Posts

,

The Creator of Cult Wine, Michael Browne – CIRQ

On this podcast you’ll hear my intimate conversation with winemaker and iconic wine producer, Michael Browne.

He gained fame with the highly respected Kosta Browne over the last 20 years. He has since moved on to a his own project Cirq. In this interview you’ll really get to know Michael, what drives him, why he loves Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, and hear about past experiences that inspire his winemaking and fearless pursuit of his passions.

And what’s  up with those early 20th Century wine labels? He’ll explain…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

,

Harvest Challenge Wine Competition interviews

In an effort to take you behind the scenes at a wine judging competition I recorded a couple of interviews with fellow judges. This is from the recent 2018 Harvest Challenge wine competition that took place on November 13 & 14th in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, CA. It was an international competition that featured about 900 wines.  Click the play button to hear the interviews, click the Best Of Awards link to see the winners. It’s quite a list!

Congratulations to all who pick up awards!

 

Harvest Challenge Best Of Awards

 

Harvest ChallengeHarvest Challenge

,

The Winemaker, the Grower and a 100 Point Score

I’ve known these guys at Kokomo Winery over five years now. Winemaker Erik Miller was on my first show back in October of 2013. Winegrape grower Randy Peters was kind enough to by my guest every other month a couple years ago when I presented a feature called From Bud to Bottle. And as you’ll hear, my wife and I belong to their wine club.

When I heard they achieved a perfect 100 point score in the North Coast Wine Challenge, I was thrilled for them. Like a friend would be. Sure, it’s not quite the same as receiving 100 points from some international wine critic but when you consider the wineries entering are from six of the most respected wine regions in California, well that’s sayin’ something.

By the way, I knew that wine was special the first time I tasted it, before the award. I remember the moment. It’s sublime. A true representation of the nectar of the gods. Here’s your chance to find out how they did it.

 

 

Kokomo Winery

Randy Peters (left), Erik Miller (right)

Kokomo winery

The winning 2016 Pinot Noir

Kokomo Winery

The Kokomo Winery Tasting Room at Timbercrest Farms, Dry Creek Valley, Healdsburg, CA

 

,

Popping the Cork on Breathless Sparkling Wines

I’ve been seeing Breathless Sparkling Wines around more and more lately. They’ve been winning awards, and I hear people say it’s their favorite bottle of bubbles. It was time to find out more about this burgeoning winery. The three sisters who share ownership and responsibilities pursued the endeavor inspired by their mother’s zest for life. I enjoyed a tasting and interview with Sharon, and admitted to her that I prefer still wines over sparkling. The one they have now captured my heart…the silky, lightly sweet Ratafia. Like liquid gold. Speaking of which, they’ve already picked up 10 Gold medals in 2018, four of which were Double Golds. To that I say “Cheers!”

 

 

Breathless Sparkling Wines

Paradise Lost

Paradise Ridge Winery was one of a handful of wineries that burned to the ground during the October Sonoma/Napa wild fires. Now that some time has past I spoke to family member Rene Byck about that harrowing night and following week, as well as their plans to rebuild. When I spoke to Rene in late February they had yet to begin clearing the debris. That allowed me the opportunity to take and share photos of the devastation. If you’ve been on the property before the photos below will be heartbreaking. The good news is, all but one of their many art installations and sculptures have miraculously survived. As a consumer you can help support the winery by visiting their Kenwood tasting room or buying the fantastic wine they offer from their website PRWinery.com.

Click the player for the interview

Paradise Ridge

 

Paradise RidgeParadise Ridge

Paradise Ridge

Paradise RidgeParadise Ridge

 

 

Paradise RidgeParadise RidgeParadise Ridge

 

 

Paradise Ridge

 

Paradise Ridge

 

 

 

 

, ,

The Respected David Ramey of Ramey Wine Cellars

As you’ll hear in this podcast, David of Ramey Wine Cellars is well known by most in the biz. His name came up three times in the last few months while talking with other winemakers. A lot of wineries have tapped into his knowledge by hiring him as a consultant. I’ve also heard he doesn’t hold back his opinions. Those spring forth concerning a bit of a controversy he’s in the midst of here in Sonoma County. Meet the winemaker who utilizes old world methods with modern innovations…when necessary. Here’s David Ramey…

 

ramey wine cellars

Photo compliments of Mark Spivak

,

Kendall-Jackson’s Winemaster Randy Ullom

Hear how a ski trip to Chile, which turned into a three-year adventure, inspired Randy Ullom to take his appreciation for wine and make a career out of it. Eventually, he would join Kendall-Jackson, travel the world, and make what has become the number one selling Chardonnay in America for 25 years in a row. You’ll hear about Randy’s career and learn about Jess Jackson, the maverick winery owner who took the world by storm.

 

Randy Ullom

The Firemen’s Story

It’s always my intention to talk with people who make a difference here in wine country. The couple of weeks during the fires it was two of the hard working firemen who traveled to join the fight. I thought it was important to get to  know them as people, not just firefighters. You’ll hear why they fight fires, about their appreciation for our community, and the loved ones they leave at home to save people they’ve never met. It takes an unusually caring soul to make that sacrifice. Capt. Gilbert Miguel of Kings County Fire Department & Battalion Chief Brian Price of Fresno Fire Department took time during their resting period to share their story.

This is just south of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds. Just one of the many spots were fire crews had 24 resting periods before fighting another 24 hours. There were so many trucks it wouldn’t fit in one or two photos.

On The Wine Road radio show for 10-14-17 – NorCal Fires

Good day to you,

Here’s my full radio show that was scheduled to air today at 1:05pm on KSRO. With the latest mandatory evacuations announced for Sonoma and northeast Santa Rosa, KSRO’s full coverage of the fires will now preempt my radio show for today. If you’d like you can hear it click the player below.

For details on the latest evacuations you can visit Nixle.us. This is a direct link to the page. Needless to say, our positive thoughts and prayers go out to all affected by this on-going fire crisis in Northern California. Thanks to all who have offered their support. Here’s today’s show.

paradise ridge

,

Ben of Papapietro Perry Winery

(Garagiste – A French term used to describe a garage-based winemaking operation. Once seen as a negative, garagiste wineries are now treated with cult-like status.) Ben Papapietro was a garasite in San Francisco. His desire to get into the wine business found him living in his van in a vineyard for months at a time. Some how he managed to keep his newspaper job during his decades-long venture. Along with friend and partner Bruce they managed reached success in Sonoma County with Papapietro Perry Winery. Ben shares his tale with me in this podcast.

 

 

 

papapietro perry

 

 

The Passion Expressed Within the Wine Industry

On this first day of 2017 I’m presenting my show from the last day of 2016. On the final broadcast of the year I wanted to highlight those who have expressed their passion about the wine industry. The winery owners, winemakers and growers I have chosen have done so eloquently, philosophically, poetically, and often spiritually. I’m confident that if you listen it will make the wine you love taste even better. Cheers!

Guests include Greg LaFollette of Alquimista Cellars, Julie Johnson of Tres Sabores, Ulysses Van Der Kamp of Van Der Kamp Vineyards, Mark Topel of Topel Wines, Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates, George Macleod of MacLeod Family Vineyard, Delia & Janet Viader of Viader Vineyards and Winery, and Gary Breen of Campovida.

 

Winemaker Sandy Walheim of Virgina Dare Winery

I talk with winemaker Sandy Walheim about Francis Ford Coppola’s new winery, Virginia Dare. The brands and tasting room pay homage to two events in American history. Virginia Dare is known as the first English child born in the New World to colonists in 1587. It was also the name of an early winery which operated in North Carolina beginning in 1835. You’ll hear about the wine and how they tie in to these historical events.

 

Virginia Dare-Sandy Walheim

Fogbelt Brewing Company

Fogbelt brews edit

Remy, (on left in other photo) and Paul have wine making fathers, have worked the business themselves (Paul still helps his father at Hawley Winery) but they followed their passion to brew quality, hand-crafted beer. Hear their story and get more details at FogbeltBrewing.com

,

Pech Merle Winery

Owners Bruce and Cheryl Lawton have big plans for a wine cave. In the meantime they’re serving out of their tasting lounge at 21001 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville. Pech Merle may be small but with winemaker John Pepe they’re piling up the awards. I joined them under the oak cathedral to talk about their success.

Clouds Rest Estate Vineyards

Meet winery owner John Saemann and General Manager Scott Schuette of Clouds Rest Pinot Noir. John and his team make exceptional hand-crafted, small production Pinot Noir, as well as Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. As John believes, which you may too, the vineyard is a magical place there on Sonoma Mountain where the clouds rest.