Tag Archive for 'pinot-noir'

2009 World of Pinot Noir

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Welcome to our video podcast: 2009 World of Pinot Noir – Video Show #77.

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The World of Pinot event, held annually in Shell Beach, California, celebrates all the best things about the “heartbreak grape.” From France’s Burgundy region to shores of the New World and even the Southern Hemisphere, Pinot Noir is everything to its legion of fans.

Join us as we get a snapshot of the event, its tastings and seminars, and talk with several winemakers to get their take on some of our most burning questions. We asked them: “If you weren’t a winemaker, what would you be,” to get a sense of who they were. And we asked them, “Do you have more North American Pinot or Burgundy in your wine cellar,” to check their stylistic preferences. Of course, there was no way we could dodge the high alcohol question, and quizzed them with, “Can you make a Pinot Noir over 15% alcohol and have it still be balanced?” Finally, we wondered about their sensitivity level. So, we asked them to finish the sentence, “Pinot Noir is like sex because….” Needless to say, one or two of the responses were…uh…thought provoking.

To find out more information and to buy tickets:

World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: North Berkeley Imports, Wine Merchants: www.northberkeleyimports.com

Henri Gouges and the 2009 World of Pinot Noir

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Henri Gouges is an important figure in the history of Burgundy. Along with Marquis D’Angerville, he waged war against fraud in Burgundy in the 1920s, in the 1930s he helped delineate the crus in Burgundy for the Institut National d’Appellation d’Origine, and in 1933 challenged the negociants by bottling his wine at the Domaine and selling it directly to the public.

The Domaine Henri Gouges dates to 1919 and the third generation is now in control, specifically Henri Gouges’ two grandsons, Pierre and Christian. The Domaine’s 35-acre vineyard holdings are entirely within the commune of Nuits-St-Georges and include both Village appellation land and six Premier Crus. The average age of the vines is 35 years. One Premier Cru, the 2.5-acre Les Saint-Georges, is considered by many to be the equivalent of a Grand Cru.

Join us as we sit in on a tasting seminar at the 2009 World of Pinot Noir with noted Burgundy authority, “Burghound” Allen Meadows, and Pierre Gouges of Domaine Henri Gouges

To find out more information and to buy tickets:

World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Burghound: www.burghound.com

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

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Show #249
(1:54:45 min 82MB)

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)

Thomas Rivers Brown

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Thomas Rivers Brown (or TRB to the Internet denizens) is one of the most well-know young winemakers today in the Napa Valley. Originally from Sumter, South Carolina, Thomas developed his first interest in wine – a Burgundy, of course – while studying at the University of Virginia.

Expanding his new found attraction, Thomas traveled to France several times per year, and after leaving college, found himself working in Calistoga, still pursuing his fascination with wine. Fortune smiled broadly, and Thomas found himself in just the right place to become the first assistant hired by Ehren Jordan at Turley in the late 1990s. From here, it was just a matter of time until his natural talent came to light.

In 2008, Thomas made history as the youngest winemaker to score not just one, but two perfect “100 point” scores from Robert M. Parker’s, The Wine Advocate, for the 2006 Schrader “Old Sparky” and 2006 Schrader CCS Cabernet Sauvignons. In the 30-year history of The Wine Advocate, this is the first time two Cabernets from the same producer in the same vintage have received two perfect scores.

Today, Thomas consults at Schrader, Outpost, Maybach, Chiarello, Diamond Terrace, GTS (Tom Seaver’s label), Casa Piena, Harris Estate, Jones Family, Wallis, Round Pond, and Black-Sears, all of this, in addition to managing his own label, Rivers-Marie (the name is an amalgamation of the middle names of he and his wife Genevieve).

Join us as we talk with Thomas about his start in winemaking, his philosophies on wine and wine people, and his outlook for the future of wine.

To find out more information:

Rivers Marie: www.riversmarie.com

Sponsor – Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #243
(1:15:25 min 54MB)

Oregon’s Willamette Valley

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Possibly no other grape variety is as subject to the differences of terroir, as is Pinot Noir. And, no discussion or tasting of Pinot Noir would be complete without including Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Located West and South of Portland, the Willamette Valley is 150 miles long and nearly 60 miles wide, with 200 wineries and over 12,000 acres of grapes. Bounded by the Cascade Mountains to the East, the Coast Range mountains to the West, plus a series of lower hill chains to the extreme north of the valley, the Willamette Valley is one of those regions that illustrates the diversity of terroir. So much so, that in 2002, the vineyards and wineries of the region delineated and submitted petitions to the TTB to divide much of the northern part of the Willamette Valley AVA into six more specific AVAs. During 2005-06, the petitions were approved and the following sub-AVAs were created within the Willamette Valley: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge, and Yamhill-Carlton District

Rusty Gaffney (Prince of Pinot) selected 12 wines for us to taste, 2 from each region or district. Join us as we explore the wines of these sub-AVA regions, to discover their differences, as well as their similarities. The wines:

CHEHALEM MOUNTAINS
2006 ArborBrook Vineyards Estate 777 Block
2006 Laura Volkman Vineyards Jacob Estate

DUNDEE HILLS
2006 Et Fille Maresh Vineyard
2006 Domaine Drouhin

EOLA AMITY HILLS
2006 Torii Mor Eola-Amity Hills Select
2006 Cristom Eola-Amity Hills Eileen Vineyard

McMINNVILLE
2006 Brittan Vineyards Basalt Block
2006 Raptor Ridge Meredith Mitchell Vineyard

RIBBON RIDGE
2006 Patricia Green Cellars Estate
2005 Beaux Freres The Beaux Freres Vineyard

YAMHILL-CARLTON DISTRICT
2006 Soter Beacon Hill
2006 Resonance Vineyard

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

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Show #239
(52:24 min 37MB)

Fiddlestix Vineyard – Sta. Rita Hills

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Welcome to our video podcast Fiddlestix Vineyard – Video Show #60.

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Located in the heart of the Sta. Rita Hills, Fiddlestix Vineyard is the brainchild of Kathy Joseph, proprietor of Fiddlehead Cellars. A UC Davis alumni, Kathy worked under Zelma Long at Simi Winery before branching out on her own. She’s always made Pinot Noir – usually from two sources, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and the Santa Maria Valley. However, when Robert Mondavi bought Santa Maria’s Sierra Madre Vineyard in the mid-’90s, Kathy needed to look for a new source of fruit. The location she finally selected was about 122 acres, located directly across the road from the historic Sanford & Benedict Vineyard. After purchasing the land in 1996, she selected rootstalk and began preparation for planting. At this point, Kathy approached Beringer and offered them an opportunity to buy in on a 50/50 basis. They recognized the potential of the site, wanted to partner with Fiddlehead and bought 1/2 of the vineyard development to get 1/2 of the fruit. In retrospect, the partnership with Beringer seems to be the best of both worlds – Kathy has the autonomy to manage the vineyard, and both she and Beringer share the fruits of her labors.

Planted in 1998 to 100 acres of Pinot Noir, the spacing at Fiddlestix is tight, with vines planted 4 feet apart, and each row 7 feet wide – resulting in 1,556 vines per acre. The vineyard is made up of 32 mini-blocks, representing different combinations of six clones, three rootstocks, and various elevation, exposures, and soil combinations. The soil is well-drained Gazos and Botella clay loam, loaded with chirt and Monterey shale.

Join us as we visit during “Fiddlefest”, a tribute to producers of Pinot Noir from the vineyard, and to the vineyard itself. We’ll talk with Kathy Joseph and several other winemakers who buy Fiddlestix fruit for their own labels, including: John Falcone (Rusack), Paul Lato (Paul Lato Wines), and Joe Davis (Arcadian).

For More Info on Fiddlestix Vineyard: www.fiddleheadcellars.com/vines/fiddlestix.html /

The sponsor of this video is Pinpoint Technologies, Great Mailing Lists: www.pinpoint-tech.com

Wine Judging

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With a veritable sea of wine available to consumers, how can a winery get some individual recognition for the wines it produces? Well, one of the ways is to enter their wines into competitions or shootouts, to see how they fare to a group of wine judges.

As President and founder of Affairs of the Vine, wine educator Barbara Drady is the event organizer for several of these wine shootouts. Their competitions employ a panel of industry professionals to act as judges, tasting through hundreds of wines to determine their preferences.

All wines are tasted “blind” during a series of four or five flights (10 wines per flight) per day. Each wine is judged on its own merit and not judged against other wines in the flight.

Scores and notes are collated, and once the preliminary tastings are completed, the top scoring wines are chosen for the final round. The 50-60 top scoring wines are then reviewed in the final round by a larger panel of experts.

Most interestingly, the final results are tabulated with comments and observations on each wine by gender.

Join us as we talk with Barbara Drady to see what kind of organization goes into conducting these shootouts, and discuss the beneficiaries of the results.

For more information on the Affairs of the Vine: www.affairsofthevine.com

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

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Show #236
(47:31 min 46MB)

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Young Winemaker Making the Leap to Burgundy

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Ray Walker departs February 8, 2009 to set up the logistics for his negociant wine business in Burgundy. Only 27 years old, Ray left behind a promising career in the financial world a few years ago to pursue a career in winemaking.

Smitten by Pinot Noir, and Burgundy in particular, Ray quite his job and moved his young family to Sonoma where he was mentored by Ed Kurtzman and others. While many of his type would have been satisfied with a winemaking career in California, Ray felt a pull to return to Pinot Noir’s Holy Land. He immersed himself in the French culture and language and made plans to develop his independent label, Domaine Ilan, in Burgundy.

Join us as we listen to his captivating story.

For More Information on Maison Ilan: www.maison-ilan.com

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #233
(33:37 min 30MB)

Life With Maggie

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Let’s assume you’ve worked with Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non for the last eight years. What could you possibly do for an encore? Well, if you’re Maggie Harrison, you would become part of a venture to work with Oregon Pinot Noir. And then, you’d get to work on your own label as well.

The recent history of Oregon’s Antica Terra winery began when a group of four individuals, including winemaker Maggie Harrison, purchased the winery in 2005 and two years later planted additional acres of Pinot noir, with more planting planned for 2008. The new winery should come on-line in 2009. For her own label, Maggie is sourcing Syrah from Santa Maria Valley for her own, Lillian label, a small lot collection named for her grandmother.

Join us as we talk with Maggie Harrison, about her past experiences with the iconic SQN, and her current projects in Oregon and with California Syrah.

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #232
(1:09:37 min 50MB)

The Boys of John Ash & Co: An Interview with Dan Kosta

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The Santa Rosa restaurant, John Ash & Co., has played a little known but remarkably important role in the history of Sonoma County wine. John Ash & Co. was known for spawning numerous innovative and progressive wine trends that have since become commonplace in restaurants today. Restaurant wine-by-the-glass service originated in California at John Ash & Co., and organized blind tastings of wines and creatively themed wine dinners emphasizing food and wine pairings were first popularized at the restaurant. John Ash & Co. was among the first restaurants to have a wine bar and an associated retail wine store.

Over the years, numerous ex-employees of the restaurant have went on to become successful winemakers, winegrowers and key employees in various wine related businesses.

Listen to Dan Kosta, a former Wine Director at John Ash & Co. talk about his experiences that led up to him co-founding Kosta Browne with Michael Browne, another former John Ash & Co. employee.

For more info on John Ash & Co: www.chefjohnash.com

For more info on the wines of Kosta Browne: www.kostabrowne.com

Sponsor- The Office of Champagne USA: www.champagne.us

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Show #228
(36:30 min 26MB)

John Haeger and Pinot Noir

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Every fan of Pinot Noir will undoubtedly know the name of John Haeger.

As author of the highly acclaimed “North American Pinot Noir,” John literally wrote the book on the fascinating history and evolution of Burgundy’s illustrious grape variety here in the United States. John’s academic approach to both the research and the writing created an instant hit and a must-have treatise for most wine lovers. But, more than anything, it was destined to become THE book for domestic Pinot fanatics. Of course, its appearance at booksellers just months before release of the movie “Sideways” didn’t hurt sales either.

Now, four years later John Haeger has written another wine book, “Pacific Pinot Noir.” Since, as he notes, “96% of North America’s Pinot Noir comes from an area I call the Pacific Pinot Zone,” it was only natural for him to focus on an area extending from mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to Santa Barbara in California and extending up to thirty miles inland.

Pinot Noir’s rise in popularity over the last several years owes much to the different personalities of the grape itself. Join us as we talk with author and lecturer John Haeger about Pinot Noir, and discover its unique place in the world of wine.

For more info on John Haeger: www.ucpress.edu

Sponsor: Bagged Wine: www.baggedwine.com

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Show #216
(48:56min 35MB)

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2007 Wine & Fire – Part II

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Welcome to our video podcast Wine and Fire – Part 2 – Video Show #43.


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We’re back with part 2 of our coverage of the 2007 Sta. Rita Hills annual celebration of wine. Saturday, it was seminar time, complete with a series of mock “trials” where local winemakers and grape growers defend or prosecute their contributions to what ends up in the glass.

Sitting as judge in ceremonial garb was real-life attorney Cathy Pepe, co-owner of Clos Pepe Vineyards. Among the issues on trial: Chardonnay – to oak or not to oak, that is the question; and Pinot Noir – do clones or terroir have the greater effect; and finally, is it the growing conditions or the winemaking the greater influence on the wine.

Join us as we hear from various growers and producers, as well as get a glimpse of some of the marvelous food that will be matched up with local Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Wine and Fire and Santa Rita Hills Wine Growers Alliance: www.staritahills.com

Wine & Fire 2007 – Part I

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Welcome to our video podcast Wine and Fire – Part 1 – Video Show #42.

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The Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance held its 2nd annual Wine & Fire event in June of 2007. The festivities began on Friday evening with a reception at the restored La Purisima Mission, 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.

Join us at the opening night tasting as we talk with attendees, growers like Peter Cargasacchi, and producers like Norm Yost (Flying Goat), Peter Work (Ampelos), and Victor Gallegos (Sea Smoke) to hear how and why the Sta. Rita Hills is unique as a Pinot growing area.

Wine and Fire and Santa Rita Hills Wine Growers Alliance: www.staritahills.com

2008 World of Pinot Noir – Video – Part II

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Welcome to our video podcast of the 2008 World of Pinot Noir – Video – Part II – Video Show #38.


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We’re back with Part 2 of our coverage of the 2008 World of Pinot Noir. Without a doubt, this annual Pinot Noir spectatular is considered to be a “must attend” for devotees of the grape. Join us as we hear more from wine columnist Laurie Daniel, and we’ll check in with the Iron Sommelier Challenge – where sommeliers compare food and wine matches. In addition, we’ll spend some time with Burgundian producer Jacques-Frédéric Mugnier and the Burghound Allen Meadows, plus visit with Central Coast producers Lane Tanner and James Ontiveros, and still more Pinot producers from around the world (how about Pinot from Tazmania and British Columbia).

With seminars ranging from Riedel glassware to a full-on discussion of new world vs. old world clones, as well as an in-depth examination of the “left coast” terroir, and a close look at Oregon’s Pinot focus, you’ll see why a full immersion event such as this can do more to awaken your total Pinot Noir experience.

For more information on the World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

2008 World of Pinot Noir – Video – Part I

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Welcome to our video podcast of the 2008 World of Pinot Noir – Video – Part I – Video Show #37.

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The first weekend in March signals the World of Pinot Noir. Held on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this event includes two days of in-depth Tasting Seminars, Grand Tastings (each with a unique roster of wineries), a Featured Tasting with a guest Burgundian producer and two Pinot Noir Dinners featuring prominent guest chefs. These food and wine extravaganzas will be hosted by participating wineries and feature an outstanding panel of sommeliers from across the U.S.

Join us for Part 1, as we talk with wine columnist Laurie Daniel, local producers as well as vintners from around the world (how about Pinot from Switzerland and New Zealand). We’ll hear from attendees and presenters about what makes this event special, and we even check in on a Riedel seminar led by Georg Riedel to see how the shape of stemware can make Pinot smell and taste different.

For more information on the World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Stewards of the Land: Russian River Valley

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Welcome to our video podcast – Stewards of the Land Russian River Valley, Sonoma – Video Show #24.


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When you think of the Russian River Valley, what comes to mind? Pinot Noir and Chardonnay? Well, right now, yes, but it wasn’t always that way.

Trappers and hunters predominated in the early 1800s, as Russian settlers moved into this area just north of San Francisco giving the river and the surrounding watershed its colorful name. By the 1870s, viticulture had been firmly established in the valley, only to be completely de-railed by prohibition in the 1920s. What followed, even after the repeal of prohibition in 1933, was a steady growth in normal agricultural crops and orchards for many years to come. It would take a 30-year incubation period for the re-birth of vineyards.

The true wine Renaissance finally arrived in the 1960s, when pioneers like Charles Bacigalupi and Joe Rochioli began planting Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. And later, when Chateau Montelena took the French by surprise at the 1976 Paris tasting (with a Chardonnay made from Bacigalupi fruit), and Williams Selyem began to win accolades for its Russian River Valley Pinot Noirs, the valley found its rightful place as a world-class (and world famous) wine growing region.

GrapeRadio is proud to present a brief look at the Russian River Valley, including interviews with Joe Rochioli, Howie Allen, Helen Bacigalupi, Burt Williams, John Haeger, James Laube, and many more. Join us for a close-up of this beautiful area, including highlights of its history, its agriculture, its foods, and most importantly, its people.

Winemaker Spotlight: Brian Loring – Part 2

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Brian in Full ‘crush’ Effect

Brian Loring continues his story with us discussing the history of Pinot Noir and its rising popularity. Additional hot topics covered include wine closures, corked bottles, soaring prices and much more. Part 2 of 2.

To contact: Loring Wine Company

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Show #12
(35:45min 16 MB)

Winemaker Spotlight: Brian Loring – Part 1

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Rosella’s Vineyard, one grape source for Loring Wines.

Brian Loring, founder of the Loring Wine Company has rocketed to success as one of California’s top Pinot Noir winemakers. In fact, Wine Spectator Magazine recently profiled Brian as one of “California’s New Generation”. In today’s show he walks us through the story of how he got started. This is part 1 of a 2 part series. To contact: Loring Wine Company

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Show #11
(26:51 min 12 MB)

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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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