Tag Archive for 'wine-maker'

Temecula – A Case of Preconceived Notions?

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One doesn’t immediately think of Temecula when they think of California wine regions. Yet, along with the North Coast and the Central Coast, there is also a South Coast wine-growing region – a region which includes the Temecula Valley AVA. Located in a semi-rural section of Southern California’s Riverside County, the Temecula Valley is about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County and Palm Springs.

This close proximity to major population centers and relatively easy access has made Temecula a prime wine touring region – both for Southern Californians, and for visitors to the area. However, despite its convenient location, Temecula’s wine reputation has been hampered as much by uneven quality as by vineyard devastation ten years ago from Pierce’s Disease, a bacterial infection of the grapevine which causes the foliage, the fruit, and finally the vine to die off. Arguably, it hasn’t helped matters that the region easily became a tour-bus Mecca for much of Southern California. This, in turn, lured many wineries to adapt their operations to this type of tourist, largely the antithesis of the usual North or Central Coast winery visitor.

Grape growing isn’t new to the region, as Mission grapes had been planted in the Temecula area in 1820. In more modern times, Vincenzo and Audry Cilurzo established the first commercial vineyard in the Temecula Valley in 1968. Brookside Winery planted its vineyard in 1971, and produced the first wines from Temecula grapes. Callaway Vineyard and Winery began farming grapes in 1969, and opened the first Temecula Winery in 1974.

Most of the 34 wineries in Temecula are family-owned. Many are relatively new, having planted their grapes and/or opened their respective doors since the early 2000s. The timing is no accident, as most of the vineyards needed to be replanted after the damage by Pierce’s Disease. Yet, catastrophe often brings opportunity, and in this case many of the vineyards were replanted with more suitable varieties on better rootstalks, and grown using new viticultural techniques. Growers in the AVA practice sustainable farming in what has now become an agricultural preserve.

As new winemakers and new ideas continue to filter into the region, Temecula makes no apologies for the wines they grow, or how they market them. And, since the quality of their wines continues to rise, and the visitors continue to arrive – via bus or otherwise – the region seems poised to bolster its reputation.

Join us as we visit with nine vintners from Temecula Valley, to hear more about their approach to wine-growing and wine-making. There may be a lot more to Temecula wines than you think – presumptions aside, of course.

Sponsor: Pinpoint Tech – Your Mailing List Source: www.pinpoint-tech.com

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Show #283
(1:26:01 min 61MB)

Distillation – The Birth of Cognac

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Welcome to our video podcast: Cognac Distillation – Video Show #99.

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After fermentation, the white wine is distilled into ‘eau-de-vie.’ To become Cognac, this involves a double distillation, for which only the heart, or middle portion of the second distillation is retained. The heads, too high in alcohol, and the tails, lacking harmony, are carefully removed and distilled over again to perfection.

For its first distillation, the unfiltered wine is brought to boil in the copper pot. Since alcohol evaporates faster than water, alcoholic vapors can be collected in the onion dome shaped cowl and in the swan neck, which slows the rectification process of the flavors, before passing into the long serpentine condenser coil. Vapors condense to the contact of the cooler and turn into a liquid known as ‘brouilli,’ with an alcoholic content of 27 to 30% vol. This is distilled a second time in a process called the ‘bonne chauffe’. The distiller’s key task is then to choose the moment when to isolate the ‘heart’ of this second distillation, extracting the ‘head’ and the ‘tail’ in the process.

This distillation process is a delicate and slow one. It lasts for approximately twenty four hours and requires the constant care of the distiller. It usually begins in November and is conducted day and night for several months. The rule binds it to stop at the latest at the end of March. Distillation is a key factor that gives Cognac its distinctive character. Its secrets are handed over from generation to generation.

The 2010 World of Pinot Noir

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Welcome to our video podcast: The 2010 World of Pinot Noir – Video Show #90.

Join us at the 2010 World of Pinot Noir in beautiful Shell Beach, CA as we ask the really, really, really hard pinot noir questions that must be answered!

– Why is Pinot Noir a good wine for Newbies?
– It is said that Pinot Noir Wears many different clothes, how do you like t dressed?
– What type of music reminds you of Pinot Noir?
– Why is it said that Pinot Noir is a white wine masquerading as a red wine?
– What is a “Burgundian-Style” Pinot Noir?

Tickets are now available for the 2011 World of Pinot Noir. Sign up at: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Hearts Delight Wine Tasting Auction: www.heartsdelightwineauction.org

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We’ve Come a Long Way Baby – Past, Present, and Future – The Wines of South Africa

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The first seminar from the 2010 Hospice du Rhône, was an introduction to all that has been happening lately with Syrah in South Africa. Appropriately titled, “We’ve Come a Long Way Baby”, the seminar did indeed give us a glimpse of how things used to be, and what they have become.

Photo above – (Andrea Mullineux, James Molesworth, Davis Trafford, Marc Kent, Eben Sadie, and Chris Mullineux)

Moderated by Wine Spectator Senior Editor James Molesworth, panelists described South Africa’s long history with wine, beginning with the Dutch settlers in the 19 Century. Unfortunately, the more recent history of South African wine is irrevocably tied to the period know as apartheid, a system of legal racial segration that lasted nearly a half-century, drawing the world’s ire, and saddling the country with sanctions and trade embargoes from other nations. When apartheid finally ended in 1994, South African wineries had hoped to make up for lost time. However, the quality was spotty and its wines were not well received. Yet, it was this same public dislike that ultimately pushed the wineries to improve quality. The most surprising discovery from this seminar was that Syrah is merely 10% of the country’s wine production!

Join us, as we hear from some of South Africa’s brightest winemakers, and hear about the current crop of wines coming ‘Out of Africa.’

For More Info: Hospice du Rhone (HdR): www.hospicedurhone.org

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #277
(59:51 min 39MB)

20 Years of Williams Selyem – Part 2

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As most people know, Burt and Ed sold the winery to John and Kathe Dyson in 1998, and Bob Cabral became new winemaker with the impossible task of replacing a legend in the wine world. Bob has strived to continue the tradition of excellence in crafting Williams Selyem wines, thus making the idea of a second “Bob Years” 10-year retrospective even more intriguing.

Join us for Part 2 as we hear from winemaker Bob Cabral about his trial by fire.

For More Info: World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #276
(48:33 min 34MB)

20 Years of Williams Selyem – Part 1

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In March of 2010, the World of Pinot Noir was celebrating its Tenth Anniversary. Something special ought to be done, the organizers thought. How about making one of the seminars a ten-year retrospective tasting from a well-known winery? Yes, that would be something special. However, when the retrospective covers ten years of Pinot Noirs from Williams Selyem, well it probably doesn’t get any better or more interesting than that. And of course, this is only Part 1 – Part 2 will cover the most recent 10 years next week.

From its humble beginnings in 1981, Burt Williams and Ed Selyem took their little garage project wine, originally named Hacienda Del Rio, to awards, kudos, and critical accolades. The wines were mostly sold via mailing list, but the wine’s reputation and scarcity only added to its allure, and ultimately, the wines became so popular that they started a waiting list to get on the mailing list.

Join us for Part 1 as we hear about the “Bert Years” from Williams Selyem’s current winemaker Bob Cabral and restaurateur Michael Jordan. A story that has become a legend in the world of pinot noir.

For More Info: World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

Sponsor: Porter Family Vineyards – Napa Valley: www.porterfamilyvineyards.com

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Show #275
(1:06:37 min 48MB)

Sonoma County Road Trip

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We decided to make a trek up to Sonoma County to visit with a few personalities from the Kendall-Jackson stable of wineries.

Our first stop was to visit with Melissa Stackhouse, winemaker for La Crema. The love for farming came naturally for Melissa, having spent summers on her grandparents’ farm in rural Minnesota. But, it was a visit to Washington State’s San Juan Islands that actually introduced her to wine. And, as they say in fishing, the hook was set. A UC Davis education was next on the agenda, followed by several internships which finally led her to La Crema in 2001 as assistant winemaker. By 2003, she was running the place.

Next, we were off to meet with Don Hartford at Hartford Family Winery in the Russian River Valley. Don attended University of Massachusetts at Amherst, obtained his law degree from Santa Clara University, and his legal career has included a Tokyo law firm, a large San Francisco-based firm, Jess Jackson’s practice of Constitutional law, and work at the California Supreme Court. The law notwithstanding, Don has immersed himself in winemaking and winery management over the past 20 years. He also owns and farms a small vineyard of old-vine Zinfandel behind his home. This 90-year old vineyard is located on seven acres and is head-pruned to produce annual yields of about 1.5 tons an acre. Almost by itself, stewardship of this property has returned Don to his Massachusetts farming roots.

Then, we spent some quality time with Randy Ullom, of Kendall-Jackson Estates. Randy was originally hired in 1993 by Jess Jackson as the winemaker at Camelot Vineyards. That same year, Jackson also put him in charge of heading up a new Chilean operation as founding winemaker and general manager of Viña Calina. Then in 1996, Ullom helped Jackson establish wine production in Argentina with the Tapiz label. In 1997, Ullom was made winemaster for Kendall-Jackson Winery. In 2006, he also became the company’s Chief Operating Officer, reflecting his intimate involvement in the both the viticultural and winemaking programs of Kendall-Jackson.

Finally, we talked with Alex Réblé, winemaker for Matanzas Creek. Originally from the Bordeaux region of France, Alex was educated at the Agricultural School of Libourne and Blanquefort and mentored by Jean-Claude Berrouet (then winemaker at Pétrus and La Fleur-Pétrus).  After working at Chateau La Tour Carnet for a year, Alex turned his attention to the New World. Wanting to try his hand with Burgundian varieties, he took a job at Willamette Valley Vineyards in Oregon, working with Joe Dobbes. Then, he was on to the Napa Valley in 1998, to work with Luc Morlet at Newton Vineyards, Ken Deis at Flora Springs Winery, and Daniel Baron at Silver Oak and Twomey. Finally, he joined Matanzas Creek in 2001 as cellar master, becoming its winemaker in 2010.

For more information on Jackson Family Wines: www.kj.com

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

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Show #270
(1:15:01 min 41MB)

Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker #5

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Welcome to our video podcast: Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #87.

On his recent trip to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Robert Kenney was able to ask several well-known winemakers our last big question: “Why do you produce a Special Cuvee” — Film editing by Robert Farinhas.

Everyone has special barrels that seem to deliver more complex wine than the other barrels. Join us as we hear several interesting answers from some of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s great winemakers about why, in addition to several other cuvees, they are intent on producing what is commonly referred to as a “special cuvee”?

Interviews include:
Julien Barrot — Domaine La Barroche
Vincent Durieu — Domaine Durieu
Francois Giraud — Domaine Giraud
Emilie Boisson — Domaine Du Pere Caboche
Laurence Feraud — Domaine Du Pegau
Alexandre Favier — Domaine Chante Cigale
Veronique Maret — Domaine De La Charbonniere
Nicolas Boiron — Domaine Bosquet Des Pape
Jean-Paul Versino — Domaine Bois De Boursan
Christian Voeux — Chateau La Nerthe
Thierry Sabon — Clos Du Mont-Olivet
Christophe Jaume — Domaine Grand Veneur
Sophie Armenier — Domaine De Marcoux
Mathieu Perrin — Chateau De Beaucastel
Laurent Charvin –Domaine Charvin
Baptiste Grangeon — Domaine De Christia
Isabelle Sabon — Domaine De La Janasse
Bruno Gaspard — Clos Du Caillou
Karine Diffonty — Cuvee Du Vatican
Didier Negron — Roger Sabon
Florent Lancon — Domaine De La Solitude
Frederic Coulon — Domaine De Beaurenard
Isabel Ferrando — Domaine Saint Prefert
Amelle Barrot — Chateau Jas De Bressy
Pierre Fabre — Chateau MontRedon
Vincent Maurel — Clos Saint Jean
Thierry Usseglio — Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Patrick Vernier — Chateau Cabrieres
Pierre Pastre — Chateau Fortia
Laurent Brotte — Brotte
Andre Brunel — Les Cailloux
Frederic Brunier — Domaine Du Vieux Telegraph
Guillaume Gonnet — Font De Michelle

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Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker #4

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Welcome to our video podcast: Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #86.

On his recent trip to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Robert Kenney was able to ask several well-known winemakers our final burning question: “What do you prefer to drink besides Chateauneuf-du-Pape” — Film editing by Robert Farinhas.

Join us as we hear more than a few whimsical thoughts from some of world’s great winemakers about what they what they like to drink – when they’re not drinking CdP…as if!

Interviews include:
Julien Barrot — Domaine La Barroche
Vincent Durieu — Domaine Durieu
Francois Giraud — Domaine Giraud
Emilie Boisson — Domaine Du Pere Caboche
Laurence Feraud — Domaine Du Pegau
Alexandre Favier — Domaine Chante Cigale
Veronique Maret — Domaine De La Charbonniere
Nicolas Boiron — Domaine Bosquet Des Pape
Jean-Paul Versino — Domaine Bois De Boursan
Christian Voeux — Chateau La Nerthe
Thierry Sabon — Clos Du Mont-Olivet
Christophe Jaume — Domaine Grand Veneur
Sophie Armenier — Domaine De Marcoux
Mathieu Perrin — Chateau De Beaucastel
Laurent Charvin –Domaine Charvin
Baptiste Grangeon — Domaine De Christia
Isabelle Sabon — Domaine De La Janasse
Bruno Gaspard — Clos Du Caillou
Karine Diffonty — Cuvee Du Vatican
Didier Negron — Roger Sabon
Florent Lancon — Domaine De La Solitude
Frederic Coulon — Domaine De Beaurenard
Isabel Ferrando — Domaine Saint Prefert
Amelle Barrot — Chateau Jas De Bressy
Pierre Fabre — Chateau MontRedon
Vincent Maurel — Clos Saint Jean
Thierry Usseglio — Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Patrick Vernier — Chateau Cabrieres
Pierre Pastre — Chateau Fortia
Laurent Brotte — Brotte
Andre Brunel — Les Cailloux
Frederic Brunier — Domaine Du Vieux
Telegraph Guillaume Gonnet — Font De Michelle

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Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker #3

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Welcome to our video podcast: Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #85.

On his recent trip to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Robert Kenney was able to ask several well-known winemakers another of our burning questions: “What’s the best advice you were ever given?” – Film editing by Robert Farinhas.

Join us as we hear some philosophical, practical, and whimsical thoughts from some of world’s great winemakers about what they was good or otherwise useful advice in their respective careers.

Interviews include:
Julien Barrot – Domaine La Barroche
Vincent Durieu – Domaine Durieu
Francois Giraud – Domaine Giraud
Emilie Boisson – Domaine Du Pere Caboche
Laurence Feraud – Domaine Du Pegau
Alexandre Favier – Domaine Chante Cigale
Veronique Maret – Domaine De La Charbonniere
Nicolas Boiron – Domaine Bosquet Des Pape
Jean-Paul Versino – Domaine Bois De Boursan
Christian Voeux – Chateau La Nerthe
Thierry Sabon – Clos Du Mont-Olivet
Christophe Jaume – Domaine Grand Veneur
Sophie Armenier – Domaine De Marcoux
Mathieu Perrin – Chateau De Beaucastel
Laurent Charvin –Domaine Charvin
Baptiste Grangeon – Domaine De Christia
Isabelle Sabon – Domaine De La Janasse
Bruno Gaspard – Clos Du Caillou
Karine Diffonty – Cuvee Du Vatican
Didier Negron – Roger Sabon
Florent Lancon – Domaine De La Solitude
Frederic Coulon – Domaine De Beaurenard
Isabel Ferrando – Domaine Saint Prefert
Amelle Barrot – Chateau Jas De Bressy
Pierre Fabre – Chateau MontRedon
Vincent Maurel – Clos Saint Jean
Thierry Usseglio – Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Patrick Vernier – Chateau Cabrieres
Pierre Pastre – Chateau Fortia
Laurent Brotte – Brotte
Andre Brunel – Les Cailloux
Frederic Brunier – Domaine Du Vieux Telegraph
Guillaume Gonnet – Font De Michelle

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Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker #2

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Welcome to our video podcast: Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #84.

On a recent trip to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Robert Kenney was able to ask several well-known winemakers one of our usual burning questions: “What’s Unique about Chateauneuf-du-Pape?” – Film editing by Robert Farinhas.

Join us as we hear some philosophical, practical, and whimsical thoughts from some of world’s great winemakers about what they feel makes their region so unique, different or special.

Interviews include:
Julien Barrot – Domaine La Barroche
Vincent Durieu – Domaine Durieu
Francois Giraud – Domaine Giraud
Emilie Boisson – Domaine Du Pere Caboche
Laurence Feraud – Domaine Du Pegau
Alexandre Favier – Domaine Chante Cigale
Veronique Maret – Domaine De La Charbonniere
Nicolas Boiron – Domaine Bosquet Des Pape
Jean-Paul Versino – Domaine Bois De Boursan
Christian Voeux – Chateau La Nerthe
Thierry Sabon – Clos Du Mont-Olivet
Christophe Jaume – Domaine Grand Veneur
Sophie Armenier – Domaine De Marcoux
Mathieu Perrin – Chateau De Beaucastel
Laurent Charvin –Domaine Charvin
Baptiste Grangeon – Domaine De Christia
Isabelle Sabon – Domaine De La Janasse
Bruno Gaspard – Clos Du Caillou
Karine Diffonty – Cuvee Du Vatican
Didier Negron – Roger Sabon
Florent Lancon – Domaine De La Solitude
Frederic Coulon – Domaine De Beaurenard
Isabel Ferrando – Domaine Saint Prefert
Amelle Barrot – Chateau Jas De Bressy
Pierre Fabre – Chateau MontRedon
Vincent Maurel – Clos Saint Jean
Thierry Usseglio – Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Patrick Vernier – Chateau Cabrieres
Pierre Pastre – Chateau Fortia
Laurent Brotte – Brotte
Andre Brunel – Les Cailloux
Frederic Brunier – Domaine Du Vieux Telegraph
Guillaume Gonnet – Font De Michelle

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Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker #1

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Welcome to our video podcast: Châteauneuf du Pape – Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #83.

On a recent trip to the Chateauneuf-Du-Pape, Robert Kenney was able to ask winemakers one of our burning questions: “If you weren’t making wine, what would you be doing?” – Film editing by Robert Farinhas.

Join us as we hear some philosophical, practical, and whimsical thoughts from some of world’s great winemakers about what they might do if they had never gotten into wine. Interviews include:

Julien Barrot – Domaine La Barroche
Vincent Durieu – Domaine Durieu
Francois Giraud – Domaine Giraud
Emilie Boisson – Domaine Du Pere Caboche
Laurence Feraud – Domaine Du Pegau
Alexandre Favier – Domaine Chante Cigale
Veronique Maret – Domaine De La Charbonniere
Nicolas Boiron – Domaine Bosquet Des Pape
Jean-Paul Versino – Domaine Bois De Boursan
Christian Voeux – Chateau La Nerthe
Thierry Sabon – Clos Du Mont-Olivet
Christophe Jaume – Domaine Grand Veneur
Sophie Armenier – Domaine De Marcoux
Mathieu Perrin – Chateau De Beaucastel
Laurent Charvin –Domaine Charvin
Baptiste Grangeon – Domaine De Christia
Isabelle Sabon – Domaine De La Janasse
Bruno Gaspard – Clos Du Caillou
Karine Diffonty – Cuvee Du Vatican
Didier Negron – Roger Sabon
Florent Lancon – Domaine De La Solitude
Frederic Coulon – Domaine De Beaurenard
Isabel Ferrando – Domaine Saint Prefert
Amelle Barrot – Chateau Jas De Bressy
Pierre Fabre – Chateau MontRedon
Vincent Maurel – Clos Saint Jean
Thierry Usseglio – Domaine Pierre Usseglio & Fils
Patrick Vernier – Chateau Cabrieres
Pierre Pastre – Chateau Fortia
Laurent Brotte – Brotte
Andre Brunel – Les Cailloux
Frederic Brunier – Domaine Du Vieux Telegraph
Guillaume Gonnet – Font De Michelle

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Randall Grahm on Bonny Doon

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Named after a logging camp in the idyllic region of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, Bonny Doon Vineyard began as one man’s attempt to wade into wine with both feet and hands. As with many of us, Randall Grahm’s journey began innocently enough. Mix in a little Beverly Hills upbringing, a UC Santa Cruz education in philosophy and literature – and viola, you have a man convinced that if you can conceive growing the great American Pinot Noir, you can do it! Well, long story short, Pinot did in fact turn out to validate its title as ‘the heartbreak grape,’ and Randall, the ever cockeyed optimist that he is, decided to tackle something more…uh…. normal. Thus, running counter to established norms of the day, Randall decided to vest his future with Rhône varieties. Now, since this was 1983, it is fair to say that he was on the bleeding edge of things vinous.

As most listeners know, the names Bonny Doon and Randall Grahm easily became synonymous, along with Le Cigare Volant and Rhône Ranger. And so a movement was born, baptized and confirmed – all within a relatively short space of time. End of story? Not hardly. It’s a much longer (and stranger) journey than that.

Join us as we talk with Randall Grahm about the trials, tribulations and mentors of his life-consuming passion. We’ll even discuss biodynamics, screw caps, and his efforts to rein-in uncontrolled hedonism – all in an effort to return wine to the people.

For more information on Bonny Doon Vineyard: www.bonnydoonvineyard.com

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

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Show #267
(56:07 min 48MB)

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)

Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Ask the Wine Maker

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Welcome to our video podcast: Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Ask the Wine Maker – Video Show #82.

The HdR is a two-day event featuring wine seminars, library and Grand tastings, and a unique opportunity to meet and talk with people who are at the forefront of the increasingly popular Rhône varietal movement throughout the world. From its modest beginnings as The Viognier Guild, vintners Mat Garretson and John Alban debuted the event in 1993, envisioning it as a quasi-conference for winemakers and vintners who were passionate about wine varieties originating from the France’s Rhône Valley. Today, the 17th annual event is largely the work of local vintners John Alban and Vicki Carroll, who have invited international winemakers and producers to come and celebrate Rhône wines with other enthusiasts.

For our coverage of the 2009 Hospice du Rhône, we bring you the sights, sounds (and smells) of the event. Plus, came up with more of our burning questions to ask winemakers and producers. No debate, no discussion (okay, maybe a little) – we just wanted to know what they thought about several issues, such as: Has technology helped you make better wines? What the heck is going on with American Syrah? Do good scores from wine critics help you sell wine? And finally, If you could put a cute critter on your label, what would it be?

Sponsor: Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org

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Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Syrah Shootout

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Welcome to our video podcast: Hospice du Rhone – 2009 Syrah Shootout – Video Show #81.

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Prior to the main HdR events of Friday and Saturday, the winemakers and producers conduct a Syrah Shootout, a blind tasting of 45-50 wines to determine by vote the best three Syrahs in the lineup. The prize? How about: bragging rights until next year’s event, plus a pseudo-trophy of a small wooden barrel and plaque, and finally an ever-so-gauche plaid sportcoat – suitably named “the Coat du Rhône.”
Submitted wines (Syrahs/Shiraz), are all bagged and numbered. Winemakers and producers are asked to taste through the wines, pick their top three and turn in their scoring to HdR personnel. This can be an interesting proposition, and the winners are quite often a big surprise to everyone. This year’s winners were: 1st – Four Vines, Santa Barbara County; 2nd- Caliza – Russell, Vnyd, Paso Robles; and 3rd -Graves – Ohana Vnyd, Paso Robles.

Sponsor: Hospice du Rhone: www.hospicedurhone.org

A Woman’s Touch: A Conversation with Theresa Heredia of Freestone Vineyards

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The California Pinot Noirs that tend to draw the attention of the critics and enthusiasts are ones that are single vineyard bottlings that stick their chest out and claim to be terroir-driven. In truth, the wines are often highly extracted, high in alcohol, generously oaked, and darkly colored, so loud and powerful that terroir is lost in all of the pumped-up glamor. Really good Pinot Noir should not only taste like Pinot Noir, it should have refinement, breeding, subtlety, and suaveness, but above all else, it should show a sense of place by exhibiting terroir. Winemaker Theresa Heredia of Freestone Vineyards is a proponent of terroir, and she is dedicated to bringing out the regional typicity of the Freestone estate vineyards located in the extreme Sonoma Coast.

Despite the importance of the place where a wine is made, the ambition and talent of the person who made it is highly relevant to how that wine tastes. We all like to know about the personal idiosyncrasies and a winemaker’s take on the world. Those are the things that make wine different and special. Join us in a conversation with Theresa Heredia as the Grape Radio crew learns about her ambition and character and why her touch is guiding Freestone Vineyards to produce some of the most stunning terroir-driven Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays in California.

For more info on Freestone Vineyards: www.freestonevineyards.com

Sponsor: 2010 World of Pinot Noir: www.worldofpinotnoir.com

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Show #261
(59:35min 42MB)

Bitten by the Wine Bug

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Shane Finley had been bitten by the wine bug. So, in 2001 he decided to ditch the New York corporate insurance world and try his hand at something different – making wine. After contacting Wells Guthrie at Copain to ask about an opportunity to intern, Shane packed his worldly belongings and headed for California. The mentorship there would lead Shane to work a harvest in Australia, and travel to France to work with Pierre Gaillard in the Northern Rhône. After returning to California, Shane became cellarmaster at Copain, then assistant winemaker at Paul Hobbs, before finally taking his current position in 2006 at Kosta Browne.

As the associate winemaker at Kosta Browne winery, Shane works very closely with Michael Browne making world class Pinot Noir. It would seem, at this point, that he had possibly achieved most of his ambitions in the world of wine. Well, not entirely. It had been a great journey so far, but Shane wanted to begin a personal wine project – a label of his own. Of all the grapes he had worked with thus far, Syrah seemed to speak to him the most. Thus was born Shane Wine Cellars – his family project devoted to producing Syrah. In addition, Shane is making Pinot Noir under the Spell label, as a friends and family venture.

Join us as we talk with Shane about his philosophy and approach to winemaking – as well as his love for both Pinot Noir and Syrah.

For more info on Shane Cellars: www.shanewines.com

Sponsor: Wine Beserker: www.wineberserkers.com

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Show #259
(55:59min 40MB)


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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.