Tag Archive for 'cabernet-sauvignon'

Wineries of Sonoma County – Sebastani

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It’s a rarity in these times of consulting rock-star winemakers that someone would actually stay at a single wine producer for any length of time. But that’s exactly what Mark Lyon did – for 35 years! Mark graduated with a B.S. in Fermentation Science from the University of California at Davis in 1978 and was hired by Sebastiani Vineyards the following year, where he continues to run the winemaking program.

Sebastiani’s first century in Sonoma winemaking began when Samuele emigrated from the Tuscany region of Italy in 1895 and started Sebastiani nine years later. The winery was the only one in Sonoma County to continue operations through Prohibition, making a small amount of sacramental and medicinal wines.

Shortly after Samuele’s death in 1944, his son, August, and August’s wife Sylvia purchased the winery from the estate and began the expansion of the facilities and the product line, adding new varietal wines and proprietary blends. When August died in 1980, Sylvia and their children, Sam, Don and Mary Ann, assumed management of the company. Sam stayed until 1986, when he left Sebastiani to start his own winery. In 2001, the family sold the winery to Constellation Brands, whereupon Don Sebastani left to devote more time to his own brand, which he started with brother-in-law Roy Cecchetti in 1985.

When Bill Foley purchased Sebastiani in 2008, he immediately undertook a program to boost wine quality and raise the winery’s image. Working closely with long-time winemaker Mark Lyon and the viticultural team, they lowered production, restricted yields, acquired more new barrels and winemaking equipment, revamped farming protocols and acquired additional vineyards to guarantee consistent and superior fruit sourcing.

Join us as we talk with winemaker Mark Lyon about Sebastani’s history and legacy, and why he still enjoys working for this iconic label.

For more info:

Sebastani: http://www.sebastiani.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #366
(46:36 min 44.8 MB)

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)

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)

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)

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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Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Hanna Winery & Vineyards

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‘All I want is a small place out in the country,’ is often how it begins. For Dr. Elias S. Hanna and family, what began in 1985 as a small getaway house/farm in the Russian River Valley, morphed into four vineyard locations. Beginning with 12 acres in the Russian River Valley purchased in the 1970s, he and his children began their foray into winemaking with homemade Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Hanna hired a winemaker and expanded the vineyard holdings.

In the Russian River appellation, the Home Ranch on Occidental Road includes Hanna’s winery production facility, as well as the main 25 acre vineyard planted to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. The other RRV property is the Slusser Road vineyard is planted to Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. With its cool climate, this 60-acre vineyard is all about aromatics and crisp mouthfeel. Their 88-acre Alexander Valley Red Ranch vineyard is planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec. And, the most recent acquisition is the Bismark Mountain Ranch. Located on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains at elevations from 1,400-2,600 feet, the 67 planted acres of steeply terraced rocky volcanic soil are planted to Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, Syrah, Petit Syrah and Zinfandel.

Today, the Hanna family owns 600 acres, 250 of which are planted, split between four different vineyards. Dr. Hanna’s eldest daughter Christine has been running the winery for over 20 years. Join us as we talk with Christine Hanna about a simpler time in the wine-growing world, and what it takes to plan for the family’s future generations.

For more info:
Hanna Winery & Vineyards: www.hannawinery.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #321
(1:01:51 min 56.6 MB)

Freemark Abbey – Old School Napa

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Freemark Abbey’s history began in 1886, when Josephine Tychson established the original winery along Route 29 in St. Helena, becoming one of the area’s first woman winegrowers. Although its name might indicate otherwise, the winery was never a monastery, nor was it ever inhabited by monks. Instead, the current winery name originated in 1939, when its three owners – Charles Freeman, Markquand Foster and Abbey Ahem – combined their names to form Freemark Abbey.

In 1967, the winery was sold to a group of seven partners, which actually set the stage for a new era of winemaking creativity. In fact, the winery garnered the nickname the “University of Freemark” due to the sheer number of innovations and significant winemakers that emerged. During the 1960s, Freemark Abbey winemaker Brad Webb, (subsequently known for his time at Hanzell) pioneered a number of methods that have since become California winemaking standards. And, his use of non-malolactic fermentation for Chardonnay is still used at Freemark Abbey today. In the 1970s, Jerry Luper (of Château Montelena and Diamond Creek fame) worked his magic on the red wines, cementing Freemark Abbey’s position as a quality Cabernet house.

When wine shop owner Steven Spurrier conducted his now legendary blind tasting in Paris, pitting the upstart wines of California against the established wines of France, Freemark Abbey was among the 12 American wineries chosen to participate. In an upset that shocked the wine world, California wines won every category of the tasting, elevating Napa Valley and California wines onto the world stage. Owned by Jackson Family Wines since 2006, the legacy continues with the same winemaker for nearly 30 years.

Join us as we talk with Ted Edwards, winemaker at Freemark Abbey since 1985. We’ll get some history, and hear what it takes to continue to make the wines he likes to make at this venerable Napa landmark.

For more info: Freemark Abbey: www.freemarkabbey.com

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

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Show #317
(53:51 min 49.3 MB)

Casa Lapostolle and the Wines of Chile

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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.

Join us as we talk with Andrea Leon, winemaker for Casa Lapostolle. Founded by Alexandra Marnier Lapostolle, her husband Cyril de Bournet and Don José Rabat Gorchs, Casa Lapostolle began as an effort to blend French expertise with Chilean terroir. Certified as Carbon Neutral for its recycling and renewable energy efforts, the winery practices biodynamic farming, and have been a leader in the “Green” movement in Chile.

For more information on Casa Lapostolle: www.casalapostolle.com

Sponsor: VinAssure, Wine Preservation System: www.vinassure.com

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Show #266
(1:02:07 min 48MB)

2008 Auction Napa Valley – Part I

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Welcome to our video podcast 2008 Auction Napa Valley – Part 1 – Video Show #63.

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Arguably the benchmark in charitable wine auctions, the Auction Napa Valley is held annually in (where else?) Napa Valley. Established by a group of Napa Valley vintners in 1981, ANV has given over $70 million dollars over its 28 years for healthcare, youth service and low-income housing charities in Napa County. The GrapeRadio crew received an invitation to attend this stellar event, and we were not disappointed.

Organized each year by the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV), the event runs over a three-day period, usually in June. Consisting of a wine & food extravaganza, several auctions (e-auctions, live auctions and barrel auctions), and plenty of vintner-hosted activities, it is a spectacular event. In 2008, as the final gavel fell, a total of 44 Live Lots, 128 Barrel Lots and 87 E-Lots that offered extraordinary collections of wine, vintner-hosted events and travel adventures donated by the organization’s many wineries had raised more than $10.35 million.

Join us as we talk with vintners, celebrities (Oprah!), and attendees about the sights, sounds, foods, wines, and overall excitement that make the Auction Napa Valley such a special event.

For More Info on the Auction Napa Valley: www.napavintners.com/home/index.asp

The sponsor of this video is Millesima, Fine Wine Merchants: www.millesima-usa.com

The Wines of Cape Mentelle, Margaret River

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Born and raised in Western Australia, Rob Mann followed in the family tradition – oenology. After receiving his degree from University of Adelaide, Rob worked for Hardy’s in McLaren Vale, before returning home to pickup the reins at Cape Mentelle Vineyards in 2005 in Australia’s Margaret River region. Cape Mentelle was one of the first vineyards established in the area. First planted in 1970, there are now over 180 hectares under vine. Founded by West Australian wine industry pioneer David Hohnen, Cape Mentelle is credited with pioneering many varietals and blends in the region, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc Semillon.

The Margaret River region is located in the Southwest corner of the “land down under,” stretching about 100 km from north to south, and about 27 km in width. The climate here is Mediterranean, with mild wet winters and warm dry summers – approximating something like Bordeaux in a dry season. Although it contributes only 3% of the country’s total grape output, it commands over 20% of its wine market. With over 5,500 hectares under vine, there are over 120 producers in the region. Grape varieties grown include: Cabernet, Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay, Semilion and Sauvignon Blanc.

Join us as we talk with Rob Mann about Australia, the Margaret River region, to see if it really is different “down under.”

Sponsor- Pinpoint Technologies, Mailing List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #234
(1:04:31 min 46MB)

Staglin Family Vineyard – Video

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Welcome to our first video podcast. This show is designed to enhance your GrapeRadio Experience.

Check it out and let us know what you think. Enjoy!


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If you enjoyed this episode check out these other related shows:

Audio #15: Shafer Vineyards with Doug Shafer
Audio #16: The Wines of Bob Foley
Audio #93: Mondavi – 40 Years In Napa
Audio #103: Bo Barrett and Ch. Montelena
Audio #108: Winery Profile: Trefethen Vineyards
Audio #125: Winery Profile: Staglin Family
Audio #148: Wine Maker Profile: Mike Trujillo
Audio #197: The Wines of Dunn Vineyards


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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.