Archive for November, 2008

2008 HdR – Conquistadors – The Reign in Spain

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It’s no secret that Spain is producing many of the world’s great wine produced from Rhone varietals. Yet, it was another eye-opening experience to taste through the first seminar from the 2008 Hospice du Rhone. Importer Eric Solomon pulled together some of the top winemakers in Spain in the presence of Jurgen Wagner of Cellar Capçanes, Daniel Castaño of Bodegas Castaño and Bodegas Salinas, Javier Muñoz of Bodegas Cigarral Pago del Ama (also accompanied by his highly-acclaimed father, chef Adolfo Muñoz of Restaurant Adolfo in Toledo), and Frenchman Philippe Cambie of Bodegas Mas Alta, who is also a consulting winemaker for several of the top Domains in Chateauneuf du Pape, including Pegau and Vieux Donjon.

Join us as we explore several Spanish appellations to see how “The Reign in Spain” is continuing to impress palates everywhere.

Sponsor- Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #223
(1:32:03min 63MB)

Thomas Jefferson and Wine

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Thomas Jefferson was a polymath, who, among his other pursuits, was a very impressive and knowledgeable wine expert and enthusiast. If he lived today he would also be called a “wine geek”.

Mr Jefferson also happened to be the third President of the United States, principal author of the Declaration of Independence, Founding Father of the United States, Governor of Virginia, first American Minister to France and founder of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He promoted the ideals of republicanism in the United States, an ideology that encourages a system of government that emphasizes liberties and rights, and makes the people as a whole sovereign, which underlies the philosophy of democracy.

Brian Clark and Ted Burns interview John Hailman, author of the book, “Thomas Jefferson on Wine”.

Sponsor- The California Wine Club: www.cawineclub.com

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Show #221
(46:47min 33MB)

The Wines of Portugal

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Port wines can seem like a challenging subject. There are all sorts of bottlings: vintage date, late-bottled vintage date, Colheitas, single Quintas, and still others know as ruby reserve, crusted, or white — and let’s not forget the various tawny Ports of 10, 20, 30 and 40 years of age. Why are there so many different bottlings, and where does one begin to explore all of these fortified wines? Thankfully, we had the opportunity to talk with Louisa Fry from the Port and Douro Wines Institute, an inter-professional council of growers and producers from this famous Portugese region.

Join us as we hear about the origins of Port, what it takes to get a vintage declared, and whether it’s called Port or Porto. We’ll also discuss the amazingly steep terraces of Portugal’s Douro region, and the varieties of grapes that are able to be blended into the final product. Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without hearing about the optimum time to drink Port.

For more info on the Wines of Portugal: www.ivdp.pt

Sponsor- Gold Medal Wine Club: www.goldmedalwineclub.com

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Show #220
(1:02:49min 38MB)

The Wines of Paloma Vineyard

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In 1980, Barbara and Jim Richards were living in Midland, Texas, and began thinking about a second home. They had an interest in wine and started looking for some property in the Napa Valley to build a home and plant a small vineyard. They realized their dream in 1983 when they found a property located five miles west of St. Helena and over 2,000 feet above the Valley floor near the top of Spring Mountain. Vineyard exposure is generally east with many variations, and the soils are derived from the Sonoma volcanics and from Franciscan sandstone. Total acreage is 20 acres with 15 acres planted.

In 1985, after clearing, ripping, and terracing about ten acres, they planted 3,555 bench graft Merlot vines, and 945 Cabernet Sauvignon vines. By 1987, the Richards’ recognized their previous absentee landlord role was insufficient to monitor the vines. So, Barbara came to manage things from January through harvest, while Jim would come to help when he could get away from his business as a petroleum geologist. Their first small harvest was sold to Conn Creek Winery. In 1988, they planted another 2,300 Merlot vines in their last five acres of vineyard.

The early ‘90s were momentous for the Richards’. By 1993, Barb and Jim had moved into their new home in the vineyard, and Pride Mountain Winery released a 1991 Merlot, made from their grapes blended with Pride’s Cabernet Sauvignon fruit. The Richards’ agreed to sell their grapes to the Prides beginning in 1994 and their wine maker, Bob Foley, agreed to make wine from part of the grapes into Paloma Merlot for the Richards’ new label, debuting their Merlot-based blend in 1996. Also, Barb and Jim decided to plant a block of Syrah to see how it would do, and by 1996, they started making the wine commercially as well. Unfortunately, they’ve since pulled up the small Syrah vineyard, and replanted with Cabernet Sauvignon.

In 2000, the Richard’s finally decided to construct their own winery on the property. A few years later, their son Sheldon joined them in the business, and to this date the Richards’ Paloma Merlot still stands as one of the enduring benchmarks of the variety in California, and indeed the world.

Join us as we talk with Barbara Richards about Paloma – their early years, and what it was like to basically become pioneers on Spring Mountain, and well as Merlot’s place in Napa Valley.

For more info on Paloma Vineyard: www.palomavineyard.com

Sponsor- Gold Medal Wine Club: www.goldmedalwineclub.com

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Show #219
(36:18min 26MB)

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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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