Tag Archive for: Grenache

Why did I decide to travel to Ram’s Gate Winery to do a story on how winemakers and owners choose a wine barrel? In my 11 years in and around the wine industry, people have often asked me about barrels, yet related to the surface details, like whether a winery uses French oak, or 100% new oak, how many months does the wine age in oak, etcetera. Well, there are so many other details involved with barrel selection and how they can be used, it will make your head spin!

So, if your head hasn’t been spun in a while, listen in to my conversation with Joe Nielsen. He’s as smart as he is chill, which allows him to easily change hats from the positions of general manager to winemaker, often several times a day at the south Sonoma winery. Before I get into the barrel discussion, I’ll ask him about a topic that’s new to me, pressure bombs. It’s a technique they use as a means to keep an eye on the health and needs of the vineyard. Yet, as it turns out, the method is not nearly as intense as the name suggests. No explosions occur at Ram’s Gate Winery.

Ram's Gate Winery

Joe with Assistant Winemaker Rachel Bordes

A couple of the wines we discussed

Ram's Gate Winery

The 2019 Grenache Syrah, Cellar Note

Ram's Gate Winery

The 2021 Pinot Blanc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To see the extensive selection of their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay among other varietals visit
RamsGateWinery.com/Acquire

In my mind and according to my palate, they’re all exceptional

 

 

With this podcast you can join me on a trip to the Hospice du Rhone event. It’s not a typical wine tasting. The Côtes-du-Rhône region in France features a great number of delicioius wine varieties. Twenty two of them were featured, and 125 wine producers from California, Oregon, Washington, and France were on-hand sharing their versions. The orginization’s slogan is “Twenty-two Varieties. One Vision.”

I spoke with General Manager and family member Jason Haas from Paso Robles’ Rhone winemaking pioneer Tablas Creek Vineyard. The co-Founder Robert Haas had the foresight to partner with Rhone Valley producer Château de Beaucastel.

Just off the Paso square I met up with winery owner Ted Ross of Hayseed and Housdon. I liked his wines, especially the La Macha Spanish blend, and Warrior. When you listen to the podcast and you’ll be impressed with his charitable generosity.

I also visited with Elena Barrios, who with her winemaking husband Stanley, are gaining attention with their outstanding Rhone varietal blends at Top Winery.

In conclusion, if you like Grenache, Syrah and Viognier but haven’t tried Picpoul Blanc or Bourboulenc, you’ll want to join the fun next year. Otherwise, visit Pas Robles for their own style of popular and rare varietals. Listen to the podcast and get inspired!

 

Tablas Creek

Hospice du Rhône

With Jason Haas at the event

The distance to their French partner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The large neutral oak French barrels behind glass in the tasting room

Hayseed and Housdon

Hospice du Rhône

Ted Ross with 3 of his wines that benefit charity partners

The back half of the tasting room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The building of Heyseed with versatile garage door

Top Winery

Hospice du Rhône

Sharing a taste with Elena

The clever labels of Top’s wine blends

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hospice du Rhône

My wife Meredith with a majority of the tasting room behind her

 

Join me on a road trip to southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley wine region.

I met up with Dan Marca of DANCIN Vineyards, who offer a great variety of excellent Pinot Noir from around the region, Italian varietals, and a food menu that’s nearly as long as their wine list. They’re west of Medford near the historic town of Jacksonville.  As you occasionally hear in my interviews, serendipity often plays a key role. Dan has two stories that play into that theme. 

And I sat with Eric Weisinger of Weisinger Family Winery. He’s the winemaker and G.M. of the well established family winery where he’s held numerous positions since he was a kid. His father moved his family there from Texas to pursue a dream. I’d say he captured it!  Now Eric  bottles a good number of Rhone and Bordeaux varietals, a Tempranillo and a few surprises; which includes Caldera Lager of IPA beer.
If you decide to visit, be sure to consider their Vineyard Cottage. It’s very attractive. 

We enjoyed staying at the historic Ashland Springs Hotel. It’s in the center of Ashland with many excellent restaurants just blocks away, and off the lobby.

These interviews will give you insight into what I found to be two of the best wineries in the Rogue Valley. Let’s hit the road! 

Listen now:

Listen later: OTWR_RogueValley

 

Rogue Valley

Dan and Cin Marca

Rogue Valley

Eric Weisinger during my interview

 

The front Chardonnay and Pinot Noir vineyard at DANCIN Vineyards.

One of the tasting spaces at Weisinger Family Winery with the Grizzly Peak in the background

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rogue Valley

The Ashland Springs Hotel standing proud

Part of the attractive hotel lobby

 

The back patio of the Ashland Springs Hotel


 

On this podcast you’ll meet Nate Belden of Belden Barns.

He grew up on a farm but spent a number of his adult years working in New York and San Francisco. After a while he felt the unrelenting tug of country life once again. Although his wife Lauren grew up in New York City, surprisingly, she had a similar dream of living a rural life. But grape growing and Belden Barns wine isn’t their only focus. They partnered with Jenny and Vince Trotter to offer Farmstead Goods. Visit their website here.

Hear how Nate and Lauren’s yearning for country life came true as we talk…in the barn.

 

Belden Barns

The set up in the milking barn.

Belden Barns

There’s a good story about the reason for the Poetry Room. Ask them if you ever see Nate or Lauren

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Belden Barns

Their vineyard atop magical Sonoma Mountain

 

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 me as I walk the vineyard with Peter Mathis. He followed his dream of planting a grenache vineyard. It’s only 7 and half acres but his day job helps pay the bills. That means he works 7 days a week to explore his passion. As the awards indicate, it’s a worthy effort.