Archive for June, 2013

Wineries of Napa Valley – with Cakebread Cellars

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Over 40 years ago, when Jack Cakebread came to photograph the Napa Valley for a book, he casually mentioned to some family friends in Rutherford that he was interested in one day owning a vineyard. Returning home that afternoon, his phone rang and it was the family friends offering to sell their property. He headed back up to the valley that same afternoon to make his best offer. Thus, Cakebread Cellars was born.

Their first vintage, 157 cases of 1973 Chardonnay, was sold to Groezinger’s Wine Shop in Yountville. He in turn sold the wine to a small audience of premium wine drinkers who primarily drove up from the Bay Area on weekends to visit the country. Back then, “Two or three cars an hour would be on the road and we would all stop and look to see who was coming,” recalls patriarch Jack Cakebread. Today, traffic is about 30 cars-a-minute as it seems the world comes to visit Napa Valley, and brothers Bruce and Dennis Cakebread pretty much run the show.

Join us as we talk with Bruce and Dennis about their 40 years in the Napa Valley. We’ll hear about the early days, and what it takes to stay on top of their game in Cabernet-land.

For more info:
Cakebread Cellars: www.cakebread.com/
Dancing Bear Ranch: www.dancingbearranchred.com/

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

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Show #329
(1:04:38 min 59.2 MB)

Wines of Canada’s Okanagan Valley

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British Columbia is one of those places you never guessed would be making dry wines. Even if you considered its close proximity to the state of Washington, it probably still wouldn’t dawn on you that Canada would produce anything other than Ice Wine. Well, surprise – they DO!

Occupying what is essentially the Columbia River watershed in Southeast British Columbia, the Okanagan Valley is about 110 miles long from north to south. It is bisected by the Okanagan River, which finally joins with the Columbia River in northern Washington State. Although the region is the driest in B.C., the valley also contains 6 lakes. It is the ancient home to the Okanagan people, an Interior Salish people who still live in the valley today.

The first non-natives arrived in 1811, and were mostly fur trappers. In 1846, the Oregon Treaty laid out the border between British North America and the United States west of the Rocky Mountains on the 49th parallel. The Okanagan Valley did not see many more outsiders for a decade afterward.

The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858 eventually encouraged more settlement. In the decades that followed, hundreds of ranchers came to settle on Okanagan Lake. A mining industry began in the southern Okanagan region, and more farmers, as well as a small service industry, came to meet the needs of the miners. Today, fruit production is a hallmark of the Okanagan Valley today.

Like much of Southern British Columbia, the Okanagan has a mild climate, although the Okanagan is considerably drier than many other areas. Areas in the north end of the valley receive more precipitation and cooler temperatures than areas to the south. Vegetation ranges from cactus and sagebrush in the south, to Cedar and Hemlock trees in the North.

Join us as we talk with Rasoul Salehi, General Manager of Le Vieux Pin and La Stella wineries. You’ll learn more about Canada’s second largest wine region – its differences and its similarities, and what its grapes bring to the proverbial wine table.

For more info:

Le Vieux Pin Winery: www.levieuxpin.ca/
LaStella Winery: www.lastella.ca/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #328
(1:04:46 min 59.3 MB)

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Go West Young Man – with Jean-Charles Boisset

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Jean-Charles Boisset was born into the world of wine. His parents, Jean-Claude and Claudine, had founded the family winery in 1961 in one of the most traditional winegrowing regions in the world – the village of Vougeot, in Burgundy. Born in a room above the family cellars, he grew up within view of the centuries-old vineyards of Château du Clos Vougeot. His involvement began early, accompanying his grandfather to the vineyards, playing in the barrel rooms and, as a teen, working several summers in the winery and cellars.

Jean-Charles completed his studies at the University of London, and moved to the U.S. for graduate studies in business and finance. He soon began work with Boisset’s American operation, and successfully developed a domestic portfolio of wines, while building a sales and marketing arm for the U.S. and Canada. He then joined the family management team back in Burgundy as Vice-President, and began to expand the Boisset holdings to become the third largest wines-and-spirits concern in France. He also ramped up the quality level by focusing on small-production wines from vineyards with very low yields that relied on organic or biodynamic farming methods.

However, having been exposed to American culture at a young age by both his parents and grandparents, Jean-Charles headed West again – ultimately to the vineyards of California. Continuing his search for premium New World terroir for Pinot Noir, Boisset added DeLoach Vineyards to its portfolio in 2003, followed by the 2009 purchase of Raymond Vineyards, and the 2011 purchase of Buena Vista Winery. The family had now also firmly planted their roots in California. Today, the Boisset family collection includes wineries that share more than 18 centuries of combined winemaking heritage and tradition in some of the world’s most prestigious terroirs, from Burgundy to the South of France, and to California’s Napa Valley and Russian River Valley. As if this weren’t enough, Jean-Charles would also find amour, marrying Gina Gallo in 2009, thus creating an immediate royal wine-family.

Join us as we talk with the charming and ebullient Jean-Charles, President of Boisset Family Estates, about his affection for California, his many wine innovations, and all things wine and philosophy.

For more info: Boisset Family Estates: www.boissetfamilyestates.com

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

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Show #327
(1:14:18 min 68.0MB)


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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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