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 Kevin - Highlands Ranch, CO Aug 21st, 2006 at 6:11 pm

    Greetings Grape Radio Bunch: Loved the extended format. I’ve commented on your site before and have mentioned you guys and your guests actually make my daily work out somewhat interesting. A short, 20 minute podcast is not as accomodating as a longer 1hr+ session that takes me away from the pain, sweat and tears of my daily run. Also, iTunes is full of large corp sponsored podcasts that more resemble extended commercials than what the true grass roots movement of podcasting started from which was a true Indie movement of content you cannot get on the boob tube. Please continue to go deep with your content. We cannot get this level of material on the radio or TV.

    Also, just a short note (and a weak attempt to win one of your books) to let you guys know I would have never heard of Clos Pepe without your program and Wes is now sitting on over $600 of my cash as a result. Can’t wait for the cooler months so I can get to know my Fed Ex driver again. 🙂

    One more small note about Wes – this guy is amazing. I hope his wine is of the same character. He actuall personally called me at my office number to clarify a question I had about my futures order I placed on his site. Try getting that level of service from the Mondavis!

  2. 2 Chris Aug 21st, 2006 at 10:26 pm

    Really enjoyed the extended format, and the seminar. I love the in-studio stuff as well! Keep up the good work! And the longer the merrier for me. Thanks, guys!

  3. 3 Al Aug 22nd, 2006 at 7:30 am

    1. The length was great. The longer the better. It’s much easier to to pause and stop with a longer piece on my iPod or at my computer than clip through mulitple tracks.

    2. Loved the format. It was great hearing the makers talk about the vineyard. I’m a novice but started to suddenly get very excited about soils, hang time, etc. when hearing them. I think the rain was a good addition also. You should keep it for the rest of the broadcasts.

    If I am going to be brutally honest, lest talk from you fine folks up front and more commentary at the end AFTER we have heard the discussion would have been good. A quick setup and more detailed opinions would be great.

  4. 4 Ed Suastegui Aug 22nd, 2006 at 11:30 am

    Love your show. Learning a lot from it. I listen to you guys while I work. The 1:30 show is a bit on the long side. Since I download and listen on my PC, stopping/pausing isn’t as practical. I think breaking it up is better, even if there is tad less continuity.

  5. 5 Ed Suastegui Aug 22nd, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Another comment: you guys are really into Pinot Noir. That’s great. I love it, too. But as someone who is trying to learn his way around “wines of the world”, I’d like to hear more in distinguishing and appreciating different wines, including blends, in particular with an eye for pairing with food. A few more broadcasts along these lines would be great.

  6. 6 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 22nd, 2006 at 6:05 pm

    Ed, you are correct about the Pinot focus, but that was not by design. We still have a few more Pinot shows coming up, and then we will move on. At least for awhile.


  7. 7 Michael Aug 23rd, 2006 at 7:00 am

    Greetings from New Orleans. I could not have enjoyed the extended Bien Nacido show more; and still can’t believe that I happened to find your radio site: what an amazing concept and product for those of us who are always looking to learn more about wine and hear others’ opinions. I’ve been in the midst of sampling as many offerings as possible from California’s Santa Rita Hills and Santa Maria appellations, and was looking for info specifically about the Bien Nacido Vineyard when I found your site. How’s that for lucky? I learned a ton and thank you all for your efforts. You’ve earned another listener – and I’ll certainly spread the word among my friends.

  8. 8 Tim Meranda Aug 23rd, 2006 at 9:32 am

    Not sure I got anything from the first part of the seminar when they were talking about the various wines. Without anything to judge their comments against I was lost. Maybe if I can find any of these wines I will revisit this pod cast. The second part of the seminar turned into the great Pinot debate version xxxx. This debate was nice to hear the first ten times it came up on GrapeRadio, but I’ve had enough of it now. How about something about another grape or is Pinot all that’s made in California now?

  9. 9 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 23rd, 2006 at 9:55 am

    Fair enough Tim. As I said above, we have some other non-Pinot shows coming up in the near future.


  10. 10 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 23rd, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Hey Ed and Tim – as Jay mentioned, the current Pinot focus has just been an unusual confluence of events.

    First-off, it’s really the topical thing right now, i.e., try and find people willing to argue about how to produce Cab! Also, there were 3 major Pinot Noir festivals during the first half of the year; contrast that to none for Cab/Merlot and one for Rhones – so, we go where the action is. Of course, when you add this coverage to last year’s “showdown” and the recent 5-part series on the Sta. Rita Hills…well, you definitely do get a Pinot-fest!


  11. 11 Patriciann Bernhard Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:14 am

    Oh, I sent you a regular email. I hope you can find it and include it in this group, though I realize now, by reading these other responses, how ignorant I am and sound.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. I am new to wine. New to tasting. I want to learn as much as I can, as fast as I can because I know that the more I know, the more I will appreciate. I really loved this seminar. If it is new to you to present this,I would say you are on to an award-winning idea. I do not know who will give you the statue, but I will give you my appreciation and thanks. I raise my glass to you all ad to Grape Radio!
    Pat Bernhard

  12. 12 Jason Adams Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:16 am

    Hi Guys,

    First let me start by saying that the extended format and in depth shows, Santa Rita Hills and World of Pinot, have been truly outstanding. As far as I am concerned, no show can be too long or any topic too exhaustive. The past shows coupled with the Pinot Showdown bring fascinating light and insight to California Pinot Noir producers and their own self comparisons to Burgundian producers of Pinot Noir.

    Just a couple of observations as I will probably need to listen to all the shows again just to get all of the information straight in my head:
    • France has many different, distinct areas where grapes are grown and from what I can surmise the most successful grape variety have been chosen through a long process of trial and error until we have the current physiologically and financially successful make up. With the selection of Pinot Noir for the area now classified as Burgundy has come evolutional development in both vineyard management and vine selection for clonal propagation. This evolution has been taking place over the last 600-900 years or so. It seems that California is just starting to understand what to grow where (comment made by the Santa Rita Hills Gang about Chardonnay)
    • The Santa Rita Hills and the Santa Maria Valley may be ideal climates to grow Pinot Noir but the climate is quite different than that of Burgundy. Why would one choose clones that produce the desired product in Burgundy with the Burgundian climate and expect them to produce the same or superior product in California with the climate in California? One example, a statement was made in the World of Pinot show that winemakers in Burgundy are looking (praying) for a 100 day maturation period for the grapes – this would lead one to believe that they chose clones that will produce a superior product in those 100 days based on the iffy Burgundian climate. The climate at Bien Nacido was stated to have consistently 135 or more day maturation period available to the grapes and it was stated and that some winemakers leave the grapes on the vine more than 150 days. Is the Burgundian, 100 day, clone the best choice for this climate?
    • When are you going to pit Brian Loring against the Santa Rita Hills Gang and the Bien Nacido Gang (as I call them)?

    Keep up the good work and the long shows.

    Jason Adams

  13. 13 Tim Meranda Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Please don’t get me wrong, I still think Grape Radio is the finest Podcast on the net. And even though, I didn’t get much from this show I still enjoyed it and would listen to other shows of the same nature. Have no problem with the longer format. It just I’ve had enough of a bunch of highly opinionated winemakers arguing about how many alcohol angels can dance on the head of a Pinot Noir pin. Seems to me I heard about several Zinfandel festivals being held during this same time period. How about something like that? Give me more of your great interviews of single winemakers similar to your great show with Chaud Blanket. How about going after Helen or Larry Turley? How about the new winemaking team at Screaming Eagle? How about interviewing Nils Venge at Saddleback?(this guy knows more about making wine then anyone!) How about an interview with the team up at Quilceda Creek (back to back Parker 100’s Nobody has ever done that before)? How about asking Robert Parker why he gives so many 100 point scores? (he gives 4 times the 100 point scores as he does the 99 point scores – what’s with that?) But whatever you do, please don’t quit!!!

  14. 14 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:17 pm

    Tim, we are cool. I think your comment was indeed accurate, but I did not take it out of context with your overall impression of GrapeRadio.

    Helen, SE, and Parker have all declined our requests. In all honesty, I can not say I blame them. So many have been burnt by the press.

    Have you looked at out schedule, we have some cool stuff coming.


  15. 15 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    No worries, Tim. We really want ALL comments – it’s all about the feedback. As for some of the people/subjects you’ve mentioned, some of them are already on our to-do list …well, except Zin! (Just kidding.)


  16. 16 Chad Aug 23rd, 2006 at 3:24 pm

    I’m a big fan of including the seminars in an all-in-one podcast. I walked r-e-a-l s-l-o-w-l-y to work so I could listen to as much of the seminar on my commute as I could. Frankly, I don’t have the resources to attend these types of sessions. So to be able to listen in and gain insight and be entertained by the discussion is a big plus for me.

  17. 17 JP Aug 23rd, 2006 at 5:24 pm

    Hi guys. I like the longer podcasts, as it’s less trouble to switch tracks while driving or exercising. Shorter podcasts often leave me wanting more, which I suppose could be a good thing, but it’s also like getting the half bottle when the full bottle would be that much better!

    In this lecture, the minutiae of the different parts of the Bien Nacido terroir got a bit geeky and I zoned out a little without the wine to focus me, but imo it’s better to err on the geeky side. It’s a great privilege to hear grape growers and winemakers talk about the intricacies of reaching their finished products. Grape Radio is a great podcast and it seems that I learn something every time I listen. Cheers!

  18. 18 Chris Aug 23rd, 2006 at 5:39 pm


    I loved the extended show and the subject matter. I’m a runner too, just like Kevin, but probably a lot slower than him :-). I listened to this show on the trail. Wonderful!

    And I for one couldn’t be happier about the recent focus on Pinot Noir. I’ll probably complain when you guys do something else!

    For the rest of the evening, I’ll be checking out some links from this show.

    Chris Myers

  19. 19 Rusty Gaffney Aug 23rd, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    Jason: I enjoyed reading your comments and found them very insightful. It is true that the wine industry is still learning the best places to plant certain clones. It takes 8-12 years after a vineyard is planted to find out so you can see that it is a lengthy process. Regarding clones: all Pinot Noir vines in California and Oregon came from Burgundy. All of the vines are either field selections from older vineyards usually started with suitcase clones and early UCD clones (ie MtEden, Swan, Chalone, Martinin, etc), or Pommard (and or Wadenswil in the case of Oregon), and Dijon clones 113, 114, 115, 626, 777, etc. It is not a matter of choice in clones other than those that have succeeded in Burgundy because there is no other source! We have adapted the clones to our terroir in North America and that is why the Pinots from here are close to, but definitely different, from those Pinots from Burgundy. And that is something to celebrate since variety is the spice of Pinot.

  20. 20 Peter Cargasacchi Aug 24th, 2006 at 4:09 am

    Jason, regarding pinot noir in Santa Barbara vs. Burgundy, for me one of the most interesting aspects is that due to latitude our summer daylength is much shorter and the summer temps are cooler because of the strong marine influence from the cool Pacific ocean.

    We are in a more temperate climate in Santa Barbara and get more hang time. The result is more fruit and flavor concentration. Aromatics, flavor, esters, etc., are relatively volatile compounds and their production and retention are actually favored in cooler more temperate zones like Santa Barbara County.

    Beyond Burgundy there are many other soil types and climates suited for pinot noir. The old paradigm was that it was heretical to say that there were better places that Burgundy to grow Pinot Noir. Statistically or from a probability perspective what are the chances that if something grows in one location first, that there are not more optimally suited locations elsewhere?

    Santa Barbara, the coastal climes of California and other regions offer some very interesting locations for pushing pinot noir to new levels. (I think Burgundy’s short, hot, continental climate is not that particularly well suited for pinot noir.) Burgundy was considered to be the best region, but if you consider the range of soils and climates beyond Burgundy it is parochial not to consider what happens in a cooler more temperate clime.

    Imagine what would happen in Burgundy if they did not have the risk of frost or rain or rot and could extend ripening… A vintage year every year where the grapes fully ripen…!? Sacre bleu, heresy…! Ripe grapes are only good in Burgundy? If the new world upstarts do it every year its bad???

    At the bottle price some Burgundy commands and the investment value of some cellars, there is also a vested interest to protect that cachet and not consider that the world has grown larger.

  21. 21 Nick Drochak Aug 24th, 2006 at 4:39 am


    I much appreciate the chance to hear the seminar. I don’t think the legth of the podcast matters; after all there is a pause button on most players…

    What really struck me as a good idea is a wine tasting podcast format where you give the listeners the list of wines beforehand, and we can set up our own tasting listening to the audio and have the wines in front of us.

    I know a few of my friends would be into it. Maybe 3 – 5 wines of reasonable price. A group of people could share the cost of the wine (or take turns hosting) or whatever. It think it would be great.

    Anyway, I am enjoy the podcasts and agree with most other commenters…less Pinot please 🙂


  22. 22 Josh Neeriemer Aug 24th, 2006 at 5:11 am

    I’m jsut starting this podcast, and I’ll give out my thoughts on roundtable type podcasts. I like grape radio because you all are “wine geeks” and you sit around talking to members of the winemaking industry and tasting wine and talking to other wine geeks. It’s the chemistry of you all talking that really makes this podcast great. I listen to other podcasts, some of them also go for an hour or more, some of them go for much less. The thing I like most about my favorite podcasts is the interaction between the hosts on a topic I find myself personally interested in. What does that mean for a cast like this one? I’ll listen, but I don’t think I’ll actaully like it because it will be like listening to a lecture rather than something I really enjoy. Maybe after I finish I’ll have a change of heart. But for right now, I would say stick with the talk-radio format. It’s what keeps me coming back each episode.

  23. 23 rick Aug 24th, 2006 at 11:58 am


    Really liked the panel discussion. I was able to visit their website while listening. I have a much better understanding about the relationship between the vineyard and the winery.

    The difference between elegant and big pinots is very interesting. Please give them an aroma wheel from UC Davis and ask them use terms from the aroma wheel to focus the discussion. Both sides appear to use jurnalistic terms describe their pinots.

    I had to save the program, so that I could pause it and come back to listem to the end.

  24. 24 Eric Rayburn Aug 24th, 2006 at 1:15 pm

    Love the longer format. I listen to y’all on my hour commute, so anything in the 45 minute to hour range is perfect for me. It also let you guys get into more depth on the topics you’re covering. I also really enjoyed the format of the Bien Nacido show, it was a nice change of pace. But I really like your normal format and the banter you have. I have noticed you have focused on Pinot alot lately and I’m looking forward to the show getting heavy into other varietals as well. Love the show and keep up the hard work! P.S.- Hope I win a book too!!!

  25. 25 Rich Aug 24th, 2006 at 6:00 pm


    I like the longer show format because you guys are good at keeping it entertaining for a longer amount of time. I do not like the long shows being broken up as you guys have done in the past. I listen while I am working in my cubicle.
    The format of the Bien nacido show was good but I prefer when you guys interview someone for an entire show. However, I have to add in that I really enjoy Bien Nacido Pinots.

  26. 26 Brian Crabtree Aug 24th, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    This program was astounding, one of your best, I think. The discussion of individual wines, then the dialogue was terrific. Although I agree with the comments about frequent coverage of pinot topics, I still learn something from each program, so I am not complaining at all. I am confident future programs on other topics will be interesting, too. Although the length of the program is long for the average work commute, I liked it in this case because of the seminar format. Listening to it all at once was better. Breaking up the Santa Rita Hills interview worked fine, but it was a different format. I agree with others that GrapeRadio is a real service for wine enthusiasts. Jay, thanks for responding to my checkpoint post at WCWN.

  27. 27 Georgi Aug 24th, 2006 at 7:15 pm

    The seminar was great. Very interesting and entertaining to hear from the winemakers. The length of the podcast was ok. I listened to it in 2 sittings. I had no problem picking it back up. Keep up the great work.

  28. 28 Jason Adams Aug 25th, 2006 at 4:59 am

    Rusty and Peter,

    Thank you gentlemen for your responses to my questions.

    On the subject of Pinot Noir clones, what I was attempting to lead into but feared creating too long a post, is that the perfect clone for the California climate is probably a couple of hundred years down the road (and will be developed in California and in the vineyard) or in the near term what are these wines going to taste like when the vines see some real age, say 40, 50 or 60 years?

    On the subject of climate, Santa Barbara vs. Burgundy, Peter you summed it up, much longer, moderated growing season in Santa Barbara vs. Burgundy. And I don’t want to compare growing conditions in Santa Barbara as akin to a greenhouse environment but how much of the Burgundy experience can be attributed to the compact short hot continental climate?

    To sum it up, please continue to celebrate your product, stand committed to your ideals and beliefs on what your wine should represent and be lazy winemakers – let the wine be an expression of the wonderful climate of California. Speaking of lazy, how many of you guys use natural yeasts and if not, why not?

    Thanks again.

    Jason Adams


    I take exception to the comment made about Beaujolais. Give me a producer in California who can put that much excitement and complexity in a bottle at that price point for a daily drinker and I’ll by it.

  29. 29 Stratton Aug 25th, 2006 at 5:59 am

    I’ll chime in a *big appreciation* for this episode. You’ve brought me closer to an event, a subject matter, a place, and a group of people that I wouldn’t have access to living here on “the other coast.” Yes, it’s a lengthy episode and deviates from the normal programming, but it keeps the overall show fresh and interesting … keep digging deeper and bringing me closer to what I love and I’ll sit the extra minutes happily.

  30. 30 Taylor Aug 25th, 2006 at 9:40 am

    Great show guys! I really liked the change of pace in having this one go quite a bit longer than the other podcasts. I couldn’t agree more that by listening to a seminar such as this, one really gets a different perspective from the winemakers than you would by just going to a tasting. I thought sound quality was excellent (especially given the rain). Keep more of these coming!

  31. 31 Dean Aug 25th, 2006 at 9:59 am

    Love your podcasts. And, I like the length and format of this one in particular. I missed the event and this was a great way to catch up. Keep up the good work!

  32. 32 Jo Olkowski Aug 25th, 2006 at 11:18 am

    First: I enjoy listening to entire event without any segmentation. Shows in the past that run in Part I, II, etc. seem disjointed and disrupt the flow of the commentary (like going to a movie theater, getting up and going home to do the laundry, feed the cats, come back, stop at the grocery store to get a drink because you’re not going to pay for movie beverages at _that_price, than coming back and having to instantly get back to the plot with the same amount of suspended interest).

    Second: I’m not a big discusser unless I’m specifically asked something. And, if at all possible, will go out of my way to avoid commenting fo fear of sounding like rambling zealot who’ll typo her way through a paragraph or ten.


  33. 33 Bill Daum Aug 25th, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Hello to you at GrapeRadio,

    This was my first time at your site. I linked to you from the Prince of Pinot newsletter I get. I must say I really loved your show. This was an awesome expirence for me. The length was just fine, I had it playing while at work. It was great to hear, i only wish I was there! What a wonderful show I stumbled upon. The information I gathered today makes me want to go to my wine shop on the way home from work. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your show.
    I did however think the lead in was a little bit too long. Maybe that made it better?
    Thanks again!

  34. 34 Ahmaud Templeton Aug 25th, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Thank from the bottom of my heart for the great work y’all put into this podcast. I have, for as long as I can remember, wanted to learn about wine but was always afraid to do so. It seemed to me there was never an environment where I felt safe enough to engage in learning without feeling like a complete and utter ignoramus. Now I feel comfortable knowing my ignorance will not remain, if I am dilligent in learning about wines and actually engage, on a consistent basis, in tasting wines. Thank you so much for demystifying the world of wine and opening my eyes to the depth and majesty of wine and winemaking.

    P.S. As for the extended seminar podcast, please keep them coming.

    With a greateful heart,
    Ahmaud Templeton

  35. 35 Ryan Prichard Aug 25th, 2006 at 10:07 pm


    Fun show! While I love your “regular” shows, I, like many others, can’t get enough of the podcasts. I’m working my way through all of the old shows now but I would be happy to have 4 hours of new show a week. These long formats are a great twist and should be sprinkled in when the proper event arises. I think you should stick to your regular format for most of the time but getting out every so often and doing something different is great. I think we all just really enjoy the fact that you are bringing new and different topics to all of us in the great world of wine.

    Here is an idea for a show… A show on Merlot. Now don’t stop reading just yet… While I’m not a huge Merlot fan, I’ve had plenty that were really good wines. How about showcasing some great producers and getting their take on Merlot in todays market? Sideways has had a huge downward effect on the market for Merlot and it would be nice to hear someone explain the current landscape and lend a voice to the deflated variety.

  36. 36 R M Kriete Aug 26th, 2006 at 9:39 am

    I can never get enough about Pinot Noir, so don’t listen to those who ask for other grapes! I love the most recent show and anytime I can hear a seminar like this for free, I feel priviliged. Would like to see the length a bit shorter….don’t edit any content, just make it inro two 40 min shows.

  37. 37 Arn Kawano Aug 27th, 2006 at 1:27 am

    I enjoyed the panel discussion. Where’s my prize?

    On a more serious note, I enjoyed the program because the panelists were able to go into greater depth with more technical discussions than possible in your shorter programs. Therefore I enjoyed the content, the panel format and the long show format (rather than having it chopped up into shorter pcasts). The studio intro ran on a bit and should have focused on giving a more in-depth introduction to the panelists than was given on the air. I suspect the live audience was given a program with a full bio so a lengthy intro wasn’t necessary. Your links to the related wineries on your website are helpful in filling this gap.

  38. 38 T.D. Ryba Aug 27th, 2006 at 7:48 am

    As with most of the Grape Radio Podcasts, I can say that I liked the piece on the Bien Nacido Vineyards for its informational content. However, what I like the most about Grape Radio is the candid discussion of wine topics and interviews with the industry professionals. I think that shows like the Bien Nacido Podcast have a place and could offer another dimension to your program. Personally, though, I enjoy the casual (and insightful) nature of the shows when the hosts can interject with comments or questions. Such a format feels a bit more spontaneous and relaxing to listen to–akin to spending time with friends rather than attending a formal seminar. Both have their place and are useful but one I enjoy more than the other.

    I really enjoy your shows. Your hard work is apparent because your podcasts are entertaining and informative. You guys do a great job providing a unique perspective.

    Thank you,

    T. D. Ryba

  39. 39 Jeff Campbell Aug 27th, 2006 at 9:46 am

    Hi guys,

    First time listener here, and I must say that I enjoyed the podcast immensely! Length was fine. I listened to it over three days. The point here is that, for me, the topic was incredibly informative and interesting. While I’m a wine enthusiast(I’m a much better drinker than a maker), I don’t find the time I wish I had to invest.

    Your commentary before and after the recording gave important context to the event, and it was great to find the wines listed on your website.

    Having casually drunk many a bottle of Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido, I very much enjoyed getting to know the vineyard, a few of the winemakers, and understand what makes it all tick. I look forward to future podcasts covering other regions and other varietals. Gaining vineyard and winemaking knowledge this way is FAR more interesting than reading about it in a book.

    I’ve passed this on to several of my friends and I believe they will enjoy this (and other great topics you have to offer) as much as I.

    Kind regards,

  40. 40 Jerm Aug 27th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

    I’ve been listening to the show since forever, but this is the first time that I’ve been to the website. This is what happens when I’m directly told to go to the website and do something, I guess….

    As for the show content and format, I agree with the others who say that they liked it. I listen to the University Channel Podcast, and its rare that any of those seminars are as fun or interesting as this one.

    But I must say that I prefer the shorter format. I’m sort of new to wine, and my favorite shows are the ones that are more “General Interest” than technical. I can listen to the shows that go over my head, and maybe I’ll pull a word or two out of it. But as for something I can take back to the people I drink wine with…I’m just not there yet. Short or long, remedial or advanced, though, I’ll still listen.

    Which brings me to the part of the show that I like the most. I like it when you guys talk to each other. It’s like Car Talk (which I also like). Sometimes the Car Talk guys talk about very technical things that I couldn’t possibly understand. Sometimes they talk about really basic stuff. Sometimes they don’t even talk about cars. But there’s a sense of community that draws all types of people to listen to the show. And I think they get that collegiality because they always talk to each other. Google could probably give all the answers to questions about wine or cars. But I’d rather just listen to the show.

    Maybe it would be a little easier (for people like me) to digest the long seminars if you guys could cut in every now and then and give some recap/opinion and a preview of what the people will talk about next. It’s totally unnecessary for some, but it would help out someone like me a lot. For the series that was broken into many little parts, the beginning and end narration was very helpful.

    ONce again, great show. Looking forward to the next one, whatever it may be. I guess I’ll have to come back to the website, in case I get a reply….

  41. 41 Ted Erfer Aug 27th, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    I like the format – regardless of the time….since I, like many others, listen while jogging – i just go a bit further – huff, puff, grunt.

    Serioulsy, the in-depth topics with the winemakers and vineyard managers are truley educational. I have really learned a great deal about clones, climate, location and so many other things which affect what I am drinking. It actually helps put it together – where the various tastes, aromas, etc come from.

    These shows have greatly broadened my knowledge and appreciation for the passion brought to a bottle of wine. I ordered some Native9 and when Jim Ontervaros called me to check something on my order – I was greatly impressed. Now I have the opportunity to listen to him speak about the vineyard.

    I will be visiting Pinot Land in a couple of weeks and really look forward to actually visiting some of these wonderful producers.

    Keep up the great work – keep the shows and great wine coming.


  42. 42 John T Aug 28th, 2006 at 4:57 am

    Bravo on the Bien Nacido seminar. I enjoyed it completely.

    While the longer shows are enjoyable, I would prefer that you keep mixing it up, rather than falling into a rut of one length. The way you’ve been doing it lately is ideal.

    The seminar was interesting, and I especially enjoyed the interaction between Clendenon and the gentleman questioning him about a theoretical upper limit on alcohol levels. That was a priceless exchange, and I listened to it a couple of times.

    GrapeRadio has struck gold with this listener. Keep up the good work.

  43. 43 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 28th, 2006 at 5:17 am

    Interesting comments. John, you comment seems to sum up the comments nicely.
    Here is my take on all the comments:

    Seminars , roundtables (long shows) are good, but the listeners also like the single guest interview. You guys also want to hear us because it keeps the shows more natrual and fun. As to the ratio of short shows to long ones , I am guessing maybe 1 (long) in 12 (short).

    The physical breaking up of the shows is something that I do not have a clear picture of what our fans want.


  44. 44 Antonio Aug 28th, 2006 at 6:43 am

    I like the long shows. I am getting a little tired of all this Pinot talk though. I have tried a few Pinots and was never very impressed with them. I am not willing to give up on Pinot yet, but I get VERY disappointed when I look up most of the Pinots you’re covering and find it next to impossible to get any of them in Connecticut. Connecticut has recently updated their laws to allow for in-state shipping, but it looks like many wineries and retailers out west still aren’t shipping to Connecticut. I guess I’ll keep looking, and in the meantime I’ll stick to mostly Zin and Cab blends.

    I love your show!

  45. 45 Antonio Aug 28th, 2006 at 6:47 am

    By the way, I REALLY enjoyed your Bordeaux and Sauternes interviews. I know next to nothing about Burgundy, other than what I’ve learned from your Pinot shows. How about a Burgundy winemaker interview?

    My favorite shows have been the shows where you guys talk amongst yourselves.

  46. 46 Eric Rayburn Aug 28th, 2006 at 6:47 am

    Actually Jay, I think more people would like more longer shows than shorter ones. Like 8 long to 4 short

  47. 47 John T Aug 28th, 2006 at 6:55 am

    I have no problem at all with the physical breaking up of shows – so long as the break occurs at a natural point in the segment……OTOH, one long show can be appropriate too – as others have said, there is a pause button. I used it twice while listening to the BN seminar.

  48. 48 GrapeRadio Bunch Aug 28th, 2006 at 8:07 am

    Eric, what about 3 short, 3 long, and 3 short. [g]

    Eric A

  49. 49 Michael Rasmussen Aug 28th, 2006 at 10:01 am

    Just finshed listening to the show. I liked the format a lot. I liked the fact that audience members seemed to be asking questions. It would be cool for you guys to try a “call-in” format show some time. I don’t know how you would do that, you’re the radio geniuses, I’ll let you figure it out. 😉

    As far as the length, i didn’t mind it. I get “anxious” waiting for new shows when they are multi park shows, so having it all at once was nice. If I need a break I just hit the pause button, so it works out just fine.

  50. 50 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!

  51. 51 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.

  52. 52 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.


  53. 53 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.


  54. 54 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.


  55. 55 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!


  56. 56 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 🙂

  57. 57 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!


  58. 58 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.

  59. 59 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)

  60. 60 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.

  61. 61 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.


  62. 62 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.

  63. 63 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 !

  64. 64 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”?


  65. 65 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 ?

  66. 66 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.


  67. 67 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

  68. 68 Christopher Armstrong Sep 3rd, 2006 at 5:20 pm

    Also, how about a pictures section?

  69. 69 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 Bien Nacido Vineyards - A Tribute at Grape Radio pingback on Aug 21st, 2006 at 8:45 am
  2. 2 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.

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.