Tag Archive for 'chardonnay'

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Charles Heintz

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Located in the Occidental region of Sonoma County, the Heintz Ranch has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlie’s grandparents purchased the land in 1912, and Charlie’s father farmed here. Apples remained in production until their first Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982. The family still maintains about 8 acres of apple orchard today.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Charlie began farming Heintz Ranch in 1984, and expanded the vineyards to include Pinot Noir and perhaps his personal favorite, Syrah. With a who’s who list of wineries like Littorai and Williams Selyem buying his grapes, Charlie Heintz couldn’t be prouder of his family’s accomplishments.

Join us as we talk with Charlie Heintz about viticulture and wine, and what it takes to be a premium winegrower.

For more info:

Charles Heintz Vineyards and Winery: www.heintzvineyards.com/

Sponsor: Wine Berserkers: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #369
(51:42 min 49.7 MB)

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)

The Wines of Burgundy – with Maison Louis Jadot

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The Louis Jadot name, as well as its readily identifiable label should be very familiar, even to casual wine lovers. Established by Louis Henry Denis Jadot in 1859 in the Burgundy region of France, Maison Louis Jadot has grown over the past 150 years to own 280 acres of the Côte d’Or’s most prestigious Premier and Grand Cru plots.

In 2010, chief winemaker Jacques Lardière retired after 42 years with Louis Jadot. Taking over the reins from Monsieur Lardière, winemaker Frédéric Barnier has been responsible for the entire winemaking team of Maison Louis Jadot since 2010.

Join us as we talk with Technical Director Frédéric Barnier about the challenges he’s faced, including the past few “short” vintages in Burgundy, current pricing, and the premox issue.

For more info:

Maison Louis Jadot: www.louisjadot.com

Louis Jadot Burgundies: www.louisjadot.com

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #365
(50:47 min 48.8 MB)

Wineries of the California Central Coast – with Chamisal Vineyards

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Located half-way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the Edna Valley is recognized as one of the finest Central Coast grape growing regions in California, known in particular for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Rhone grape varieties. With the Pacific Ocean just a few miles away, the coastal fog and breezes combine to create one of the longest growing seasons. The climate, combined with the calcareous and volcanic soils of the area, results in wines with concentration and balancing acidity.

In 1973 Chamisal became the first winery to plant vines in Edna Valley, a gamble that paved the way for one of the most revered wine regions of California. The vineyard is named for the native, white-flowered Chamise plant that thrives on the property. In the early 1990’s after a period of dormancy, the vineyard was replanted and the estate was renamed Domain Alfred. New ownership began in 2008 and restored the original name – Chamisal Vineyard – to honor its place in Edna Valley history.

Join us as we talk with Chamisal winemaker Fintan DuFresne about the history, the vineyards, and the wines. We’ll even taste the new un-oaked Pinot for you!

For more info:

Chamisal Vineyards: www.ChamisalVineyards.com

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

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Show #362
(42:29 min 40.8 MB)

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 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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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 Vineyards of Pouilly Fuissé – with Domaine J. A. Ferret

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Founded in 1840, Domaine Ferret is located in the Mâconnais region of Burgundy, in the commune of Fuissé. Here, half-way between Beaune and Lyon, Chardonnay is Pouilly Fuissé’s only grape variety. While it is the best-known part of the Mâconnais, there are currently no Premier Cru vineyards within the AOC – something Domain Ferret would like to change.

Of all Burgundy’s appellations, Pouilly-Fuissé has the most varied geology. The geological rifts and slopes are more accentuated, the spectrum of rocks present is the most diverse within the Maconnais, and the soils can be poor, made up of hard limestone and even calcite, but they can also be richer clays, based on alluvial marl deposits, schist’s and even volcanic-sedimentary pebbles. More than 330 million years separate the most ancient of these rocks from the most recent deposits. These foundation rocks, located on the eastern fringe of the Beauregard plateau, are made up of limestone deposited by ancient lakes.

A precise knowledge of the region’s most terroirs forms the basis of the parcel by parcel vinification for which the Domaine is known. In particular, the classification of Tête de Cru and Hors Classe were established by Jeanne Ferret. She was among the first to bottle wines at the Domaine. Her daughter, Colette, followed in her footsteps, developing the Domaine’s reputation for excellence. When Louis Jadot acquired the 18-hectare property in 2008, its goal was to continue working in the tradition established by the Ferrets.

Since 1840 Domaine Ferret has had an uninterrupted tradition of women as directors/winemakers, a tradition that has been continued by Audrey Braccini since 2008. Join us as we talk with Audrey, about the geography, the history, and the wines of Domaine Ferret from Pouilly Fuissé.

For more info:

Domaine J. A. Ferret: www.domaine-ferret.com/

Sponsor: Best Wines Online: www.bestwinesonline.com

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Show #335
(41:29 min 38.0MB)

Vineyards of Sonoma County – with Anaba Wines

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Anaba (“Anna-bah”) takes its name from the cool upward-flowing breezes called anabic winds that frequently stream through the estate Carneros vineyard during the warm summer months. Owner John Sweazey is thought to be the first vintner in Northern California to harness wind power to supplement power in his tasting room and storage facility.

The Director of Winemaking and Vineyard Operations, and the General Manager of Anaba is Jennifer Marion, a graduate of UC Davis who as been at Anaba since its launch. Join us as we talk with Jennifer about her multifaceted role at the winery and the Rhone and Burgundian varietals she crafts at Anaba. Along the way, the Grape Radio crew has quite a few laughs in this thoroughly enjoyable conversation.

For more info:

Anaba Wines: www.anabawines.com

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

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Show #333
(47:35 min 43.6MB)

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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)

In Pursuit of Balance – 2013, Los Angeles

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In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) was co-founded in 2011 by Rajat Parr of Michael Mina and RN74 restaurants, and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. Their purpose was to assemble a small group of like-minded wine producers they felt were “…striving to produce balanced pinot noir and chardonnay in California…non-manipulation in the cellar, and the promotion of the fundamental varietal characteristics which make pinot noir and chardonnay great – subtlety, poise and the ability of these grapes to serve as profound vehicles for the expression of terroir.”

The subjectivity of “balance” in wines has been a hot, even controversial, topic over the past few years, especially with the generally acknowledged perception that both ripeness and alcohols have been increasing in many wines. As a contrast to this apparent trend, IPOB’s desire involves “…seeking a different direction with their wines, both in the vineyard and the winery.”

Currently at 28 member wineries, IPOB seminars and tastings have been conducted in San Francisco and now Los Angeles, and primarily aimed at media and those in the wine-buying business. We were fortunate to attend the first Los Angeles event (which included an evening consumer tasting), held in February. Join us as we spend some time talking with co-founders Rajat Parr and Jasmine Hirsch, as well as producers Jamie Kutch (Kutch Wines), and Ehren Jordan (Failla Wines).

For more info:

In Pursuit of Balance: www.inpursuitofbalance.com/
Sandhi Wines: www.sandhiwines.com/
Hirsch Vineyards: www.hirschvineyards.com/
Kutch Wines: www.kutchwines.com/
Failla Wines: www.faillawines.com/

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

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Show #318
(45:33 min 41.7 MB)

Oregon and the Wines of Eyrie Vineyards

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Jason Lett took over the winemaking reigns at The Eyrie Vineyards beginning with the 2005 vintage. His father, David Lett, founded The Eyrie Vineyards in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 1966 becoming the first to successfully plant and vinify Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris in the Willamette Valley. The Eyrie Vineyards specialized in in the trinity of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. David Lett was so revered that in his later years he became affectionately known as “Papa Pinot.” David Lett passed away at the age of 69 in October, 2008.

Jason Lett trained at Maison Joseph Drouhin in Burgundy and has a degree in plant ecology from the University of New Mexico. He is committed to continuing the Eyrie style which emphasizes light, supple and ephemeral wines that age. Prior to this year’s International Pinot Noir Celebration, Jason conducted a complete vertical tasting of Eyrie Chardonnay dating back to 1970. Each vintage of Chardonnay is now available for sale to benefit Eyrie’s cellarmaster’s wife who must have a kidney transplant.

Listen to Jason talk about his father’s legacy, the Eyrie Chardonnay tasting, Pinot Gris and its place in Oregon, and his plans for The Eyrie Vineyards in the future.

To find out more information: Eyrie Vineyards: www.eyrievineyards.com

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Show #246
(39:11 min 28MB)

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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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