Henry Crowson, owner of Crowson Wines, is new to the Hill Country of Texas in Johnson City with his tasting room being open for about 3 months. Henry is quite the dynamic personality with very strong opinions on how he wants to be making Texas wine. He is a proponent of natural fermentations, no use of sulfites, no filtration, and high acid wine-making. He's making some delicious rosé, Malbec aged in oak and concrete, and some dry Malvasia Bianca. Such great conversation about what is possible in Texas!
Jennifer McInnis Fadel, from Bending Branch Winery, and Ron Yates, from Spicewood Vineyards and Ron Yates Winery, come on the show to talk about the start of the 2018 harvest in Texas. They are part of the Texas Fine Wine association and always have great perspectives on the industry. Early ripening grapes are starting to come in for the Hill Country, with the High Planes still a bit further out. Hear all about the regions of Texas, the hot grape varieties, and the madness of Harvest!
Sergio Cuadra, Winemaker of Fall Creek Vineyards, comes on the show to describe the 2018 Texas growing season so far. This episode was broadcast on KOOP Radio on July 3rd, and Sergio describes what is going on during the process of Veraison. Since then, the growing season has progressed, and some wineries are already starting to harvest early ripening grapes. It's always great to have Sergio on the show, he comes from a background of making wine in his home country Chile, and really believes in the potential of Texas to make world class wine.
You can also listen to a previous episode where he describes in detail his research on growing grapes in the Texas climate, CLICK HERE. You can also read Sergio's blog on the growing season so far, HERE.
Barnaby Tuttle is owner and winemaker of Teutonic Wine Company in Portland Oregon. He's doing some crazy stuff in Oregon with cool climate sites and a sort of fearless wine making. Inspired by Riesling from the Mosel, Barnaby became obsessed with showing off how one site could express itself differently than another, the true concept of terroir. He is super fun to talk with, constantly referencing music and how wine (or beer, or weed), can make us all appreciate life a little more.
On today's show, we're joined by Eric Boisseaux, owner of Ch. Vannières, and Laurent Michit, from the importer H. Mercer Imports. We really dig into the tiny region of Bandol, which is right on the Mediterranean coast in between Marseilles and Nice. I learned a ton and I really love these wines. Big reds with a minimum of 50% Mourvedre, structured and complex rosés, and a little white wine as well. Bandol and lamb is one of my favorite pairings, hope you can try it with a nice glass of Vannières!
Cesare was born with the taste of Sangiovese in his mouth, as he says it. He's 4th generation to be making wine in Chianti Classico, and we dig into so many topics that are very relevant in today's wine world. From the introduction to the Gran Selezione tier to what is happening with the branding of Super Tuscans and how they're involving. I also always enjoy hearing how the next generation is gearing up to take over. Please note, this podcast will sound better if listening while riding a Ducati at 200 mph (actually don't do that, but listen and you'll get it)!
Tony Schlotzhauer, local Austin sommelier, just got back from a month of working harvest on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia. Tony met the owners of the winery Ten Minutes By Tractor during a diner service at Jefferies and invited him out for an invaluable experience. We get a fantastic overview of the wine regions of Australia and a behind the scenes look at the experiences garnered during the most intensive time of year for a winery.
Chad Stock, winemaker and partner of the Craft Wine Company, has an obsessive drive to discover what Oregon can offer the world. He is often lumped into the natural wine movement, but he is not opposed to additions if they'll improve flavor, not just stability. He has also been the first grower and winemaker to work with many grapes in Oregon, such as Chenin Blanc, Aligoté, Gruner Veltliner, Kerner and many others. He is constantly experimenting with wine-making techniques and matching up which are suitable for each particular grape variety on each different soil type. There is so much of this conversation that we can carry over to how to live and experience the world around us!
On today's show, we talk with a top white Burgundy producer, Henri Boillot, about all the ins and outs of making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Côtes de Beaune. He talks about the growing occurrence of "premox," or Premature Oxidation, where white Burgundy will be dead and oxidized after only 3-4 years in bottle. He claims this is due to over-ripe fruit, new barrels, and most of all, the common practice of lees stirring. Plus, climate change, succession planning, and so much more. Big thanks to Michel Thibault and Marla Norman for translating and providing additional commentary.
Find more info on his wine here: www.michelthibaultwine.com
Federico Lombardo di Monte Iato runs the Sicilian winery Firriato. He comes on the show to talk about how far Sicily has from its recent history of supplying bulk wine to Northern Italy and France. I learned a ton from Federico, from the various zones of western Sicily and even the island of Favagnana to the mountain wines of Etna. If you can't bask in under the Sicilian Sun, may as well listen to this podcast and dream about it!
Olive and Anthony Hamilton Russell, owners of South African wineries Ashbourne, Hamilton Russell, and Southern Right, come on the show to talk about their little nook of the Cape South Region called Hemel-en-Aarde. They are pushing the boundaries of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, understanding their vineyards and soils, and garnering attention world-wide to put South African Pinot and Chard on the map. We also have insightful conversation around Pinotage, Sauvignon Blanc, and so much more. Check it out!
Messina Hof, founded in 1977, is currently making 90 different wines from 33 varieties, wow! Paul and Karen Bonarigo, second generation owners, come on the podcast to talk about the evolution of Texas wine, the history and future of Messina Hof, and so much more. Check it out!
We're continuing to interview Texas winemakers who are innovating and raising the bar in celebration of October being Texas Wine Month. Doug Lewis of Lewis Wines is certainly positioned in the vanguard and has his finger on the pulse of what is really going both in the Hill Country and the High Plains. I always enjoy chatting with Doug, and I'm sure you're enjoy listening!
As continued coverage of Texas Wine Month, we catch up with Ben Calais at his winery in the Hill Country. This was a great conversation about this year's harvest, his focus on the Bordeaux varieties, how Ben is coaxing the most flavor out of his grapes, and so much more! Ben has a cool thing going on in his underground cellar, selling only direct to consumer, and cultivating a strong following! Santé!
We kick off our coverage of October as Texas Wine Month with January Wiese, Executive Director of the Hill Country Wineries Association. Then, we hear from Lewis Dickson, and how he is producing some magical 100% Estate wines from his vineyard in Canyon Lake, just west of New Braunfels. Lewis is a staunch proponent of natural or "hands off" winemaking, never adding yeast, sulfites, enzymes, or anything. We learn about the path he's taken to focusing on the two Texas hybrid grapes, Blanc du Bois and Black Spanish, and how wine should be the whole film, not just a snapshot.