A former sommelier interviews incredibly famous and knowledgeable wine personalities in his tiny apartment. He gets them to talk candidly about their lives and work, and then shares the conversations with you. Erin Scala contributes amazing original segments. Crush Wine & Spirits is the retail partn…
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Dominik Sona is the General Manager of the Koehler-Ruprecht winery, which is located in the Pfalz region of Germany.Dominik speaks about his family history in the Pfalz and his winemaking work early in his career for a winery, Villa Wolf, in that area of Germany. He also discusses the situation for the Koehler-Ruprecht winery in 2010, when he began to work at that winery. He references the history of the Koehler-Ruprecht winery, and notes that the previous proprietor, Bernd Philippi, was a pioneer in the production of dry Riesling wines from the Pfalz.Dominik speaks about the winemaking protocol for wines at Koehler-Ruprecht, and contrasts that with the winemaking at Villa Wolf. He also gives details about the handling of grapes in the winery, and the explains how the wines are aged at Koehler-Ruprecht prior to bottling. He discusses the exit of the winery from the VDP organization of German wineries in 2014, and touches on what led to the decision to leave the VDP. He also stresses what is important for the philosophy of winemaking at Koehler-Ruprecht: a focus on dry Riesling, fermented with native yeasts, aged in old wood barrels for a long period on the lees, and given a limited dose of sulphur.Dominik refers to method of selection at Koehler-Ruprecht, and notes that choices regarding bottlings, such as determining which lots go into Kabinett Trocken versus Spatlese or Auslese Trocken, are decisions made on tasting the wines, not on analytical numbers or areas of the vineyard. He explains what he is looking for on the palate when he makes those choices, and also describes the aromatics and food pairing potential of those wines. He also speaks about the ageability of the wines, and how they might evolve in bottle. And he gives some insight into the R and RR wines, the rare wines that Koehler-Ruprecht makes in certain years. In relation to these topics, Dominik also discusses climate change, and the likelihood that the vintages in these days tend towards more ripeness than the vintages in the past.The Saumagen is the most famous vineyard owned by Koehler-Ruprecht, and where the most prestigious wines of the winery emerge from. Dominik discusses the characteristics of that vineyard, including the exposure, the microclimate, and the presence of limestone there. He also discusses what wines from the Saumagen display that other wines of the winery might not. And he makes the connection between the flavors of the Saumagen Riesling wines and what foods they may pair well with.Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is also discussed, in addition to Riesling. Dominik discusses the evolution of Spätburgunder winemaking in the Pfalz, and talks about what has changed and why. He also notes the move to new types of vine material for Spätburgunder, and talks about what the ramifications of that change may be.This interview represents an excellent opportunity to learn about the specifics of winemaking at a winery that follows its own path, and about which there is somewhat little information generally available. At the same time, the episode provides a large amount of context for understanding some of the changes in German winemaking in general.This episode also features commentary from:Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter LauerJohannes Selbach, Weingut Selbach-OsterEgon Müller IV, Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof and Château BelaKatharina Prüm, Weingut Joh. Jos. PrümKlaus-Peter Keller, Weingut Keller
George Skouras is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Skouras, located in the Peloponnese of Greece.
Robert Vifian is the chef and co-owner of Tan Dinh Restaurant, located in Paris, France.Robert was born in Vietnam in 1948, and lived in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) as a child, experiencing the effects of the Tet Offensive firsthand. He and his family are French, and he moved to Paris, eventually joining his parents there. Robert's mother founded Tan Dinh Restaurant in 1968, and later Robert joined her in the kitchen there. Robert then took over as Chef of that restaurant in 1978. As the 1970s moved in the 1980s, the restaurant became popular with artists, actors, and other cultural types, and became both a chic spot to dine and a destination for wine aficionados.Robert became interested in both cuisine and wine, and was soon searching out rare bottles, organizing private tastings, teaching in a wine school, and visiting cellars in Burgundy and Bordeaux. He visited producers such as Domaine Coche-Dury each year for many years, and developed a lot of familiarity with the wines of Domaine Comtes Lafon, Domaine Georges Roumier, and Domaine Hubert Lignier, tasting every vintage of each for several decades. He shares his reflections and thoughts about this producers in the interview. He also discusses Henri Jayer and Anne-Claude Leflaive, and their wines.Robert also developed a lot of familiarity with Right Bank Bordeaux, specifically Pomerol. And Robert had close friendships with oenologists like Jean-Claude Berrouet and Michel Rolland, as well as wine critics like Robert Parker, Jr., and those friendships lended support to his experiences of Bordeaux. He recalls those relationships in the interview, and shares his views on each person. He also discusses aspects of what he learned about Pomerol over the years.Robert had a friendship and a working relationship with the late Steven Spurrier during the time that Spurrier lived in Paris. Robert recalls the friendship and his different experiences with Spurrier in this interview. He also discusses the California wines that he learned about as a result of his acquaintance with Spurrier, dating back to The Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976.This interview follows the Paris wine scene from the 1970s until the present, and encompasses thoughts on both benchmark wine regions of France and key producers from those places, across the same decades.This episode also features commentary from:Steven Spurrier, formerly a Consulting Editor for "Decanter" Magazine.Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co.Christian Moueix, Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix
Erin Scala explores the long history and many recent changes in the area around Lake Garda and the Bardolino wine zone, in the northeastern Italy.Erin speaks with a number of different winemakers and journalists to clarify the situation around the evolution of winemaking in the Bardolino zone back to pre-Roman times, and more recently. She addresses the shift in recent years towards rosé production in the area and why this has occurred, as well as the nuances of what is available from different wineries today. If you have not kept up with the rapid changes in the Bardolino zone in recent years, this episode is a complete and crucial overview of the situation on the ground.This episode features commentary from:Gabriele Rausse, Gabrielle Rausse WineryLuca Valetti, Cantina ValettiRoberta Bricolo, GorgoFrancesco Piona, CavalchinaMarco Ruffato, Le GinestraMatilde Poggi, Le FragheDaniele Domenico Delaini, Villa CalicantusAndreas Berger, Weingut ThurnhofFabio Zenato, Le MoretteFranco Christoforetti, Villa BellaGiulio Cosentino, Albino PionaAngelo Peretti, author of the book "Vini e Spumanti: I Migliori d'Italia"Katherine Cole, journalist and author of the book "Rosé All Day: The Essential Guide to Your New Favorite Wine"Special Thanks To:Irene Graziotto
Françoise Vannier is a geologist who has studied and mapped the vineyards of Burgundy for multiple decades. She is based in France.Françoise discusses how she began her study of the vineyards of the Côte d'Or, and the surprising results that emerged from her research. She touches on both broad themes and specific, individual instances in her analysis of the rock types and rock weathering in the Côte. For example, she explains how the Côte de Nuits differs from the Côte de Beaune in broad terms, and then gives examples from specific vineyards and villages that illustrate those divergences. She emphasizes the importance of the both the parallel and vertical faults that exist in the Cote d'Or, and explains how the vertical faults are often where combes have developed, which are breaks in the slope (like valleys). Françoise highlights the importance of these combes to understanding the rock distribution of the Côte d'Or. This then plays into her contention that village names are not as helpful as one might think for understanding the vineyards of the area, as it is the combes that are the actual markers of where the rock distribution changes in the Côte d'Or.Françoise also emphasizes the difficulty and complexity of the topic of Côte d'Or geology, enunciating a number of nuances to the different rock types, and how they weather. She also points out that multiple rock types may be found within a single vineyard, as faults do not fall only at the borders of vineyards. Furthermore, the rock types do not nicely match up with the hierarchy of perceived quality of the vineyards, as the same type of rock may be found under both a villages vineyard and a Grand Cru. These realizations prompted Françoise to examine the historical, cultural, or climatic reasons why certain vineyards are in more esteem than others today, and she shares in this interview her thoughts on those subjects.Françoise speaks about numerous areas of the Côte d'Or in some depth, including areas within the boundaries of Marsannay, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Pommard, and Meursault. She dispels common myths about the topic of Burgundy geology, and she gives examples of specific crus to illustrate many of her points. She also provides an examination of how human activity, in the form of quarries, house building, and clos (walled vineyard) construction has altered the Côte d'Or. Lastly, Françoise describes how the Côte d'Or differs from other areas of France which also feature calcium carbonate deposits, such as Champagne and St. Émilion.Anyone who wishes to understand Burgundy better will benefit from listening to this episode multiple times.This episode also features commentary from:Brenna Quigley, geologist and vineyard consultantChristophe Roumier, Domaine Georges Roumier
Lorenzo Accomasso is a vintner in the La Morra area of Italy's Piemonte region. He has been releasing wines under his eponymous label for several decades.This episode also features commentary from:Martina Barosio, formerly of ScarpaNicoletta Bocca, San FereoloBeppe Colla (translated by Federica Colla), the ex-owner of PrunottoLuca Currado, ViettiUmberto Fracassi Ratti Mentone, Umberto FracassiAngelo Gaja, GajaGaia Gaja, GajaMaria Teresa Mascarello, Cantina Bartolo MascarelloDanilo Nada, Nada FiorenzoGiacomo Oddero (translated by Isabella Oddero), Poderi OdderoFederico Scarzello, ScarzelloAldo Vaira (translated by Giuseppe Vaira), G.D. VajraAldo Vacca, Produttori del BarbarescoMichael Garner, co-author of Barolo: Tar and RosesVictor Hazan, author of Italian Wine
Zorik Gharibian is the founder of the Zorah winery, in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia. Zorik discusses the long history of wine production in Armenia, referencing evidence that wine was made in Armenia in the Copper Age (about 6,000 years ago). He talks about the grape remnants and clay storage jars that have been found from that time. And he discusses other wine related finds in Armenia, in both the pre-Christian era and later. Zorik then explains why a hundred year gap occured in the dry wine production of Armenia, and he talks about the situation for wine as he found it in Armenia in the late 1990s. Zorik explains his rationale for beginning his own winery in Armenia, and talks about the different winemaking regions of Armenia. He gives special emphasis to the area that he chose to base his production in, Vayots Dzor. He talks about the native grape family of that region, which is known as Areni, and his experiences with planting a new Areni vineyard. That is contrasted with his comments about a much older vineyard of Areni, which he also works with. Both vineyards are own-rooted, as phylloxera is not present in the region. Zorik also talks about the amphora clay containers that housed wine in Armenia in ancient times, and which he uses today as well. He gives his explanation for why he chose to mature his Areni wine in amphora - known as Karas in Armenia - as opposed to wooden barriques. And he relates details about his search to find amphora that were already existing in Armenia and which he could use, as well as to develop production of new amphora there today. He further gives a summary of the drinking habits of his surrounding region in Armenia, and an outlook on what it is like working in Armenia today. This episode also features commentary from: Katherine Moore, Union Square Wines Lee Campbell, Early Mountain Vineyards Conrad Reddick, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa This episode is sponsored by: The New York Wine and Grape Foundation: a resource for amazing tastings and authoritative online webinars featuring wines from New York State. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market.
Kevin Zraly is the author of "Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course". He is also the co-author (with Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen) of the book "Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties and Styles". Kevin was for decades the Cellar Master of Windows on the World restaurant, located on the top floors of the North Tower of New York City's original World Trade Center. Kevin describes his entry into the world of restaurants as a college student, and how a series of seemingly chance events led him to study and teach about wine. He recalls trips to California, France, Italy, and Spain to visit wineries, and some of the standout moments in those adventures. Then Kevin talks about his short lived career as a wholesale wine salesman in New York City, and explains how that quickly developed into a job opportunity as the Cellar Master at the brand new Windows on the World restaurant in the late 1970s. His role at Windows brought him into contact with legendary restauranteur Joe Baum, whom Kevin talks about at length. Kevin talks about the philosophy behind the wine program at Windows on the World - from the selection to the pricing to the service style - and recalls a key trip to Bordeaux to source wines there with Alexis Lichine. He also explains how working at Windows led to his book deal, and to more and more teaching opportunities. Kevin became famous as a teacher and speaker about wine, and in this interview he discusses how he approaches speaking to a group about wine. He also recalls the origins of the New York Wine Experience, which he founded. The interview with Kevin goes from highs to lows, as Windows on the World is closed by a bombing in 1993, and then totally destroyed as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Kevin shares the pain he has felt as a result, and gives his rationale for why he might have survived while his co-workers perished. He also talks about how he has coped with the aftermath of those terrible events on a personal level, and some of the challenges that he has faced as a parent. This episode also features commentary from: Martin Sinkoff, Martin Sinkoff Associates This episode is sponsored by: The NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting of New York State wines on September 22nd at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time.
Christopher Howell is the winemaker and General Manager of the Cain Vineyard and Winery in the Napa Valley of California. Christopher discusses his early wine tastings and home winemaking in the 1970s, and talks about some key relationships that helped form his interest in wine. He explains how he ended up pursuing an oenological and viticultural education in Montpellier, France, highlighting some notable people that he studied with, and how that school work then led to a stagiaire position at Château Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux. Christopher talks about a chance meeting that he had while working at Mouton, and something that was said to him that has stayed with him for the rest of his life. He also discusses other adventures in other wine cellars in France, notably at Château Rayas in the Rhône Valley. Christopher discusses his return to the United States, and a pivotal meeting with Helen Turley that then led to a job at Peter Michael in the late 1980s. He talks about characteristics of Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer that would contribute to their success in the wine world, and Christopher is frank about what he learned from them both. He further explains how the transition to working at the Cain Vineyard and Winery came about, where he has now been employed for the last thirty years. Christopher is open about his sometimes unconventional winemaking choices, and explains the thought processes behind some idiosyncratic decision making, as well. In particular concerning brettanomyces, reduction, and volatile acidity. He also discusses the evolution of the different wine offerings at Cain, and what he has learned from that progression. He shares a great deal of his philosophy on topics like farming, vineyard trellising, terroir expression, grape variety blending, and wine complexity. He also is frank in his discussion about what his career choices have really entailed. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Cathy Corison, Corison Winery Kelli White, author of "Napa Valley Then and Now" Ehren Jordan, Failla John Lockwood, Enfield Wine Co. Bernard Portet, founding winemaker at Clos Du Val This episode is sponsored by: The NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting of New York State wines on September 22nd at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time.
Jason Lett is the co-owner of The Eyrie Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Jason discusses how his father, David Lett, helped transform the Willamette Valley into a growing region for Pinot Noir, acheiving worldwide acclaim for his efforts. Jason, who was born shortly after his father arrived in Oregon, retraces in this conversation the path that led his father there. He also talks about the character of his father, what he was trying to accomplish and why. Jason is clear about the state of winery, the wines, and his relationship with his father at the time of the transition to his own leadership at The Eyrie Vineyards. Jason explains realizations he has made working with other grape varieties besides Pinot Noir in Oregon, such as Chasselas and Trousseau. He also talks about how the farming at the family properties has changed since his father's day. And he discusses how his approach to certain wines is different from his father's practice. Jason is open about how trips to Burgundy and interactions with Burgundians have affected him and his work. He specifically talks about people like Gérard Potel, André Mussy, the Drouhin family, Michel Lafarge, Patrick Bize, and Romain Lignier. Some of Jason's comments about these people are further fleshed out in this episode by additional commentary spliced in from other interviews in the I'll Drink to That! archive. Climate change is also discussed in this episode, as Jason addresses how this reality might be approached in the vineyard. And he talks about how the region that his father made famous for Pinot Noir has itself changed over the decades since. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Mimi Casteel, Hope Well Wine Jacques Seysses, Domaine Dujac Dominique Lafon, Domaine Comtes Lafon Michel Lafarge, Domaine Michel Lafarge Christophe Roumier, Domaine Georges Roumier Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. Russell Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. This episode is sponsored by: The NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting of New York State wines on September 22nd at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. Expedition Blue Ridge. A walk-around tasting of Virginia wines on March 24th at Corkbuzz Union Square in Manhattan. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Melio, a free intuitive payment platform that enables wine shops/bars and restaurants to centralize, schedule, and pay all their bills—using bank transfers, debit or credit cards—in just a few clicks. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time.
Mary Ewing-Mulligan is the President of International Wine Center, located in New York City, and a co-author of the "Wine For Dummies" books. Mary discusses her introduction to working with wine, employed by an Italian government agency responsible for promoting Italian wine. She explains the situation for Italian wines in the United States at the time, the 1970s, and how the Italian wines in the market went about competing with wines from other countries. She also contrasts that situation for Italian wine to the situation for Italian wine in the United States today, and points out what has changed. Mary then talks about her own experiences traveling to Italy, and her friendship with the Currado family of the Vietti winery in Italy's Piemonte. Mary goes on to explain a key decision in her own wine career, leaving a high paying job in public relations to take a more modestly paid position at a wine school. She talks about her struggles to pass the Master of Wine exam, and her eventual triumph as the first woman residing in North America to earn a Master of Wine title. She then discusses her introduction of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust curriculum to the United States. Mary's career takes another turn as she and her husband Ed McCarthy write the very successful "Wine For Dummies" book that led to a number of other wine books in the "Dummies" series being authored by the couple as well. She talks about how she and Ed went about writing the "Dummies" books, in terms of approach. And Mary grapples in this interview with being on the one hand the author of "Wine For Dummies," while on the other hand also being a Master of Wine. She explains how she feels about the pairing, and what her motivations were at each point in her career. This episode is sponsored by: The NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting of New York State wines on September 22nd at the Rainbow Room in Manhattan. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Melio, a free intuitive payment platform that enables wine shops/bars and restaurants to centralize, schedule, and pay all their bills—using bank transfers, debit or credit cards—in just a few clicks. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time. Expedition Blue Ridge. A walk-around tasting of Virginia wines on March 24th at Corkbuzz Union Square in Manhattan.
Christophe Roumier and his family run Domaine Georges Roumier, located in the Burgundy village of Chambolle-Musigny in France. Christophe discusses the arrival of his grandfather in Chambolle-Musigny, and the beginning of the Roumier family history with wine. He talks about his family's work for the Comtes Georges de Vogüé domaine, also in Chambolle-Musigny, and then explains the timeline for estate wines at Domaine Georges Roumier. Christophe further discusses the Roumier and Ponnelle family connections (Christophe's mother was a Ponnelle), and the role that Christophe's father took on at Pierre Ponnelle, as well as at Domaine Georges Roumier. Christophe also details his own route to studying oenology in the late 1970s, and then working at the family domaine beginning in the 1980s. The vineyard holdings of Domaine Georges Roumier are discussed in detail, covering the plots for Bourgogne Rouge and Chambolle-Musigny villages, as well as the Les Cras, Les Combottes, and Les Amoureuses 1er Crus in Chambolle-Musigny, Clos de la Bussière 1er Cru in Morey-Saint-Denis, and the Grand Crus of Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Bonnes-Mares, and Musigny. Christophe then discusses the Corton-Charlemagne parcel he works, the Clos Vougeot that he used to farm, and the Échezeaux parcel that he recently began working. Christophe addresses both the character of these vineyards, and character of the wines that they produce. Christophe talks about the farming practices at Domaine Georges Roumier, and addresses his move to organic farming methods in the 1980s. He specifically highlights why the move to organic has been important for his wine production. He also talks about topics like vine trellising, and the changing conditions in the Burgundy vineyards today. In terms of winemaking, Christophe discusses aspects like the stages of a fermentation, the role of reduction, the importance of temperature control to his work, lees contact, sulphur addition, and further, Christophe enunciates the ramifications of delaying the start of a malolactic conversion. This is a very rare chance to hear directly from Christophe Roumier as he talks about his approaches to his work, and recalls some of the key moments of his career. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Dominique Lafon, Domaine Comtes Lafon Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. Jacques Seysses, Domaine Dujac Jean-Pierre de Smet, founder of Domaine de l'Arlot Michel Lafarge, Domaine Michel Lafarge Benjamin Leroux, Benjamin Leroux Claude de Nicolay, Chandon de Briailles This episode is sponsored by: The New York Wine and Grape Foundation, offering beverage professionals a January visit to New York's Finger Lakes. Apply to join today. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Melio, a free intuitive payment platform that enables wine shops/bars and restaurants to centralize, schedule, and pay all their bills—using bank transfers, debit or credit cards—in just a few clicks. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time.
Giacomo Oddero and his family operate Poderi e Cantine Oddero, in the La Morra area of the Barolo appellation in Piemonte, Italy. Giacomo, who was born in the mid-1920s, remembers the difficulties encountered in the Barolo region in the aftermath of World War II, as well as the specific changes that helped set the Barolo area on a path to prosperity. He recalls the challenges posed by families leaving the area in lean times, and the cooperation that was necessary to make region wide changes in wine production standards. Giacomo specifically mentions the process of codifying the Barolo appellation rules, encouraging growers in the area to register their grape production, and the move to make less wine of a higher quality. He also discusses the family purchases of vineyards like Brunate, Rionda, and Rocche di Castiglione, and the differences he finds between single vineyard Barolo and a blended Barolo classico. Giacomo talks about why he chose to stay in the Piemonte during hard times, and the decisions that he and his brother Luigi undertook when the two worked together, when their winery was known as Fratelli Oddero. Giacomo also mentions several other prominent names in the Barolo region, such as Renato Ratti and Battista Rinaldi. Finally, he explains what a public initiative undertaken during his tenure as mayor ultimately entailed for the region. Those who want to understand the culture and history of the Piemonte region will find this interview to be a treasure trove of information. This episode is sponsored by: The New York Wine and Grape Foundation, offering beverage professionals the opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and Hudson Valley wine regions Melio, a free intuitive payment platform that enables wine shops/bars and restaurants to centralize, schedule, and pay all their bills—using bank transfers, debit or credit cards—in just a few clicks. DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Australian Wine Discovered. A comprehensive, free education program offering editable, downloadable content that you can access any time.
Rod Berglund and his family own Joseph Swan Vineyards in Sonoma County, California, where Rod is also the winemaker. Rod explains how he first became interested in wine, and what led him to found his own winery in the late 1970s. He also discusses how he met winemaker Joe Swan, who would eventually become his father-in-law. Rod conveys how Joe in many ways stood apart from his California winermaking contemporaries of the 1970s and 1980s, making choices influenced by the changes Joe had seen in Burgundy, France. Those included the use of French oak barrels, an increasing interest in whole cluster, and a focus on low yields from the vineyard. As Rod explains it, Joe's approach to winemaking was a simple one, but he also took seriously the goal of making great wines of limited production. This extended to Joe's approach to Zinfandel, which he made with an eye to high quality, rather than assuming the grape variety had to have a bulk wine destiny. Rod touches on some of the other people that influenced Joe's vision of wine, including André Tchelistcheff, Jacques Seysses, and Kermit Lynch. This episode also features a clip from IDTT episode 460, wherein Joel Peterson speaks about his experiences working with Joe Swan in the 1970s. As the interview progresses, Rod details the changes he has made at the winery and in the vineyard since Joe Swan passed away, explaining the logic of each adjustment. This conversation also touches on topics like the "Swan clone," extended maceration, whole cluster use, tannin management, malolactic conversion for Chardonnay, the specifics of growing grapes in the Russian River Valley, and the makeup of old Zinfandel vineyards. Those wanting to understand the transition of California winemaking practice from the 1960s to now will benefit tremendously from hearing this episode. This episode is sponsored by: The New York Wine and Grape Foundation, offering beverage professionals the opportunity to visit the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and Hudson Valley wine regions DIAM Bouchage manufactures technological cork closures for still wine, sparkling, spirits and beer. DIAM closures are guaranteed to provide clean, consistent and reliable permeability from bottle to bottle. G3 is the exclusive distributor of the North American market. Far From Ordinary Roadshow: Discover Australian wines that are far from ordinary at wine trade tastings from Sept 19 through Oct 3 in New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
Tomoko Kuriyama is a partner in Chanterêves, a micro-négociant based in Burgundy, which she runs with her husband Guillaume Bott. Tomoko spent over a decade working in wineries in Germany, then moved to Burgundy in France and started Chanterêves. She explains in this interview the differences between Germany and Burgundy in terms of the winemaking and vineyard work. She also discusses the outlook of the growers in each place, and how those differ. Tomoko worked with growers in Germany like Paul Fürst and Peter Jakob Kühn, and visited German growers like Helmut Dönnhoff and Gernot Kollmann. Then in 2005, she did a harvest at Domaine Simon Bize in Burgundy, which subsequently led her to move to Burgundy and start a micro-négociant there. When addressing topics like botrytis, the nature of a fermentation, brettanomyces, sulphur dose, lees contact, reduction, and tannin management, Tomoko compares and contrasts the approaches in Germany with those in Burgundy. By doing so, she explains both at a deep level. Tomoko also describes how winemaking in Germany and in Burgundy have evolved in the years that she has been making wine. For example, she describes the embrace of infusion instead of extraction in the red winemaking of Burgundy, and why it may be so common today. Those looking to better understand the character of German wine and Burgundy will find a lot of revelatory information in this interview. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Harvest Trips to the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley Far From Ordinary Roadshow: Discover Australian wines that are far from ordinary at wine trade tastings from Sept 19 through Oct 3 in New York, Miami, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco
Anthony Hanson wrote the book "Burgundy," which was originally published in 1982, and then subsequently revised by him for another edition published in 1995. He is today a consultant for Haynes Hanson & Clark, as well as The Fine Wine Experience in Hong Kong. Anthony describes his entry into Beaune (via bulldozer) in the 1960s, and his first tasting at the Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy. He discusses his growing awareness of domaine bottled Burgundy at the time, and how he found those domaine wines to differ from the négociant bottlings that were being shipped to England back then. Anthony talks about his tastings at various Burgundy domaines, with personalities like Hubert de Montille, Jacques d'Angerville, Aubert de Villaine, Jacques Seysses, and Becky Wasserman. He then explains why he began to write his book "Burgundy," which was first published in 1982. That book addressed topics such as clones, fertilizers, chaptalization, blending, the influence of Guy Accad, and the growing amount of domaines bottling their own wine for sale. Anthony subsequently revised that book for another edition published in 1995, and in this interview he explains what had changed in Burgundy between 1982 and 1995, described by him as a period of important changes in the region. In addition, Anthony addresses in this interview topics that emerged later for Burgundy, such as premox and a debate around climate change. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Harvest Trips to the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley
Jeff Kellogg is the co-founder of Kellogg Selections, a wine distributor in North Carolina. Jeff is a former sommelier, who previously appeared in I'll Drink to That! episode 230. Jeff discusses his decision to start a wine distribution business, and the financial and personal realities around launching such a business. He also describes a changing demographic in North Carolina, and what that means for the wine market of that state. Jeff weaves in several personal and professional insights from his earlier jobs in explaining what he is up to today, discussing the appeal of working in distribution for a former sommelier. Those who have never worked in wine distribution will likely learn a lot from what Jeff has to say, whether they work in wine professionally or not. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Harvest Trips to the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley
Jacques Seysses is the founder of Domaine Dujac, based in the Burgundy village of Morey-Saint-Denis in France. Jacques recounts how he became interested in wine, and what led him to purchase a domaine in Burgundy in the late 1960s. He describes working with Gérard Potel at Domaine de la Pousse d'Or, as well as some of his visits to other Burgundy vigneron, like Henri Gouges, Charles Rousseau, and Pierre Ramonet. Jacques talks about the Burgundy vintages of the 1960s and 1970s in this interview, and explains how the conditions in Burgundy have changed since that time, both in terms of the climate and the market for the wines. Jacques also shares his memories of some of the many people who have worked with him at Dujac over the years, including Lee Hudson, Jean-Pierre de Smet, Ted Lemon, Alain Graillot, James Halliday, and others. And Jacques talks about what he found when visiting California and the Northern Rhône Valley. There is also a discussion of how the current Dujac wines are approached and what Jacques considers the important decisions of his sons and daughter-in-law in running the domaine. Those curious about winemaking technique will find many specifics from Jacques in this interview, addressing topics like whole cluster use for Pinot Noir, cold maceration, wild yeasts, and more. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Harvest Trips to the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley
Mimi Casteel is the owner of the Hope Well Vineyard, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Her family owns the Bethel Heights Vineyard, also in Oregon. Mimi takes on issues like land use, agricultural practice, and vineyard work in this interview, stressing the importance of a connection with nature. She argues against reductionist approaches in the vineyard, and against a goal of species elimination. She also explains how she has worked to combat phylloxera through ecology. Mimi discusses her larger worldview when making several of these points, which is that complexity equates with security in the natural world. And she delivers a warning about the difficulties that already affect our world, and which she feels may be catastrophic in the future. Topics like oxidation, reduction, and minerality in wine are also discussed within this episode. Take the demographic survey. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Harvest Trips to the Finger Lakes, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley
David Ramey is the founder and co-owner of Ramey Wine Cellars and Sidebar Cellars, both based in Sonoma County, California. David shares his career path in California wineries from Simi, to Matanzas Creek, Chalk Hill, Dominus Estate, Rudd Estate, and starting wine labels of his own. While discussing those various work experiences, David also shares what he learned at each point, and how this would evolve into his winemaking approach today. He goes grape variety by variety, explaining key aspects he has learned about each. David also gives his thoughts on winemaking topics such as whole cluster, malolactic conversion, reduction, oxidation, tannin management, infusion vs. extraction, barrel aging, and more. This episode gives a clear picture of how California winemaking has changed over the decades, and breaks down some key winemaking concepts. Take the demographic survey. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Trip to the Finger Lakes Wine Region
Benjamin Leroux is the proprietor of the Benjamin Leroux winery located in the town of Beaune, in the Burgundy region of France. Benjamin explains how although his family was not in the wine business, he found himself working in a winery at a young age. He discusses his internships outside of Burgundy, at wineries in Oregon and Bordeaux, before talking about his start as the head winemaker at Comte Armand in the 1990s. Benjamin describes in detail the winemaking techniques he was using to make wine in Pommard during the nineties, and contrasts that with how he makes wine today and for the last several years at his own winery, also named Benjamin Leroux. He discusses what prompted him to make changes to his winemaking, and explains that every vintage must be approached as its own. Along the way, Benjamin addresses topics like hedging, organic farming, whole cluster, infusion vs. extration, and reduction. He also talks about some key vineyard areas of Burgundy, comparing and contrasting Vosne-Romanée with Gevrey-Chambertin, as well as Morey-Saint-Denis, and Chambolle-Musigny. Benjamin further talks about some appellations that he is particularly drawn to, like Blagny and Saint-Romain, as well as grape varieties like Aligoté. Take the demographic survey. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Trip to the Finger Lakes Wine Region
Joe Rochioli, Jr. owns the J. Rochioli Vineyards and Winery in California with his son Tom Rochioli and his family. Joe describes the events on the family farm in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County around the middle of the twentieth century, when there was a shift from growing various cash crops to growing more and more wine grapes. He discusses his decision to pursue more plantings of grape varieties like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir on his acreage. And Joe talks about what he discovered when working with those grape varieties in the various areas of his vineyards. He also explains how the market for the grapes evolved over time. In particular, Joe describes his relationships with Davis Bynum, Williams Selyem, and Gary Farrell. Take the demographic survey. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Trip to the Finger Lakes Wine Region Vknow Wine App Oregon Wine Trail Tasting
Ken Wright is the founder and winemaker of Ken Wright Cellars, based in Carlton, Oregon. Ken discusses his work with Dick Graff in the 1970s, and then explains why he decided to move from California to Oregon in the 1980s to pursue winemaking in Oregon. He gives a thorough explanation of the different rock types found in state, and the attributes that different sites bring to a resulting wine. He also goes into depth in explaining his own winemaking evolution, from working at Panther Creek, to starting Ken Wright Cellars in 1994. Along the way, Ken makes several connections between the winemaking and the farming, and explains how one is often the result of the other. In particular, he talks quite a bit about the phenomenon of reduction in a wine, something he tries to prevent. Ken further describes several key vintages for Oregon Pinot Noir, discussing the attributes of those years and their impact on his own thinking. Take the demographic survey. This episode is sponsored by: Vknow Wine App NY Drinks NY Trip to the Finger Lakes Wine Region Oregon Wine Trail Tasting
Russell Hone lives and works in Burgundy, France with his wife Becky Wasserman. Russell is one of the wine world's great characters, and this interview follows along with the various curves, shifts, and turns to the side of his life, going from England in the post-war years to Germany, Bordeaux, and then on to Burgundy in the 1980s until today. He recalls several encounters with a broad cast of characters from throughout his life, and along the way gives an account of how various wine regions and wines have changed over time. Specifically, there are many reminiscences about Burgundy and Burgundians, some famous and some not. Russell also testifies to a few of his other passions, including Sauternes and old vintage Port. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Trip to the Finger Lakes Wine Region Vknow Wine App Take the demographic survey.
Brenna Quigley is a geologist who does wine related consulting as a terroir specialist at brennaquigley.com Brenna describes her unusual family connection to geology, and her entry into the wine world. She goes on to define key concepts in geology, such as what soil is, how it is formed, and the different types of rocks that are found in the world. Brenna describes the key rock formations of France, their history, and how they correspond to wine regions. She then discusses what the implications of different rock types are for vines, and takes a close look at specific wine areas, explaining what their distinguishing features are. Wine fans who would like to deepen their knowledge of wine and geology will find a lot to love about this episode. This episode is sponsored by: Vknow Wine App NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University Take the demographic survey.
David Hirsch is the owner of Hirsch Vineyards, located in the Sonoma Coast of California. David opens up about his travels across the United States and across the world in the 1960s and 1970s, and about what led him eventually to the outer reaches of the Sonoma Coast to plant a vineyard. He also reveals what he has learned about the farming of grapevines over the years. And he talks about some of the key people who shaped his thoughts as he became the owner of a vineyard, and then subsequently a winery. Famous names from both Burgundy and California winemaking make an appearance within this conversation, and David is both frank and funny in the reminiscences about his life. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Vknow Wine App Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University Take the demographic survey.
Pierre Morey works with his family at Domaine Pierre Morey and Maison Morey-Blanc, both based in the Burgundy village of Meursault, in France. Pierre grew up farming some of the most renowned vineyards of Meursault, as his family worked as sharecroppers for the Lafon family. He discusses his experience working in and vinifying the fruit of vineyards like Le Montrachet, Meursault-Perrieres, Meursault-Genevrieres, and Meursault-Charmes. He also delves into his transition to Regisseur at Domaine Leflaive, which some have called the greatest white Burgundy domaine, and where he worked for two decades. Pierre describes a life in the vines and in the cellar, sharing many details of his work. He also opens up about the loss that he experienced in his own family, and how that affected his professional life. Those wanting details about famous Côte de Beaune crus and about the vinification of white Burgundy will find both in this interview, which also address the changes in farming that Pierre Morey witnessed during the course of his career. This episode is sponsored by: Vknow Wine App NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University
Joel Peterson is the Founder and Winemaker of the Ravenswood Winery, and the Founder and Winemaker of Once & Future Wine, both in California. Joel describes his first moments with wine, tasting wine with his father and mother, and how that led later to his work with Joseph Swan. Joel talks at length about Swan and the early days of the Joseph Swan winery. Swan was making exemplary California Zinfandel, and Joel explains why he also chose to focus on Zinfandel at the winery he founded, Ravenswood. He recounts the humble beginnings of Ravenswood, an operation that would later become much larger after the market success that Joel found with the Ravenswood "Vintners Blend." That popular red wine was an introduction to Zinfandel as a red wine for many consumers at the time, countering the White Zinfandel trend of that moment. Joel discusses Zinfandel as a grape variety, and talks about several of the different old vine Zinfandel vineyards in California today. He also addresses the ups and downs that Zinfandel has encountered in the broader United States wine market, and its position today. Joel then shares his advice to someone starting out in the winemaking business right now. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Vknow Wine App Sonoma Executive MBA in Wine Business at Sonoma State University
Jasper Morris is the author of the book "Inside Burgundy: The Vineyards, the Wine, & the People", as well as the website Jasper Morris Inside Burgundy. Jasper gives both an overview of his own career as a wine importer and Burgundy specialist, and an overview of the vineyards of Burgundy. Jasper goes from north to south along the Côte d'Or, giving his unfiltered opinion about the different communes and crus along the way. Specific vineyards in Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Vosne-Romanée, Nuits-Saint-Georges, the hill of Corton, Beaune, Pommard, Volnay, Meursault, Puligny-Montrachet, and Chassagne-Montrachet all are talked about in-depth. Jasper also addresses how Burgundy has changed since the 1970s, recalls visits to some of his favorite producers, and discusses some of the important topics in the bigger Burgundy conversation today. Those topics include winemaking style shifts, the market for the wines, premox, clones, and changes in the vineyard work in the region. This episode is sponsored by: Vknow Wine App NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan La Tablée New York
Luis Seabra is the proprietor and winemaker at Luis Seabra Vinhos, producing dry wines from the Douro Valley and the Vinho Verde regions of Portugal. Luis discusses his beginnings working as a plant specialist at an university, his work doing vineyard trials for the Portuguese government, the nine years that he made dry wines at the house of Niepoort, and on to the founding of his own winery. Over the course of the interview Luis takes up all kinds of topics relating to Portuguese wine, such as vine material, grape varieties, the soil types in different areas, historical wine blending practices, and the winemaking norms in differnet parts of the country, as well as how those have changed over time. He explains the evolution in his own thinking concerning both winemaking and vineyard practices. Luis clearly illustrates what he means by contrasting his own thoughts and techniques with the dominant thinking in the surrounding area. Those wanting a deep dive into topics like whole cluster, skin maceration, pressing, and élevage, will find Luis a capable guide. He also discusses the different character of recent vintages for his own wines. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Vknow Wine App La Tablée New York
Jeanne-Marie de Champs is the proprietor of Domaines et Saveurs Collection, an exporter of Burgundy and other wines from France. She is based in Beaune. Jeanne-Marie discusses arriving in Burgundy from the Loire Valley, and the situation for Burgundy in the 1970s and 1980s. She explains why she started her own business exporting wines, and the changes in the American wine market that were happening as she was developing her own business. Jeanne-Marie highlights some of the vigneron in Burgundy who helped her learn about that region, and recalls notable vintages. She also explains her philosophy for choosing wines, and points out some appellations of Burgundy that she finds particularly appealing today. There is also a sense given of how Burgundy, and the reception for the wines from there, has changed over the years. This episode is sponsored by: NY Drinks NY Grand Tasting in Manhattan Vknow Wine App
Ehren Jordan is the proprietor of the Failla winery, which specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah from California and now also Oregon. Ehren is also the owner of the Day wine label, working with Zinfandel. Ehren discusses his decision to work increasingly with fruit from Oregon vineyards, while comparing and contrasting those with the vineyards he is familiar with in California. He also addresses aspects of his winemaking in Oregon, in terms of technique. Reduction in wine is something that he talks about at length. Ehren also highlights his interest in working with Gamay, Savagnin, Syrah, and other grape varieties from Oregon, in addition to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. There is also a consideration for what the wine market is today within this conversation, and what the current market means for both the production and sales possibilities for wines from both Oregon and California. Day, which is Ehren's Zinfandel project, is also discussed. This episode is sponsored by: New York Harvest 2018 VKnow
Jean-Pierre de Smet was a co-founder and partner in Domaine de l'Arlot, the winery based in the Nuits-Saint-Georges appellation. Jean-Pierre retired from l'Arlot in 2007, and has since that time been helping his friend Didier Fornerol make the Domaine Didier Fornerol wines, also in France's Burgundy region. Jean-Pierre provides key insights into a number of Burgundy winemaking techniques, and also about the people he knew and has worked alongside with in Burgundy since the 1970s. Jean-Pierre is very clear about the influences on him of people like Jacques Seysses (Domaine Dujac), Anne-Claude Leflaive (Domaine Leflaive), and Patrick Bize (Domaine Simon Bize), and how he integrated their ideas and help into his own work at Domaine de l'Arlot. There are numerous details provided about topics like whole cluster, the speed of a fermentation, vine training, the vintages of the 1980s and 1990s, the nature of Nuits-Saint-Georges and Vosne-Romanée crus, white vs. red winemaking, and climate change. Jean-Pierre also gives a clear picture of the Burgundy community of the 1980s, and of a group of vigneron who would go on to become famous names in the region and across the world. Those who want to understand the history of Burgundy from the 1970s through to today would benefit from listening to this episode. This episode is sponsored by: VKnow New York Harvest 2018