Tag Archive for 'wine-maker'

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)

The Wines of Murcia – Part 2

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Welcome to our video podcast: The Wines of Murcia – Part 2 – Video Show #80.

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We are back with more coverage of Murcia, Spain with our – The Wines of Murcia – Part 2 (The GrapeRadio Cut)

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

The Wines of Murcia – Part 1

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Welcome to our video podcast: The Wines of Murcia – Part 1 – Video Show #79.

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We are back with more coverage of Murcia, Spain with our – The Wines of Murcia – Part 1 (The GrapeRadio Cut)

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

Murcia: Soul of a Land

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Welcome to our video podcast: Murcia: Soul of a Land – Video Show #78.

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The Murcia region of Spain attracts millions of tourists every year, mostly for its pristine beaches bathed by the warm Mediterranean climate. But, Murcia is also rightly known for its cuisine – and soon, its wine.

Located in Southeastern Spain, the history of the region alone could account for its gastronomy. The original Iberian tribes formed commercial relationships with the Phoenicians and Greeks, then the region became a Carthaginian colony taken over by the Moors. All of these various influences created a culinary perfusion of stews, salads, and baked meat and rice dishes. Finally, there was the obvious connection to the Mediterranean – which spawned a host of seafood delicacies. However, what would be a Spanish meal without a good wine to accompany it.

Thus far, the wines from Murcia have not been very well-known to the public, yet they are well worth discovering. Murcia is the home of the Monastrell grape variety, also known as Mourvèdre in France and Mataro in Australia. Believed to have been introduced to the Iberian peninsula by the Phoenicians, Monastrell does quite well in the hot arid region, producing a rich and powerful wine. Bodegas dot the wine routes between Bullas, Jumilla and Yecla, and offer plenty of opportunity to the visitor to experience the best the region has to offer.

GrapeRadio is proud to present a brief look at the cuisine, the people, and the wines of Murcia, Spain. Join us for a close-up of this beautiful region, rich in history, respectful of the past, and looking to the future.

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

2009 Hospice du Rhone – Sommeliers Gone Wild

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Each year, Hospice du Rhône produces an exciting three-day wine event held in Paso Robles, California. Regarded as the single most educational and enjoyable gathering of international Rhône wine producers and enthusiasts, attendees are treated to four in-depth wine seminars, two large-scale wine tastings, in addition to some great meals. But, arguably the most valuable aspect of this fabulous event is the opportunity for attendees to rub elbows with the very producers and winemakers whose enthusiasm for Syrah, Grenache and twenty other varieties of Rhône Valley grapes has inspired the passion in all of us.

We begin our coverage of the 2009 HdR with Seminar #1 – Somms Gone Wild. Moderator John Alban takes us through the very unique experiences of five former Sommeliers (aka, somms) as they took their love for one step further, becoming winemakers themselves. Listen in as we hear from: Richard Betts, of Betts & Scholl, Cris Cherry, of Villa Creek Cellars, John Lancaster and Robert Perkins of Skylark Wine Company, and Paul Lato, of Paul Lato Wines.

For More Info:

2010 Hospice du Rhone : www.hospicedurhone.org

Sponsor: California Wine Club: www.cawineclub.com

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Show #255
(55:52min 40MB)

Food and Wine with Michael Chiarello

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With a resume that reads like road map to success, it is absolutely no wonder that award winning chef Michael Chiarello has accomplished so much in the world of food and wine in such a relatively short period of time.

Born and raised in California, Michael has known what he wanted to do since early childhood, and has pursued it with both drive and passion. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1982, Michael then attended hotel school in Florida and immediately began his professional career by opening Toby’s restaurant in Miami to much acclaim.

Michael was named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine magazine in 1985. The following year he was lured back to California to open Tra Vigne restaurant in Napa Valley, where he focused on Italian-influenced wine country cooking and entertaining. He stayed as Executive Chef/partner until 2000, when he left to create NapaStyle and Chiarello Family Vineyards, as well as host several food shows on television. In 2008, Michael donned his chef jacket once more to open his Bottega Napa Valley restaurant in Yountville – again to much acclaim.

Join us as we talk with noted chef, TV host, author, and vintner Michael Chiarello about his passion for food and wine, and his unending desire to create the perfect food and wine marriage.

For More Info:

Michael Chiarello : www.michaelchiarello.com
Napa Style : www.napastyle.com

Sponsor: California Wine Club: www.cawineclub.com

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Show #254
(53:34min 38MB)

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The Wines of Kumeu River

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Kumeu River Wines was established in 1944 when Mick and Katé Brajkovich and their son Maté first came to the small country settlement of Kumeu, about 20 km northwest of Auckland City, New Zealand. When Mick died in 1949, Maté and Katé continued to tend the vines and make the wine. In 1958 Maté married Melba Sutich from Dargaville, whose antecedents also came from the Dalmatian coast. Maté passed away in 1992, and now Melba the couple’s three sons run the family winery and vineyards. Michael Brajkovich, studied Oenology at Roseworthy College in South Australia,then returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu to take up responsibility for wine production. Since then he has travelled extensively through the world’s wine areas, spending the 1983 vintage in France with the reputed house of Jean Pierre Moueix in Libourne, near Bordeaux. In 1989, Michael passed the Examination and became New Zealand’s first member of the prestigious Institute of Masters of Wine, London. He has many years experience in judging at the New Zealand National Wine Awards, and also has judged at the Australian National Capital Wine Show in Canberra, the Royal Hobart Wine Show in Tasmania and at the Perth Royal Wine Show.

Based on this experience, a new range of wines was developed under the “Kumeu River” label, including a Sauvignon/Semillon blend and a Merlot Cabernet. However, it is the Chardonnay that has enjoyed the greatest critical acclaim, and the “Wine Spectator” magazine has placed Kumeu River Chardonnay in its annual list of the top 100 wines on five occasions. In 1996, the Kumeu River Chardonnay 1994 was ranked at Number 6.

Join us as we talk with Michael Brajkovich about his family’s history in the region, the terroir of New Zealand, his use of indigenous yeasts, and what it took to become a Master of Wine.

For More Info on the Wines of Kumeu River: www.kumeuriver.co.nz

Sponsor: Karafe, Wine Board Game: www.karafe.com

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Show #252
(56:46 min 40MB)

The Napa Road Show – Part 1

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It’s always a pleasure to visit Northern California’s Wine Country. There’s so much to see and do – as well as taste and smell. With this in mind, we were quite pleased to accompany a small group recently, and head up to Napa and Sonoma to visit to with some familiar wineries; plus, we were able to make some new friends along the way.

Join us as we visit with Mary Rocca and Eric Grigsby of Rocca Family Winery, as well as their winemaker, Paul Colantuoni. We’ll also visit with John Komes and Sean Garvey to see what’s happening at Flora Springs, and then talk with Todd Graff from Frank Family Winery.

Sponsor: GrapeNutz, Wine Site: www.grape-nutz.com

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Part 1

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Show #250 A
(51:13 min 35MB)

The Napa Road Show – Part 2

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In part 2, we sit down with Randy Lynch and Rob Hunter to hear more about Bennett lane Winery in the Calistoga area of Napa Valley. Then, we’ll head west up over the Mayacamas Mountains to Sonoma County and visit with winemaker George Bursick at J Vineyards and Winery. And finally, we talk with Kimberly Pfendler and her winemaker Greg Bjornstad about bringing their efforts to fruition at Pfendler Vineyard in the famed Petaluma Gap.

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Part 2

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Show #250 B
(49:35 min 36MB)

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

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)

The King of Zin

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After years of making wine out of their family home, Kent and Kathy Rosenblum took their love of winemaking to the next level and founded Rosenblum Cellars in 1978. In partnership with several close friends, and with Kathy acting as his assistant winemaker and helping with the crush, Kent made Rosenblum Cellars’ first vineyard designated zinfandel. Inspired by their early winemaking success, Kent began to focus on crafting vineyard designated wines using grapes farmed from mountainside, head-pruned, old vines. He would search Sonoma and Napa, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles and beyond, just to find the best vineyards and growers in California.

In 1987, Rosenblum moved his commercial operation from its location next to The Dead End Bar in Oakland, to a facility next to the Oakland-Alameda Ferry building on the island of Alameda, and the rest of the journey became history. Along the way, Rosenblum Cellars became one of the original “three R’s of Zin” (along with Ridge and Ravenswood), and the practicing veterinarian even managed to pick up a new nickname instead of Doc, becoming “The King of Zin”. Long hard work eventually paid off, and the Rosenblums were able to sell their winery to Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines for a reported $105 million in 2008.

Join us as we talk with Kent about his humble beginnings, his love for wine, and the dozens of vineyard designates to come out of his prolific winery. You may even want to open a Zin or Petite…we did.

For More Info: www.rosenblumcellars.com

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

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Show #237
(1:05:09 min 66MB)

Black Ankle Vineyards – Maryland

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Welcome to our video podcast Black Ankle Vineyards- Video Show #61.

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One of the promising discoveries during our 2007 trip to visit some Mid-Atlantic wineries was Black Ankle Vineyards. Founders Ed Boyce and Sarah O’Herron decided to look for an alternative careers to Management Consulting, and their fascination with wine, winemaking and viticulture led them in 2001 to actually consider the process of owning and operating their own vineyard and winery. But where?

After years of research, the pair decided they could make excellent wine in Maryland. After nearly a year of searching, they found a beautiful 146-acre farm in Frederick County, with 40 acres well suited to grape vines. The farm has all of the things they were looking for: relative altitude, well-drained and low vigor soil, and a mix of different eco-systems. They purchased the property in May of 2002.

Beginning in April of 2003, Ed and Sarah planted a mix of red and white grapes, choosing some of their favorite varieties, but also ones known for high quality wine and thought to be most suitable for the Mid-Atlantic climate. Varieties inclluded: Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. Later they added a small parcel of Pinot Noir, and some Grüner Veltliner, Albariño, Viognier, and the ubiquitous Chardonnay.

They also made a decision to farm with the principles of Biodynamics, the original Organic farming movement which was founded by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner in the 1920′s. Biodynamics involves working as much as possible by the rhythms of the moon, planets and seasons, with a strong emphasis on biodiversity, and a goal of self-sufficiency. Although they continue to experiment with new pest management ideas, they are not yet able to farm 100% organically, though they are optimistic that they will get there before too long.

Join us as we talk with Ed Boyce about the trials, tribulations and successes of East Coast vineyard management and winemaking.

For More Info on Black Ankle Vineyards: www.blackankle.com/

The sponsor of this video is CrushPad: www.crushpadwine.com

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)

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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.