lower temperature produces wines quite high in acidity; too much heat produces wines that are flabby with too little acids. But, when the weather is right, the wines have gorgeous acidity and flinty flavors.

The history of Domaine Laroche began in 1850 and is closely related to the development of Chablis and its vineyards. At that time, there were neither legal delimitation of vineyards, nor growth classification. Laroche and other producers producers were simply heirs to the Cistercian monks.

Join us as we talk with Grégory Viennois, Wine and Vineyard Director
 at Domaine Laroche about the geography and terroir of the region, and what makes the wines of Chablis so special.

For more info:

Domaine Laroche: www.larochewines.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #376
(41:23 min 39.7 MB)

The Wines of Beaujolais – with Château des Jacques

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Does Beaujolais have an emotional side? Guillaume de Castelnau certainly thinks so. As Director and winemaker of Château des Jacques, Maison Louis Jadot’s beautiful Beaujolais property, Guillaume is able to easily wax poetic about both the region but especially about the Gamay grape.

Located north of Lyon in eastern France, Beaujolais overlaps Burgundy in the north and the Rhône Valley in the south. Vineyards run along the Saône River, on mostly granite soils. Here, Beaujolais Crus such as Brouilly, Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and Saint-Amour, have the high ground just above the Beaujolais Village classification.

Join us as we talk with Monsieur Castelnau about the history, geology and wine of the region. It’s an interesting new perspective on one of the most affordable of French wine regions.

For more info:

Château des Jacques: www.chateau-des-jacques.fr/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #375
(49:00 min 47.1 MB)

Wineries of Minervois – with Chateau Maris

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Robert Eden, a bio-dynamic wine maker, and Kevin Parker, CEO of Green Partners who has financed Chateau Maris for the last fifteen years with the aim of supporting the estate in becoming one of the Languedoc’s finest while respecting the environment to the highest standards have built the world’s first hemp cellar in the Languedoc of southern France. Combined with biodynamic viticulture and other “green” processes, Chateau Maris has a story worth telling.

Join us as we talk with Kevin Parker about Minervois, the region and its grapes, and also discuss Chateau Maris’ history and the changes that have been made over the last seventeen years, such as going biodynamic.

For more info:

Chateau Maris: chateaumaris.com

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #374
(37:55 min 36.4 MB)

Argentina – A Reach For Higher Ground

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Interestingly, Argentina’s wine history and culture began about the same time as our’s here in the U.S. Arguably more interesting is the fact that it began with the same impetus – Italian immigration. Today, Argentina has become known as the world’s largest purveyor of Malbec. Another thing that singles out Argentina – some of the highest altitude vineyards in the world.

Chicago native Jeff Mausbach’s interest in wine, and an Argentine lady, led him to Argentina in the 1990s. He worked thirteen years for the Catena family before deciding to pursue a dream of developing his own wine project, Manos Negras. With an eye for selecting unique vineyards, Jeff is now making everything from Mendoza Malbec to Patagonian Pinot, and loving every minute of it.

Join us as we talk with Jeff Mausbach about the history, geography and grapes of Argentina. If you really want to geek-out about vineyard talk, this show’s for you!

For more info:

Manos Negras: manosnegras.com.ar/

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #373
(59:52 min 57.5 MB)

Vineyards of Southern California – with Dolin Malibu Estate

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When one hears the name Malibu, one usually thinks about surfing, the beach, and fun in the sun. But, if you’re into wine, the sight of the Malibu Hills can cause your mind to wander and begin thinking about grapevines. That’s what happened to Elliott Dolin.

Elliott and his wife bought the property in 2001, and began renovating it. When it came to landscaping decisions, they noticed other vineyards in the area. So, the idea of a garden morphed in something much bigger. After planting 900 vines of Dijon clone Chardonnay in 2006 on an acre overlooking the Pacific, they were off and running.

The timing of this show couldn’t be better. Although the Malibu Coast AVA has now been approved, just this week the L.A. Board of Supervisors voted to ban future vineyard development in the region. While Dolin Estate and other currently planted vineyards are grandfathered in, no new development will apparently be allowed to take place.

Join us as we talk with Elliott Dolin about what is now the Malibu Coast AVA, as well as his decision to plant a home vineyard and become a wine producer. You’ll find there’s more to Malibu than Baywatch!

For more info:

Dolin Malibu Estate: www.dolinestate.com/

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #372
(31:14 min 30 MB)

Retrospective – Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the 1990s

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the 1990s are coming into their own now. The obvious question is – are they ready to drink now? And if not now – when?

Join us as we talk about our tasting of eight wines from the 1990s to see how the wines are evolving. We’ll taste them so you don’t have to!

The Wines:

’99 Feraud Brunel
’98 Vieux Telegraph
’95 Domaine de la Vielle Julienne
’94 Chateau Beaucastel
’90 Gaston Philippe Chateau de la Gardine
’90 Joseph Sabon Clos du Mont-Olivet “La Cuvee du Papet”
’90 Chateau Mount-Redon
’90 Chateau Beaucastel

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #371
(22:16 min 21.4 MB)

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Wines of the Mosel – with St. Urbans-Hof

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Viticulture has been taking place in the Mosel since the Romans brought cultivated grapevines here two millennia ago. It turns out the region’s unique geologic and climatic conditions are perfect for growing great Riesling along the Mosel and its tributaries, the Saar and Ruwer. The cool continental climate, the slate soil, and the steeply-hilled topography all work together to produce beautiful Riesling.

For generations the Weis family has been making wines in Leiwen. Nik Weis’ great-grandfather owned a top parcel within the Laurentiuslay, widely acknowledged as the best vineyard of Leiwen. Nik is the proprietor of the winery today. In the 1990s, he bought more unreconstructed (pre-flurbereinigung) parcels of Piesporter Goldtröpfchen and, in 2001, the Saarfeilser Marienberg. His marriage to Daniela, a native of the Mosel wine village of Mehring, added a parcel from that village’s Blattenberg vineyard.

Join us as we talk with Nik Weis about the region and the history of the Mosel, and of course the Riesling grape.

For more info:

St. Urbans-Hof: www.urbans-hof.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #370
(01:09:19 min 66.6 MB)

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Charles Heintz

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Located in the Occidental region of Sonoma County, the Heintz Ranch has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlie’s grandparents purchased the land in 1912, and Charlie’s father farmed here. Apples remained in production until their first Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982. The family still maintains about 8 acres of apple orchard today.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Charlie began farming Heintz Ranch in 1984, and expanded the vineyards to include Pinot Noir and perhaps his personal favorite, Syrah. With a who’s who list of wineries like Littorai and Williams Selyem buying his grapes, Charlie Heintz couldn’t be prouder of his family’s accomplishments.

Join us as we talk with Charlie Heintz about viticulture and wine, and what it takes to be a premium winegrower.

For more info:

Charles Heintz Vineyards and Winery: www.heintzvineyards.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #369
(51:42 min 49.7 MB)

Wineries of Oregon – with White Rose Estate

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Greg Sanders will easily admit that he doesn’t do anything half-way. So, it didn’t seem like a big deal for him to venture to Oregon to buy some land. But then the land turned into a vineyard, and the vineyard into an Estate…and then there was the winery.

Planted in 1980 to own-rooted Pommard clone pinot noir, the 10-acre White Rose Vineyard is one of the oldest and most storied vineyards in Oregon. Located on east-southeast facing slopes of volcanic Jory soils in the heart of the Dundee Hills, the vineyard sits at the top of the hill at 870 feet elevation, overlooking much of the Willamette Valley.

In 2009, they acquired an additional 4 acres of vineyard immediately north of the original site. This vineyard, was planted in 2001 to Dijon clone 115 pinot noir grafted to American rootstock.

Join us as we talk with Greg about his journey – or, his JOURNEYS – into wine, pinot noir and the metaphysical. If you thought you were hooked on the minutia of wine, you haven’t heard anything yet.

For more info:

White Rose Estate: www.whiteroseestate.com/

Sponsor: Pinpoint Technologies – Your Business List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #368
(1:00:35 min 58.2 MB)

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A Beaujolais Primer

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Located north of Lyon in eastern France, the Beaujolais wine region overlaps Burgundy in the north and Rhône in the south. The steep Beaujolais vineyards run along the Saône River on mainly granite terrain. Only manual harvesting is allowed in the Beaujolais region, and the region has ideal growing conditions, receiving plenty of sunshine.

The Gamay Noir grape has existed since the 1300s in Burgundy, and a is a crossing of Pinot Noir and an ancient grape called Gauais Blanc. Gamay is used to make all Beaujolais wines with the exception of white Beaujolais, or Beaujolais blanc, which is made from Chardonnay grapes.

There are 12 different Beaujolais appellations, 10 of which are known as Crus. The Beaujolais Crus form a meandering path. From south to north, Brouilly is followed by Côte de Brouilly, Régnié, Morgon, Chiroubles, Fleurie, Moulin-à-Vent, Chénas, Juliénas and Saint-Amour.

Join us as we talk with Anthony Collet, Director of Marketing for Inter Beaujolais, about the region, its grapes and its wines.

For more info:
Discover Beaujolais: www.discoverbeaujolais.com/

Forbes article, mentioned during interview: “Six Exciting Wine Regions To Explore In 2014″ www.forbes.com

Sponsor: Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

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Show #367
(45:23 min 43.6 MB)

Wineries of Sonoma County – Sebastani

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It’s a rarity in these times of consulting rock-star winemakers that someone would actually stay at a single wine producer for any length of time. But that’s exactly what Mark Lyon did – for 35 years! Mark graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis in 1978 and was hired by Sebastiani Vineyards the following year, where he continues to run the winemaking program.

Sebastiani’s first century in Sonoma winemaking began when Samuele emigrated from the Tuscany region of Italy in 1895 and started Sebastiani nine years later. The winery was the only one in Sonoma County to continue operations through Prohibition, making a small amount of sacramental and medicinal wines.

Shortly after Samuele’s death in 1944, his son, August, and August’s wife Sylvia purchased the winery from the estate and began the expansion of the facilities and the product line, adding new varietal wines and proprietary blends. When August died in 1980, Sylvia and their children, Sam, Don and Mary Ann, assumed management of the company. Sam stayed until 1986, when he left Sebastiani to start his own winery. In 2001, the family sold the winery to Constellation Brands, whereupon Don Sebastani left to devote more time to his own brand, which he started with brother-in-law Roy Cecchetti in 1985.

When Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008, he immediately undertook a program to boost wine quality and raise the winery’s image. Working closely with long-time winemaker Mark Lyon and the viticultural team, they lowered production, restricted yields, acquired more new barrels and winemaking equipment, revamped farming protocols and acquired additional vineyards to guarantee consistent and superior fruit sourcing.

Join us as we talk with winemaker Mark Lyon about Sebastani’s history and legacy, and why he still enjoys working for this iconic label.

For more info:

Sebastani: http://www.sebastiani.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #366
(46:36 min 44.8 MB)

The Wines of Burgundy – with Maison Louis Jadot

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The Louis Jadot name, as well as its readily identifiable label should be very familiar, even to casual wine lovers. Established by Louis Henry Denis Jadot in 1859 in the Burgundy region of France, Maison Louis Jadot has grown over the past 150 years to own 280 acres of the Côte d’Or’s most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots.

In 2010, chief winemaker Jacques Lardière retired after 42 years with Louis Jadot. Taking over the reins from Monsieur Lardière, winemaker Frédéric Barnier has been responsible for the entire winemaking team of Maison Louis Jadot since 2010.

Join us as we talk with Technical Director Frédéric Barnier about the challenges he’s faced, including the past few “short” vintages in Burgundy, current pricing, and the premox issue.

For more info:

Maison Louis Jadot: www.louisjadot.com

Louis Jadot Burgundies: www.louisjadot.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #365
(50:47 min 48.8 MB)


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GrapeRadio is a wine talk show. Show topics cover issues such as the enjoyment of wine, wine news and industry trends - the hallmark of the show is interviews with world class guest (winemakers, vineyards owners, wine retail / wholesale leaders, restaurateurs and sommeliers). The scope of the show is international so expect to hear many guests from around the world.

GrapeRadio has received numerous awards and honors including the 2008 James Beard Award for excellence in Journalism.

GrapeRadio has been the subject of numerous news reports by: The New York Times, Business Week, CNN, The Financial Times of London, and Wired Magazine.