Bien Nacido Vineyards – A Tribute


Bien Nacido Vineyards has become one of the most prestigious and best known vineyards in the Santa Maria appellation. It is the combination of the “terroir”, the people who manage it, and the close relationships they have developed with others in the wine industry that makes Bien Nacido Vineyard unique in the wine industry. In todays seminar we are joined by Au Bon Climat, Foxen, Lane Tanner, Stephen Ross Cellars and Tantara to learn about their connection to the Miller family as they taste wines from multiple vintages produced from Bien Nacido Vineyard.

Seminar Sponsor

2006 World of Pinot Noir


– Greg Walter, The Pinot Report:


– Lane Tanner, Lane Tanner Winery:
– Stephen Ross, Stephen Ross Cellars :
– Jeff Fink, Tantara Winery:
– Bill Wathen, Foxen Winery & Vineyard:
– Jim Clendenen, Au Bon Climat:

Additional Contributors

– James Ontervaros, Bien Nacido Vineyards & Native 9:
– Chris Hammell, Bien Nacido Vineyards :

Wines of the Seminar

2003 Lane Tanner Winery Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards
1993 Lane Tanner Winery Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards

2004 Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards
200o Stephen Ross Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards

2003 Tantara Winery Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards Adobe
2000 Tantara Winery Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards Old Vines

2003 Foxen Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards Block 8
2000 Foxen Vineyards Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyards Block 8

2003 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Knox Alexander
2000 Au Bon Climat Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley Knox Alexander

Congrats to the winners of the “Comments Contest”: View Entries

Sponsor: Custom Crush Napa:

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Show #106
(1:31:40 min 41 MB)

71 Responses to “Bien Nacido Vineyards – A Tribute”

  1. 1 Eric Rayburn Aug 28th, 2006 at 10:40 am

    That could work just fine I believe. I just think from reading on here that most of us really like the longer segments, so the more the merrier I say. I know it’s more post-production for y’all but we love it!

  2. 2 Doug Smith Aug 28th, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    OK, I’ve read through a bunch of commentary, and I think I’ll be repeating what some have already said … but not all.

    To tell the absolute truth, I prefer shorter — maybe 45 minutes. Otherwise it does involve looking for a larger chunk of the day free. OTOH I prefer to have the whole event in one gulp than dribbling out over a couple of weeks, so if you decide to tape long, might as well put it in one and let us decide when to stop the iPod.

    I also do prefer you guys rather than a larger panel discussion. There’s a lot of selling going on at these sorts of events. (Yeah, I know they’re great, and wonderful wine and all, but I always get the sneaking feeling I’m being sold to. There’s an awful lot of ‘why my winemaking technique is great and the other guy’s sucks’. It helps to have critical interviewers there to question some of this).

    Another thing: I’m assuming everyone at this event either knew the winemakers involved or had a handout with further information. They didn’t do a good job at all of introducing each speaker. I think you guys might have ‘stopped the tape’ before each of them in order to give us a short precie with information on who was about to talk, on their history, on why we should care about them in particular, et cetera. Otherwise I’m left a bit confused. Yes, I’ve heard of some of them, but not all, and frankly know next to nothing about California PN.

    I know there is additional info on your website, but since I download into iTunes, I listen to these podcasts cold. I’d prefer to know who I’m listening to while I’m tuned into the podcast.

  3. 3 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 28th, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    Doug, as you and several others have noted, when a large panel is involved, it can be tough to tell who’s speaking at certain junctures – since they don’t necessarily ID themselves before talking.

    I would imagine that “radio” people back in the day were well schooled in how to approach speaking or distinguishing themselves to a remote audience who weren’t able to see them. But, the folks in this setting weren’t thinking “radio,” since they were talking to a live audience. Therein lies the problem.

    Your suggestion about our trying to ID the speakers during the session have their own set of built-in problems, something we tried to address in the more controlled environs of the Sta. Rita Hills Roundtable, where we were asking the questions or otherwise calling their names to give us an opinion. OTOH, it might be a logistical nightmare to try and edit in these intros at a later date.

    Your point is also taken of course, that to know a little something beforehand about each of the speakers is of real value. Possibly we could have a better intro of each, or even something in the way of a handout to download.

    FWIW, I don’t know if this really addresses the issue, but the moderator was Greg Walter, publisher of the Pinot Report, and in the picture above from left to right is James Ontiveros (standing), the sales mgr of Bien Nacido Vnyd who also has his own vnyd (Rancho Ontiveros), and the rest of the panel are exactly in order as noted below the picture by their websites and the wines poured. Also, each is the owner/winemaker (or co-owner/winemaker) of their respective wineries.


  4. 4 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 28th, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    Eric, I think Doug was suggesting that we could edit the audio before posting and create additional introduction information in cases where it was weak in the host program.


  5. 5 Rich Sileo Aug 28th, 2006 at 4:38 pm

    First off, I love the podcast. I’m a relative novice when it comes to wine. I enjoy many different kinds of wine, but always wnated to learn more. Your podcast has significantly increased my knowledge of wine styles, grape growing, regional differences, etc. Keep up the great work.

    As for this particular podcast, I loved the format. For me, I would rather have one long (complete) podcast, as opposed to multiple segments. I have a very long commute to work each day and I have the time to listen to the entire thing at one time. It also helps me to concentrate (and better retain) on the content.

    As for the content of the podcast, I found it to be one of the most educational podcasts, I’ve heard. I learned a great deal about the effects that the region has on the grapes. I also found it fascinating how each wine maker took a different approach to making what they thought was the best wine.

    I would love to hear more podcasts like this one, especially when they focus on the wine stylings of the various regions.


  6. 6 Mark Christenson Aug 28th, 2006 at 8:17 pm

    I like the extended format. I can shut down a long one and come back to it, but I can’t extend a shorter podcast. I typically listen during my commute, and if I can listen to unabridged books covering 13 CDs, I can certainly make it through 90-120 minutes of wine-related good stuff!

    Peter C – it’s great that you provided follow-up comments, not just airtime on the podcast.

    Best wishes to the GrapeRadio Bunch!


  7. 7 westcoast_bill Aug 28th, 2006 at 8:36 pm

    love the longer format, especially when in-depth presentation/seminar can be provided. I agree with the concept that people can stop when they reach work, and resume later without missing out. (especially if on ipods which can go back to the same spot, or allow you to backtrack a minute to refresh your memory). anyway, I prefer not to listen to 5 intros with advertising just to get the continuing story.
    your advertisers may think differently 🙂

    I love the insider take on various styles and wine making methods, even at the level of grape growing, because I can use the same information on my backyard table grapes in terms of canopy management, etc. this is insightful and broadens my knowledge of the world surrounding the simple pleasure of consuming wine. So my vote is to persue whatever you can no matter what level of interest, although you may wish to moderate the frequency of wine tasting notes versus soil studies or something. I like the fact that you guys can talk with passionate people who can infect the rest of us by passing on ideas and enthusiasm.

    Last but not least, you guys bring a commaderie to the table, and should be congratulated upon the diversity of your conversations and interests. It adds to the material under discussion, stimulates thought, and more importantly for the podcast world, the listener feels like they are present at a gathering of friends. somehow this transcends the usual radio experience, and I would guess that people come up to you from time to time and tell you this, as if you would understand how it is that the listener community feels like we know you.

    anyway, thanks for being out there, and making us feel connected. it is greatly appreciated, and I often cite graperadio as one of the better podcast examples. you handle the personal biases, the content, and the commercial element deftly. sort of like a well balanced wine 🙂

  8. 8 Doug Smith Aug 29th, 2006 at 10:53 am

    Hi Eric and Jay,

    Yes, my point was more like Jay says: give a short intro to each of the speakers (once), if it’s weak in the host program. Otherwise … well, I can recognize the same voices, but I don’t really ever learn who they are or why I should care.

    OTOH if you were to edit in a comment like “At this point Joe Blow is going to give his talk. Blow is the owner of BlowVineyards, one of the earliest in North Dakota. He’s known for …” etc.

    It doesn’t need to be anything very detailed; just what you’d say to a newbie who’d never heard of the guy.

    And BTW, still love the show!


  9. 9 TimF Aug 29th, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    I thought this was a great show. I don’t care about the length. It should be as long as it needs to be. Don’t let anyone tell you how long to make the podcasts. Just because TV networks decide on 30 or 60 minutes, that shouldn’t force you.

    I think these seminars are to normal wine shows for the masses what 8 grade is to graduate school. I like getting deeper insights into how my bottles are produced. Keep up the great work.

  10. 10 Cesar Aug 29th, 2006 at 6:20 pm

    Love this podcast. This was the first wine podcast I found and have been a subscriber since. I love the way the show has evolved and you guys are definitely on the right track! This seminar was very informative. I did not mind the length one bit. The only thing I don’t like is that most of the wines you guys talk about are not available in my state… But I wont blame you for that :o)

  11. 11 Joseph Levine Aug 30th, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    While I find your usual discussions and interviews great, I also loved the seminar. The length issue is moot, as one doesn’t need to listen to it all in one sitting. For a number of reasons, it is close to impossible for me to get to such seminars in person. Your playing things on the list make it a virtual possibility for me. I thank you for that. As long as the hosts of the seminars are okay with your doing this, I say ‘Bring them on.’ Don’t, however, go totally to that format. Just balance it with your interviews, discussions, etc [as well as whatever else you might think of]. One suggestion for a change is putting out things like some of your longer old pieces in one part, rather then spreading them over a few weeks. I certainly happy to get more longer recordings that I can listen to over a day, few days or week. Thanks again.

  12. 12 Wayne Aug 30th, 2006 at 8:25 pm

    I was intrigued by your request of commenting on the Bien Nacido Vineyards and the fact that your prior comments were approximately 15, so here I am. And others beat me to the punch already, which is great. It doesn’t hurt to give away prizes to get the audience response.

    Amyway, I thought the format was great. Listening to the winemakers discuss their part of the vineyard and the wine style that they used made me think that there is more to this than just terroir. I am still baffled at whether a winemaker that have that much influence. The only way to find out is to start comparing them, which I plan to do.

    As far as length goes, it not always about that and more about what you do with it. I think my wife explained this to me once. I just kept pausing it on my ipod through my commutes until I got through the whole hour and a half. It actually is better than the five part series since you only have to listen to the commercials twice instead of ten times.

    All in all, I have found a friend in GrapeRadio. I can’t wait to meet you guys in person so that I can really know who is the tallest.

    Thanks again and keep it going.


  13. 13 Don Sep 1st, 2006 at 12:31 pm

    This was great, loved every minute of it. For a beginning wine drinker to have the access of this type of info is perfect. Keep them coming.

  14. 14 Andrew Sep 3rd, 2006 at 9:06 am

    A few thoughts on the format. We should separate content from format of the show.

    The content was fascinating in a wine-geekish sort of way given its specificity to a single vinyard.

    The format, which is what you requested comments on …
    There was 15 minutes before the actual seminar started. I understand that Grape Radio is your hobby and it’s your damn show and you want to participate but still I would guess that you get other benefits as the Graperadio bunch such as access to wine makers and events that you could cut down on speaking in some of your shows ?
    I was initially initimidated by the length of the podcast so much so I considered not listening and blasting on to other podcasts (I’m happy I didn’t)
    The audio quality was excellent given the location.
    I think the podcast format should be kept to 30 minutes or less. There are other ways to make this seminar available such as having a show talking about the highlights of the seminar and then directing folks to this web site to link to the full seminar audio, which would then make the website more of an advertising revenue generator.

    I suggest asking your sponsors what they think recognizing that there is a relationship between your listenership and your sponsors. It’s just that your sponsors may be a little more open to constructive criticsm because it’s their money while it’s just my time.

    ps. This is the first time I’ve visited your web site and it’s great !

  15. 15 GrapeRadio Bunch Sep 3rd, 2006 at 10:35 am

    Andrew, I am not sure I understand your comment. Could you explain what you mean by “It’s just that your sponsors may be a little more open to constructive criticsm because it’s their money while it’s just my time”?


  16. 16 Andrew Sep 3rd, 2006 at 11:23 am

    I was simply thinking that the response you’re going to get from sponsors will be better thought out and less selective than those from listeners. Listeners who have listened to a longer than normal podcast are a self-selected group who have time to both listen to the podcast and post to this discussion. Those that don’t have time may, or may not, listen to a longer podcast. The sponsors, conceptually, will guage the success of the podcast by the listener response which is why they sponsor in the first place. Hence in this case, for me, the sponsors’ reaction is more important that the responses in this discussion. Make sense ?

  17. 17 GrapeRadio Bunch Sep 3rd, 2006 at 4:45 pm

    If you are saying that the “safe” thing to do is produce shorter shows because we are in less danger losing listeners on shorter shows than longer ones, I am not sure I would agree. BTW, if our primary goal was to make money, we would do many things differently. Mind you, we need sponsors to keep the show going, but nobody is going to get rich doing this.

    One might argue that there are some people that would find the multi-part shows irritating.

    FWIW, you may have noticed that we have had many sponsors that have supported a show and at a later date, sponsored additional shows. So far, our sponsors seem to feel they are getting a ROI on their investment. The fact that people like yourself has brought new listeners to our show has been the key element to our success.


  18. 18 Christopher Armstrong Sep 3rd, 2006 at 5:19 pm

    Hello All,

    I hand out discs of your show all of the time to my wine reps, guests of our restaurant, friends and family. My mac broke the disc up, but I would have loved the broadcast to have been two hours to have evenly divided the broadcast up between to discs. However, I am still saving in audio format. Regardless, I love your shows and will continue to promote them. If for nothing else this show was excellent simply because of the great Lane Tanner. SHe is a riot and full of energy all of the time!

    Enjoy all of your time,
    Chris Armstrong
    Marker 32
    Jacksonville FL

  19. 19 Christopher Armstrong Sep 3rd, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    Also, how about a pictures section?

  20. 20 Jim Cramer Oct 14th, 2006 at 9:30 pm

    Being able to listen to this roundtable was terrific. I have wanted to go the event for years and have been unable for one reason or another. Yes, it is not like being there but if one is unable to attend, this is fantastic.

    I found the conversation so engaging I forgot about the time, an hour and 20 minutes went by before I looked. So for this kind of substantive content, please do it every time.

    Thank you very much for doing this. Please continue going forward and expanding.

    It has been months since I have been able to listen to a show. I am glad I was able to get back to it.

  1. 1 Radio Theater trackback on Nov 15th, 2006 at 11:40 am

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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.

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