Archive for the 'Discussion' Category

The Wines of Verona – with Bertani Amarone

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One of the famous wine growing areas of Italy, the Verona region lies in the north of the country, half-way between Venice and Milan. There has always been a long wine-producing tradition here, which today boasts the largest number of DOC wines in the country, producing wines such as Valpolicella, Soave and Amarone.

Founded in 1857, the Cav. G.B. Bertani winery is still owned by family members. Join us as we talk with Bertani’s technical director Andrea Lonardi, about the history of Bertani and the wines of Verona – especially Amarone.

For more info:

Bertani Amarone: Bertani.net

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

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Show #353
(48:32 min 46.6 MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Rum

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Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at rum. Arguably the oldest of distilled spirits, rum is a bit unique in that it is made from a byproduct of other salable products (sugar cane and molasses), and actually may have more variety in its styles than other distilled spirits.

Rum appears to have its geographical origins in Southeast Asia, where the indigenous populations seemingly stumbled upon the conversion of sugar cane by-products to alcohol. Unlike other spirits where grain or berries may be involved, rum requires a specific climate type for its sugar cane “starter” – humidity! Which, in part, accounts for the abundance of rums emanating from the Caribbean.

Join us as we talk with Matt Robold, blogger, bar tender, educator and self-taught know-it-all about all things rum. Matt can be found behind the bar at 320 Main in Seal Beach, or heading the monthly meetings of Rum Society at Caña Rum Bar in Downtown Los Angeles or the Bartender’s Cabinet in Orange County, California. If you thought you already knew everything about rum, get ready to be schooled!

For more info:

The Rum Dood: rumdood.com

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

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Show #352
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Minerality

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Over the past several years, wine tasters have been using the term “minerality” to describe specific vinous attributes that include: wet stone, crushed stone, chalk, flint, racy acidity, salinity and the actual taste or smell of minerals. Since science has now debunked the original assumption that these aromas and flavors were translated directly from the earth to the wine via the vine, how do we now account for “minerality” in a wine? More importantly, what exactly is minerality – how do we define it? Seems like a simple question, right? Well, maybe not so much.

Join us as we sit in on a 2013 WOPN seminar on the subject of minerality, to hear the impressions and opinions on the matter from winemakers: Mike Waller (Calera), Jason Jardin (Flowers), Fintan DuFresne (Chamisal), and James Cahill (Soter), with author and writer Karen MacNeil (The Wine Bible) moderating.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

Calera Wine: www.calerawine.com
Flowers Vineyards & Winery: flowerswinery.com
Chamisal Vineyards: www.chamisalvineyards.com
Soter Vineyards: www.sotervineyards.com
Karen MacNeil: www.karenmacneil.com/the-wine-bible/

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

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Show #351
(1:11:13 min 68.4 MB)

Wine Tasting Clubs

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Knowledge transfer has always proved to be one of the best, perhaps the best, way to learn the many complexities of wine. Instructor-led tastings is one way to accomplish this – to actually become a student of wine. In fact, many of us either started our respective wine journeys in this fashion, or we know someone else who did.

Sometimes, there are natural roadblocks to this learning process. For instance, one of the key steps in wine evaluation is the elimination of outside influences such as the labels or scores of the wines being presented. It can also be difficult for those new to wine to feel comfortable discussing the subject amongst seasoned veterans. Thus, one of the best approaches to wine education, and continuing wine education, is to combine both newbies and experienced tasters in blind-tasting sessions.

Join us as we talk with Jörn (Joey) Kleinhans about his educational tasting program, the Wine Elite Society. As sommeliers, Joey and a few of his guest instructors tailor their approach to educating tasters to the nuances of fine wine through blind tasting, and a little psychology.

For more info:

Wine Elite Society: www.wineelite.org

Sponsor: The Wine Club, Fine Wine Merchants: www.thewineclub.com

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Show #350
(1:00:43 min 58.3MB)

Wineries of South Africa – with Mulderbosch Vineyards

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Winegrowing has been going on in South Africa since the late 1600s, making it ‘the oldest of the New World producers.’ Thirty years ago, the region’s wines were of uneven quality – something that has demonstrably changed over the last ten or more years. The recent acquisition of Mulderbosch Vineyards by California–based Terroir Capital LLC is emblematic of these changes.

Join us as we talk with Adam Mason, winemaker for Mulderbosch Vineyards about this re-discovered region for such classic white varieties as sauvignon blanc and chenin blanc. You’ll find there’s more to South African wines than you imagined.

For more info:

Mulderbosch Vineyards: mulderbosch.co.za/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #349
(1:10:39 min 67.8MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Tequila

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What’s this? A show about…tequila? Well, tequila may have more in common with wine growing and wine making than you might imagine. The rules for where and how it can be grown rival many French AOCs. Blue agave plants are planted and hand harvested with some of the same rigor that goes into planting and harvesting grapes. Once harvested, the pulp is then fermented. Of course, this is before it gets distilled…twice.

Familiar to most Americans as the primary alcohol ingredient in Margarita cocktails, tequila is gaining traction world-wide for its different styles, its versatility in other cocktails besides Margaritas, as well as its ability to pair well with many foods.

Join us as we talk with Jim Riley, CEO of Intersect Beverage and Azuñia Tequila, about how and where tequila is made, the stringent rules for producers, tequila’s uses in cocktails, and its versatility with food. May the spirits be with you!

For more info:

Azuñia Tequila: www.azuniatequila.com

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

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Show #348
(53:51 min 51.7 MB)

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Wineries of Southern California – with Moraga Vineyards

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Moraga Vineyards is a wine growing estate in the Santa Monica Mountains at an elevation of 600 to 900 feet, five miles from the Pacific Ocean in the Los Angeles community of Bel Air. Owners and native Californians, Tom and Ruth Jones have lived on the 16-acre Moraga Canyon property since 1959, purchasing a small horse ranch originally built by Victor Fleming, director of Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

Wineries and vineyards have a rich history in Southern California. Wild grape vines were reported by the de Portola expedition in 1769, and the missionaries planted throughout the region along the mission trail. Were that not enough, there was a time when the largest vineyard in the world was located in Guasti (aka Cucamonga), in San Bernardino County.

Join us, as we talk with Scott Rich, winemaker for Bel Air’s Moraga Vineyards. You’ll find that some basic assumptions made about wine growing in the Los Angeles basin may be not be quite true.

(Note: since the time of this interview in June 2013, billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch has purchased the Moraga Vineyards estate for $28.8 million.)

For more info:

Moraga Vineyards: www.moragavineyards.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #347
(1:00:05 min 61.9 MB)

Wineries of Napa Valley – with Sequoia Grove

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Located on Hwy 29 in Napa Valley, Sequoia Grove Winery sits on 22 acres in the heart of the valley in a region known as the Rutherford Bench. Named for the huge Sequoia trees in front of the winery, it was founded by Jim Allen in 1978, and has one of the first subterranean cellars in the valley, with the winery built right over the barrel storage cellars.
 
Brothers Jim (winemaking) and Steve (vineyard) were joined by Michael Trujillo in 1982. Mike was fortunate to learn much of his craft from Jim, but it didn’t hurt to spend some time at the elbows of legends like André Tchelistcheff and Tony Soter. In 1991, Mike started his own label, Karl Lawrence, while continuing to assist Jim with the winemaking at Sequoia Grove. Mike became the Sequoia Grove winemaker in 1998, with Jim Allen’s retirement.

Fast forward to today, Mike is now Director of Winemaking and President of Sequoia Grove. He says one of the best decisions he’s made was hiring Molly Hill to oversee the daily operations and quality control. The new owners of Sequoia Grove Winery (the Koptf sisters, whose father founded Kobrand, Sequoia Grove’s marketing arm) have given Mike a free hand to push to the wine to higher quality, and together he and Molly they have done just that.

Join us as we talk with Mike Trujillo about Sequoia Grove’s past, present and future, and discover that everything old is new again!

For more info:

Sequoia Grove: www.sequoiagrove.com

Sponsor: The Wine Club, Fine Wine Merchants: www.thewineclub.com

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Show #346
(50:42 min 48.7MB)

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Alcohol & Balance Redux

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A couple of years ago, the 2011 World of Pinot Noir presented a seminar on alcohol and balance, with a goal of panelist discussion to determine if alcohol and balance were mutually exclusive, or if one affected the other – adversely or otherwise. It was a hot-button topic among consumers and in the media at the time, where two separate camps of people had very decided opinions about the answer. The panel conversation was spirited, and the seminar turned out to be fascinating on several levels – not the least of which was because one of the panelists pulled a prank on another regarding the actual alcohol level of a specific wine. The rest, as they say, is history.

So, can lightning strike twice in the same place? And, what hath two years wrought to the discussion? Join us as we hear the impressions and opinions on the matter from Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat), Joe Davis (Arcadian), Wells Guthrie (Copain), Adam Lee (Siduri), and Greg Brewer (Brewer-Clifton), with author and writer Karen MacNeil (The Wine Bible) moderating.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/

Original 2011 Seminar – Alcohol and Balance www.graperadio.com

Au Bob Climat Winery: www.aubonclimat.com
Arcadian Winery: www.arcadianwinery.com
Copain Wines: www.copainwines.com
Siduri: siduri.com
Brewer-Clifton: www.brewerclifton.com
Karen MacNeil: www.karenmacneil.com/the-wine-bible/

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

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Show #345
(1:28:03 min 84.6 MB)

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2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – The Wines of d’Arenberg

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Chester Osborn is a walking encyclopedia. The Australian wine producer manages to keep ALL of the data for 60 different wines he makes each year, in his head! The sheer number of vineyards would tax most people’s faculties. And, these are wines of no small breeding. Most of the vineyards are 60+ years old.

Chester comes by all of this naturally. He is the 4th generation of his family in the wine business, with d’Arenberg’s first vintage coming in 1928. Born in 1962, he was raised on the family property where father d’Arry Osborn had begun producing wines with the red stripe label in 1959. During Chester’s initial years of schooling he worked in the vineyards and the cellar floor during school holidays. In 1980 Chester commenced his Oenology degree at Roseworthy Agricultural College.

In 1983, Chester graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Oenology and took over the reins as Chief Wine maker at d’Arenberg, rejuvenating the 70 year old cellars and 19th Century vineyards as well as overseeing all aspects of wine making, viticulture and marketing. In 1984 he took leave from the winery and spent most of the year undertaking a viticultural and oenological tour of France, Italy, Germany and Spain. Chester Osborn has received masses of critical acclaim for his wine making talents. Most recently he was recognized as The Red Wine maker of the Year at the 2007 Japan International Wine Competition.

Join us as we hear from indefatigable Chester Osborn, who relishes the d’Arenberg goal as the “Art of Being Different.”

For more info:
Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org/
d’Arenberg: www.darenberg.com.au

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

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Show #344
(1:16:23 min 73.3MB)

The Wines of Montalcino – with Alessandro Bindocci

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Alessandro Bindocci is the 4th generation of Bindocci’s to work in the wine business, and the 2nd generation to be following in the footsteps of Piero Talenti, mentor to Alessandro’s father Fabrizio and one of the founding fathers of the Brunello di Montalcino appellation.

After completing his enology degree at the University of Pisa, Alessandro returned to Montalcino to work with his father, bringing with him 21st century technology to one of Brunello’s oldest estates. Alessandro is winemaker for Tenuta Il Poggione, one of three original producers of Brunello di Montalcino, who began making wine in the late 19th century along with Biondi-Santi and Frescobaldi. Now owned by the Franceschi family, this estate has some of the oldest vines in the appellation.

Join us as we talk with Alessandro about Montalcino, the Tenuta Il Poggione wines, and a joint project between the Franceschi and Terlato families, named Mazzoni.

For more info:

The Montalcino Report: www.montalcinoreport.com
Live Like an Italian: livelikeanitalian.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #343
(41:19 min 39.7 MB)

The Wines of Bordeaux – with Vignobles Garcin

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One might easily assume the Garcin family have always been Bordelais. However, they’re relatively recent transplants, having previously lived in the French Alps, where they owned a chain of supermarkets and a sports company. After the sale of these companies, brother and sister, Daniel and Sylviane Garcin, headed to Bordeaux in 1991, whereupon Daniel bought Chateau Smith Haut Lafite, and Sylviane bought Chateau Haut-Bergey. At the same time, Silviane formed Vignobles Garcin and continued to buy additional properties.

Vignobles Garcin consists of four small, ultra-premium wineries, including Right Bank properties Barde-Haut and Clos L’Eglise, as well as two Left Bank estates Haut-Bergey in Graves and Chateau Branon in Pessac-Leognan. The properties are now managed by Silviane’s daughter, Helene and Helene’s husband Patrice Leveque. The Garcin’s also decided to invest in Argentina, forming Bodega Poesia in the Lujan de Cuyo sub-appellation in the Mendoza region.

One of the properties, Chateau Barde-Haut, began as an addition to the family home on a 17-acre natural amphitheatre, just a few minutes from center of St. Emilion. Neighbors include Tertre-Roteboeuf and Troplong-Mondot. Dr. Alain Raynaud is also part of the Garcin team and consults on the winemaking.

Join us as we talk with the charming Hélène Garcin-Lévêque about Bordeaux, her family’s properties, and their progressive attitude in creating a state-of-the-art ‘green’ winery at Chateau Barde-Haut.

For more info:

Vignobles Garcin: www.vignoblesgarcin.com/

Bodega Poesia: www.bodegapoesia.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #342
(44:09 min 42.4MB)

Wine in the Sky – with American Airlines

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Ken Chase is a busy guy! As the wine consultant for American Airlines, it’s his responsibility to source the wine and plan the wine lists for all of American’s 6,000 flights per day. Fortunately, he’s got the contacts and the experience to make it all sound easy.

Ken is a classically trained wine maker and viticulturist with an international reputation. He started studying wine in Bordeaux France, Germany and Italy, while living in Europe for eight years. Ken selects fine wines for various routes paying close attention to menu parings, as well as the ethnic, cultural, seasonal and stylistic differences of each destination. He pursued a degree in enology and viticulture studies at University of Melbourne followed by continuing studies at UC Davis.

Join us as we talk with Ken about what it takes to put together a wine program of this magnitude.

For more info:

American Airlines (wine selections): www.aa.com/i18n/travelInformation/duringFlight/dining/wine/main.jsp

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

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Show #341
(38:30 min 35.2MB)

2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – A Collective Quest: Le Vins de Vienne

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How about an armchair trip to the Rhône Valley? Well, beginning with a 10-minute primer on the Rhône Valley and its communes, this seminar from the 2012 Hospice du Rhône continues on to hear from each of the three vignerons behind a joint project called Les Vins de Vienne.

It all began in Vienne, a commune in south-eastern France, located on the Rhône River, 20 miles south of Lyon. The region was originally planted to grapes by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. Yves Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard and François Villard dreamt of reviving an old vineyard in Seyssuel, a small town in the area. The three already had their own well-known and highly respected individual projects which gave them a claim to fame as recent pioneers of the “renaissance” of the 1980s in the Rhône Valley. As you listen to each of them, you have to admire their collective fortitude, as this also quickly becomes a quick look at AOC rules and regulations (‘don’t do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign’).

Join us as we hear from Yves Cuilleron, Pierre Gaillard and François Villard in a seminar moderated by Jeb Dunnuck, whose great work with the Rhone Report recently led him to a chair at the Wine Advocate.

For more info:
Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org/
Le Vins de Vienne: www.vinsdevienne.com

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

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Show #340
(1:07:15 min 64.6MB)

The Wines of Tuscany – with Giovanni Folonari

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If the Folonari name is familiar to you, you’re not alone. The Folonaris are among Italy’s oldest and most prestigious Tuscan wine families with a winemaking history dating back to the late 1700s. In 1825 the family-owned business took the name “Fratelli Folonari,” and in 1912, Ambrogio Folonari’s grandfather, Italo Folonari, and his brother Francesco purchased the Ruffino company in Tuscany that was famous for its Chianti wine in straw-covered flasks called fiascos.

Prior to launching A. & G. Folonari Tenute, Ambrogio was the president of Ruffino, and an outspoken advocate for Italian wine quality who took Ruffino in a new and original direction. In the late 1960s, the company began focusing on high-quality wines and in 1971 purchased Nozzole, a famous estate located near Greve in the heart of Chianti Classico. In the 1980s, Ambrogio created Cabreo, a unique blend of the traditional Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, along with La Pietra, a Chardonnay fermented and aged in oak. These wines were among the first in a new group of top wines now widely referred to as “Super Tuscans.”

In 2000, both Ambrogio and Giovanni left Ruffino to focus on small-lot, estate-grown wines, committing to reinvesting, and developing and expanding vineyard holdings to continue producing high-quality wines. Join us as we talk with Giovanni Folonari about his family’s history, the Tuscany region, and those fascinating Italian appellations.

For more info:
A. & G. Folonari Tenute: en.tenutefolonari.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #339
(58:34 min 53.6 MB)

2013 World of Pinot Noir Seminar – Not Pinot Blanc, Not Pinot Gris, it’s White Pinot Noir!?

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Imagine Blanc de Noir without the bubbles. Weird? Not really. A few aspiring wineries and their “hey, let’s do it” winemakers are actually making what they correctly refer to as white pinot noir. Okay, so it’s still really the same as “normal” pinot noir, just without the color, right? Wrong! It turns out, when you leave the skins out of the fermentation process, it’s a whole new ballgame. Think Chardonnay – but with a completely different personality. The aromatic qualities take a quantum leap, and the flavor and textures, though similar to pinot – are still…well, different!

So, who makes this stuff? Well, so far it seems confined to Oregon (Anne Amie, Erath, Domaine Serene, Willakenzie Estate, J.K. Carriere, Ghost Hill, Novy Family), and to California (Schramsberg, and Domaine Carneros). When you consider it costs just as much to make as (red) pinot noir, as well as it taking the grapes away from the pinot noir sales, you can see why there’s not much of it around.

Join us as we hear about the how and the why from Jim Prosser from J. K. Carriere, Gary Horner from Erath Winery, and Zack Miller from Domaine Carneros, with Fred Dame moderating.

For more info:
World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com/
J.K. Carrier Wines: www.jkcarriere.com/
Domaine Carneros: www.domainecarneros.com/index.cfm
Erath Winery: http://www.erath.com/

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

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Show #338
(1:03:54 min 58.5 MB)

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2012 Hospice du Rhone Seminar – The Bionic Frog Returns

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This is the second in our series of seminars from the 2012 Hospice du Rhone. This time, we’re re-visiting an old friend from the Walla Walla Valley in the Pacific Northwest – Christophe Baron, from Cayuse Vineyards. Christophe is always at HdR, but the last time he did a seminar was 2004. At the time, his wines were somewhat difficult to get. Since that time, his wines have become impossible to get – unless you’re on the list to get on the mailing list!

Christophe’s excitement over the field of rocks he discovered on a cold April morning in 1996 was for good reason. He had seen similar terroir in the Marlborough region of New Zealand, and in the “galets roules” [rolled stone] vineyards in southern France. The area has even been dubbed “Oregon’s Châteuneuf-du-Pape,” home to some of the finest grapes grown in the northwestern United States. Christophe believes great wines must deliver a mineral quality—something this rocky ground offers in abundance.

Join us as we hear from Christophe and John Alban about the unique geography and climate of Walla Walla, and why it produces such compelling Rhone wines.

For more info:
Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org/
Cayuse Vineyards: www.cayusevineyards.com
GrapeRadio Video – Among the Stones – The Wines of Cayuse: www.graperadio.com/archives/2008/04/14/among-the-stones-the-wines-of-cayuse/

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

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Show #337
(59:03 min 54.1MB)

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Domaine Carneros

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The French have landed…the French have landed. Actually, with regard to California, Taittinger landed in 1987 with Domaine Carneros. Completed in 1989, the château, a gorgeous landmark in the Carneros region is literally at the crossroads of both Napa and Sonoma. The classic 18th century château-style building was architecturally inspired by the historic Taittinger-owned Château de la Marquetterie in Champagne.

Domaine Carneros boasts a couple of interesting firsts: 100% all 350 acres of estate vineyards were Certified Organic Estate Vineyards by 2005; in 2003 the winery installed the largest photovoltaic solar collection system on any winery in the world at the time, and led a series of seminars for other wineries to learn about the technology; founding Winemaker Eileen Crane is the most experienced sparkling winemaker in America, entering her 35th harvest in 2012.

Join us as we talk with Eileen about her wine and culinary background, and the stewardship that both she and the Taittinger family have provided to Domaine Carneros.

For more info:

Domaine Carneros: www.domainecarneros.com/

Related story - A Visit to Taittinger with Cellarmaster/Chef de Cave Loïc Dupont: www.graperadio.com/archives/2008/05/05/a-walk-through-the-cellars/

Sponsor: The Wine Club, Fine Wine Merchants: www.thewineclub.com

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Show #336
(52:03 min 47.6MB)

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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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