Archive for the 'Podcast' Category

2013 Wine & Fire Seminar: Digging Deep – Clone 115

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The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the last of two seminars – this one on Clone (aka Cultivar) 115. Six producers from six different Pinot Noir vineyards located throughout the Sta. Rita Hills AVA share their insights as to why this clone is a precious resource in their cellar. The panel includes discussion of: Cargassachi Vineyard, represented by Brandon Sparks-Gillis of Dragonette Cellars; Rancho La Viña Vineyard, represented by Kris Curran of D’Alfonso Curran; Rancho La Rinconada Vineyard, represented by Steve Fennell of Sanford Winery; Rio Vista Vineyard, represented by Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars; La Montagne Kessler-Haak Vineyard, represented by Kimberly Smith of La Montagne; Clos Pepe Vineyard, represented by Adam Lee of Siduri Wines; and Sebastiano Vineyard, represented by Bill Wathen of Foxen Winery, with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #356
(49:28 min 47.5 MB)

Australia – What’s New?

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Wines from Australia are no stranger to most of us, roaring into the U.S. market with high demand back in the mid-to-late ‘90s. At least part of this seemingly sudden demand was driven by the interest in wines with high scores tendered by the Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator publications. Add in the fascination for New World wines from non-domestic sources, an affection for the name Shiraz, and wine labels featuring lots of “critters,” and you had a recipe for success.

Fast forward about 10 years or so, and it became evident that the landscape had changed. Not only were there fewer Australian wines on the shelves, but the more exclusive (and higher priced) wines seemed absent from the marketplace. There were also fewer in-store tastings of Australian wines, and in general, demand seemed to have declined. So, what happened, and where is Australian wine now?

Join us as we talk with Angela Slade, Director of Wine Australia, North America. We’ll cover the last couple of decades in Australian wine, as well as the current market shifts the folks from Oz are making.

For more info:

Wine Australia: www.wineaustralia.com/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #358
(44:01 min 42.3MB)

Seldom Seen – Wines That Don’t Get Enough Face Time

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The world has been witnessing a lot of geo-political turmoil over the last several years. The “Arab Spring,” the “Orange Revolution,” people taking to the streets. Curiously, the wine world has also seen its share of turmoil. We’ve heard about the “natural wine” movement, the “In Pursuit of Balance” organization, and Robert Parker stepping down as head of The Wine Advocate. There’s also been some ‘Balkanization’ of wine appellations, with splinter groups forming right and left, ostensibly to better tell their AVA’s story.

But, with chaos comes opportunity. And, in the midst of all this wine upheaval, many vintners have taken the opportunity to explore other grape varieties – those either outside the norm or otherwise not getting any love from the current wine critics. In a recent diatribe, Robert Parker dismissed many of these varieties as “rarely palatable” and “godforsaken.” Paying no heed to this admonition, vintners are continuing to expand their horizons by making wines from seldom seen old world varieties – varieties that do quite well in their native or even transplanted countries.

So, with a blend of acceptance and gratitude, we’ve decided to take a closer look at some wines made from seldom seen or unrecognized grapes. Join us as we sit down with the bestwinesonline.com guys, Kyle Meyer and Tristen Beamon to taste and talk about some of these wines. We think you’ll find that some assumptions are best put to bed.

For more info:

Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #357
(1:00:17 min 57.9 MB)

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2013 Wine & Fire Seminar – There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills

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The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its annual Wine & Fire event in August of 2013. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the Sanford & Benedict barn (the former winery) in the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, where over two dozen winemakers poured library wines and current releases from their Sta. Rita Hills appellation. People mingled from late afternoon through dusk and into dark, sampling the various wines. Saturday morning, it was seminar time. We began with a seminar on Chardonnay, followed by a rousing discussion of Pinot Clone 115. The evening featured a grand tasting on the grounds of the La Purisima Mission.

Join us as we listen to the first of two seminars – this one on the future of Chardonnay in the Sta. Rita Hills. Could it be that this is actually better terroir for Chardonnay, rather than Pinot Noir? Panelists include: Steve Clifton (Brewer-Clifton), Ken Brown (Ken Brown Wines), Richard Sanford (Alma Rosa), Christine Bruce (Hilliard Bruce), Leslie Mead Renaud (Foley Estate Vineyards), and Antonio Moretti (Moretti Wines), with Josh Raynolds from Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar doing the moderating.

For more info:

Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region: http://www.staritahills.com/
2014 Wine & Fire Event: www.staritahills.com/wine-fire/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #356
(1:05:29 min 62.9 MB)

The Renaissance of Spirits – Gin

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Continuing our occasional focus on spirits, we now take a look at gin, a spirit which derives its predominant flavor from juniper berries (Juniperus communis). With origins in the Middle Ages, gin has evolved from an herbal medicine to point of major of commerce in the spirits industry. While the Dutch get credit for the invention of gin, it was Britain where it became a staple in both the military and with its citizenry – unfortunately, leading to a period of time in the early 1700s referred to as the Gin Craze.

Today’s gins now have various origins, styles, and flavor profiles, each revolving around juniper as the common ingredient, yet many also include myriad other botanicals as well. The list of classic cocktails that are made with gin is legion, including the: martini, gibson, gimlet, tom collins, south side, last word, and of course the ubiquitous gin & tonic.

Join us as we talk with Brady Caverly, owner of the Flintridge Proper (with over 220 gins) in La Cañada-Flintridge, and John Peet, bar tender at the Proper, about the origins and historical significance of gin. With Mr. Peet in the studio, we were quite fortunate to have our own personal bartender making many of the timeless cocktails for us to sip during our conversation about this classic spirit. If you thought you already knew everything about gin, get ready to be surprised! We’ve included some delicious cocktail photos as well.

For more info:

The Flintridge Proper: theproper.com

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

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Show #355
(1:03:77 min 60.6 MB)

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The Wines of Chablis – with Séguinot-Bordet

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Located in northeast France, the Chablis region was annexed by the Dukes of Burgundy in the fifteenth century. While it is considered the northernmost extension of the Burgundy wine region, it is separated from the Côte d’Or by the Morvan hills. In fact, the town of Beaune located is more than 62 miles away. This makes the region of Chablis relatively isolated from other winemaking regions. Ironically, the southern vineyards of the Champagne in the Aube department is actually its closest winemaking neighbor.

Historically Chablis was once considered part of the Champagne province, and the two regions share many climatic similarities. Chablis’ far northern location puts it at the extreme edge of sustainable viticulture – too much rain and a lower temperature produces wines quite high in acidity; too much heat produces wines that are flabby with too little acids. But, when the weather is right, the wines are stellar!

Join us as we speak with Jean-François Bordet about the Chablis region and his family’s thirteen generations in Chablis.

For more info:

Chablis Wine Region: www.chablis-wines.com
Domaine Séguinot-Botdet: www.seguinot-bordet.com/en/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #354
(31:13 min 30 MB)

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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)


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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.