Archive for June, 2011

Tour of Chile – Part 1

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Although it is considered New World, Chile has been growing wine since the 16th century, when the Spanish conquistadors brought vitis vinifera vines with them during their colonization of the region. About the mid-18th century, several French grape varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carmenère were also introduced to the region.

Chile’s five viticultural regions occupy an 800 mile stretch, in a country 2,700 miles long and 109 miles wide. The most common red grapes grown are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère – a grape originally from the Medoc region, but which has all but disappeared from Bordeaux since the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th Century.

During the early 1980s, Chilean wineries modernized their production, bringing in stainless steel tanks for fermentation and oak barrels for aging. These were fast times, and the number of wineries grew from 12 in 1995 to over 70 in 2005. The increase in production was matched with wine exports as well, with Chile becoming the fifth largest exporter of wines, and the ninth largest producer in the world.

We had always wanted to visit Chile, and explore the culture and wines of the region. Well, the time had finally come, and Jay was off to the Southern Hemisphere. Jay spent three days traveling the valleys and wine regions that make up this fascinating country. We’ve separated the interviews into three parts, and thrown in a “bonus reel” for good measure – four shows altogether.

Join us for Part 1, as we talk with representatives from Viña Koyle, Miguel Torres, Viña San Pedro, and Viña Maquis. There might be more to Chile than we think!

For More Information: www.koyle.cl

Viña San Pedro – www.sanpedro.cl

Viña Maquis – www.vinamaquis.com

Miguel Torres – www.torreschile.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers – Wine Board: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #289
(49:15 min 35MB)

Discover Piedmont

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The Piemonte wine region lies in the northwestern corner of Italy. The Piedmont produces more DOC/G wines by volume than any other Italian wine region with nearly 84% of all the areas wine production falling under a DOC/G designation. While Barbera is the most widely-planted grape in the region, Nebbiolo and Dolcetto account for a significant portion of the area’s red wine production as well. It is in the famous sub-regions of Alba and Asti, in the heart of the region’s wine growing, where Nebbiolo is nurtured in perfect conditions to allow it to become Barolo and Barbaresco.

Patriarch Pietro Bosco founded the family farm in the 1960s. He was soon joined by his youngest son Agostino, and ultimately by Agostino’s son Andrea. Andrea received a wine-making diploma at Alba’s Scuola Enologica and continues to run the farm as a family business , seeking to achieve grapes of the maximum quality, to be made into the best wine imaginable.

Since the first decades of the 1800’s la Berchialla has been the Bondonio’s family country home. The sight was carefully chosen, the reasons being that it sits upon a sunny hill, above the Tanaro river, facing the Alps. Two-hundred years later, Olek Bondonio uses his university knowledge and some of the original family vineyards to craft his Barbaresco.

Join us as we talk with vignerons Olek Bondonio from La Berchialla, and Andrea Bosco from Bosco Agostino about Piedmont the Piedmont region, their individual vineyard methods, and their individual approach to wine making.

For More Information: www.olekbondonio.it

For More Information: www.barolobosco.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers – Wine Board: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #288
(38:00 min 27MB)

Napa Road Trip

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Like the grapes themselves, every year seems to bring a new crop of wineries to California. And, while Napa Valley is no exception, we recently found a couple of not-so-newcomers to the region, Sommerston and Hidden Ridge, who have been doing some interesting things, if a bit undetected.

First, we’ll visit with Craig Becker, winemaker and General Manager for Somerston vineyards and winery. Located high in the eastern mountains of Napa Valley, this project came to together after proprietor Allan Chapman purchased the historic Priest Ranch and the Elder Valley east of Rutherford – creating one contiguous 1,628-acre property in 2006. With over 200 acres of vineyards, a winery built from a renovated 12,000 square-foot barn, and 1,500 head of Dorper sheep, the place practically has its own little ecosystem.

Next, we were off to Hidden Ridge vineyards, located on Spring Mountain. “ Hidden” is the operative word here, as this site is way off the main road, and practically hanging off a cliff. When Casidy Ward & Lynn Hofacket purchased the property in 1991, they thought the former site of a private hunting club was the perfect location for a home in the country – literally away from it all. However, they hadn’t realized how difficult it would be to develop such a rural property for residential use. Ultimately, it proved to be a better place for grapes than for people, and they found that Cabernet Sauvignon thrived on the otherwise inhospitable 55 degree slopes at elevations from 900 to 1700 feet.

Join us as we visit with Craig Becker of Somerston, and Casidy Ward of Hidden Ridge to hear about their trials, tribulations and experiences at growing grapes in the Napa Valley.

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers – Wine Board: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #287
(34:58 min 25MB)


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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.

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