It’s hard to imagine that since the late 1600s nothing has been discovered or invented that seals a bottle of wine better than the all natural product of cork. Sure, now there are screwcaps and synthetic closures but neither provide the positive aspects that cork can deliver. To learn more about this fascinating, timeless product I hooked up with Peter Weber of the Cork Quality Council. Together, with ETS Laboratories, they are conducting exhaustive research to discover and eliminate TSA, or cork taint, in wine. In this podcast you’ll learn a little about this research and the many environmentally beneficial properties of cork.

To see a video with Dr. Eric Hervé of ETS Laboratories explaining part of the detection process, visit YouTube.

Here are links that will provide even more interesting facts about cork – Cork Quality Council    100% Cork


ETS Laboratories

The machine in the middle is the gas chromatograph with mass spectrometer detection at ETS Laboratories. It can detect 1 part per trillion of TCA.

ETS LaboratoriesETS Laboratories


ETS Laboratories

The many bottles of wine sent in to ETS Laboratories for testing.

In the ancient world wine was carried in what were known as wineskins. These handy liquid vessels, similar today’s bota bag pictured above, were made of animal skin, especially pig skin. The skin was thoroughly cleaned, tanned, and finally turned inside out so that the hairy side remained inside. Wine was then stored in it with the animal hair staying in contact with the wine. I imagine the ancient people were constantly pulling hair out of their mouth. But hey, at least they had wine.


It’s incredible how a relationship from decades ago has led to this interview about Two Hands Wines. The details are contained in the podcast so I won’t go into it here. Nevertheless, I met Tim Hower last year over email. Finally a few weeks ago we met to record this interview. It’s interesting how an American in the oil and gas industries ended up becoming a proprietor and director with this world renowned winery. The night we met Tim invited me to taste through a line-up of Two Hands Wines (as I had hoped). I love the wines from Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale and Two Hands offers a stellar representation of the two regions. You can hear about their wines and how a fan of Two Hands became one of their principals in today’s podcast.



Two Hands Wines

Join Russian River Valley Winegrowers for an amazing tasting experience of Russian River Valley single vineyard wines. More than 30 wineries will be pouring small-lot, single vineyard wines from the Russian River Valley, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc. Guests will dine on delicious appetizers while enjoying single vineyard wines.

This year the event takes place at the Hyatt Regency Sonoma Wine Country

My interview with RRVW Board President Giovanni Balistreri and Executive Director Wendy Hilberman is below. I apologize ahead of time. We were drinking Russian River Vineyards Rosé.

I hope to see you there!

Russian River Valley Winegrowers

Single Vineyard Night Single Vineyard Night Single Vineyard Night