Cru Podcast | Stories From The People Behind Wine-logo

Cru Podcast | Stories From The People Behind Wine

Food & Cooking Podcasts >

Each week, Cru shares the stories of the people behind wine. Each week we share with you one interview with an influential person in the wine industry. Guests include Dustin Wilson MS, John Kapon, Scott McWilliam, Giuseppe Cola, Madeline Puckette, and Helen Johannesen. Learn more at

Each week, Cru shares the stories of the people behind wine. Each week we share with you one interview with an influential person in the wine industry. Guests include Dustin Wilson MS, John Kapon, Scott McWilliam, Giuseppe Cola, Madeline Puckette, and Helen Johannesen. Learn more at
More Information


United States


Each week, Cru shares the stories of the people behind wine. Each week we share with you one interview with an influential person in the wine industry. Guests include Dustin Wilson MS, John Kapon, Scott McWilliam, Giuseppe Cola, Madeline Puckette, and Helen Johannesen. Learn more at




Dissecting Winemaking Decisions with Todd Graff

Frank Family's current success would not exist without his leadership. Todd joined in 2003 and has provided consistency of winemaking, vineyard sources, and leadership in Frank Family’s estate vineyard acquisitions, which are not more than 250 acres in Rutherford, Capell and Carneros. He also has culled relationships with several great growers—Beckstoffer, Sangiacomo, etc. I think Todd has defied the old adage “jack of all trades and master of none.” Todd makes everything from...


How to Produce Compelling Wines with Ian Brand

Our guest this week did not set out to make the beautiful wines he does. He, and is incredible team, discovered great vineyards at the edge of sensible farming and decided to bring them to light. Learn more about Ian Brand here. The farther they looked, the more they found – remote, challenging vineyards, with hard depleted soils, and intense sunlight tempered only by the coastal breeze. Vineyards capable of producing only the most idiosyncratic wines. Their goal as winemakers is to...


How to Achieve Quality & Consistency Over Time with Dan Petroski

After a decade long career in advertising for Time Warner, Dan Petroski got a harvest internship in Italy, booked a flight and didn’t look back. For the next year, he would live as a local in his adopted home of Italy, working in vineyards. From that point onward, Dan knew that wine would take the center focus of not only his career, but his life. Learn more about Dan here. Coming to California with just over a year’s experience, Dan had a challenging time getting a job, until Andy Smith...


How to Let Wines Speak for Themselves with Katy Wilson

As one of the 4% of female winemakers in California who are also owners of their own winery, Sonoma-based LaRue Wines winemaker and owner, Katy Wilson is also making waves within the 10% minority of California wineries whose lead winemaker also happens to be female. Because, not only does she manage every harvest decision, punch down and barrel regimen under her own label, she also the winemaker for Anaba Wines, Claypool Cellars, Reeve Wines and Smith Story Wine Cellars – all Sonoma-based...


How to Grow & Sustain a Family Winery with Jody Bogle

It all started with converting potato fields into rows of vineyards in a sleepy field in the heart of California. It was during the late 1960s when a bad potato crop pushed the Bogle family to plant those first grapes -- and now, five decades later -- Bogle Vineyards has become one of the world’s most popular wine brands on the market. Learn more about Jody here. An award-winning winery for its sustainability efforts, Bogle Vineyards is setting the industry standard when it comes to...


The Wine Trip That Lasts A Lifetime with Michael Evans

Michael Evans is the co-founder of The Vines of Mendoza, a winery in the Uco Valley of Argentina that crafts nearly 300 custom wines each year with 130 private vineyard owners. Fifteen years ago Michael came to Argentina from Los Angeles for what he thought would be a three-week vacation. Michael fell in love with the people and the place that is Mendoza and decided to embark on this adventure of creating Argentina’s greatest wines. After a chance introduction to Pablo Gimenez Riili during...


Prospecting for Beautiful Wines with David Wilson

David Wilson is the co-founder of Wilson Foriegner & Director of Vineyards & Grower Relations at Pahlmeyer. Learn more about David with the show notes here. David grew up on the family ranch, Rancho Chimiles, where he resides now with his wife, Christine, and their two children. David studied fruit science with an emphasis on wine and viticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. From working harvest in South Africa to learning directly from Warren Winiarski at Stags Leap Winery, David has cut...


How to Create a True Wine Experience with Noah Dorrance

Noah Dorrance is the co-founder & chief winemaker of Reeve Wines based in Dry Creek Valley, California. In this episode, Noah shares his story of how he first got into wine. How going from college to Europe changed his life and how seizing opportunities in down times created a launch pad for other ventures. We dig into the founding of Banshee Wines, Noah’s first wine label. He shares with us how Banshee was able to grow quickly over short period of time with a focus on creating high quality...


How to Approach Making Exceptional Wine with Julien Fayard

Originally from Provence, Julien Fayard is one of Napa Valley’s most respected consulting winemakers producing California varietals with French finesse. Formerly of Chateau Lafite Rothschild and Philippe Melka’s team, he lends two decades of winemaking expertise to more than a dozen different brands, including the highly-rated Le Pich and Purlieu wines, as well as his own labels — Azur, Covert Estate and Empreinte. You can learn more at In this episode, Julien and I dig...


How to Grow & Make Fine Wine in Extreme Conditions with Norman Hardie

Norman Hardie, @normanhardiewinery, is the owner & winemaker of Norman Hardie Winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario, making some of the best Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and other Burgundian varietals in North America. Learn more about Norman with the show notes here. Norman is an incredibly well traveled winemaker with a highly trained palate. Having started his career as a sommelier with Four Seasons Hotels his intrigue of making the wines he loved so much, particularly Pinot Noir &...


How to Support a Community from Around the Table with Jennifer Reichardt

Jennifer Reichardt is the founder and winemaker of Raft Wines, a small production wine label based in Santa Rosa, California with a heavy focus on Rhone Varietals. Learn more about Jen with the show notes here. You may wonder where the name Raft comes from, as you’ll find out in the episode, Jen’s background is based in the duck business and a raft is a dense flock of swimming birds. In this episode, we dig into Jen’s story, how she got into wine when being raised in a household that was...


Making Connections and Operating a Wine Brand with Chelsea Boss

Chelsea Boss, @seaboss on Instagram, is the general manager of Senses Wines who make fantastic small production pinot noir and chardonnay based in Occidental, California and one of the founders of Rebuild Wine Country, an organization that is working with Habitat for Humanity of Sonoma County to raise $5 million dollars in order to rebuild owned & rented homes lost in the Sonoma, Napa, Solano, Mendocino, and Lake County wildfires. You can learn more about Chelsea with the show notes...


When Wine Is Your Work, Life, and Community with Sara Morgenstern

Sara Morgenstern is one of those people that if you try to introduce her to someone, she’s already good friends with them and if you ask her to join in on a project, she’ll dive in head first even though her calendar is already fully booked. She’s some what of a local celebrity here in Sonoma County, particularly in Healdsburg for those in the wine industry, most notably for her work at the imported wine shop/bar and grilled cheese joint, Bergamot Alley, but also for her work with 7%...


How to Make Delicious Wines For Everyone with Blair Guthrie

Blair Guthrie is a kiwi transplant to the Napa Valley and winemaker for Stewart Cellars, Hollis Wines, Slingshot Wines, and his personal passion project, Guthrie Family Wines all based in Napa Valley. I met up with Blair at the Stewart Cellars tasting room in Yountville, which I highly recommend you visit, especially if you are able to do a library tasting in what they call their Nomad Room. It is a gorgeously designed space with art on the walls, dark leather furniture, books galore that...


Bonus Episode #2: The Story Behind Cru & The Future

As a wine lover and fan of podcasts I took the opportunity to record a bonus episode with Jim Duane, who produces the Inside Winemaking podcast. Our conversation ranges from my background, my goals in building a wine podcast, and what I've have learned from the wine professionals that have shared their experience during my interviews. We also speak about how I recently moved to Healdsburg, California to work the 2017 harvest and am beginning a new position as a sommelier and assistant wine...


Exploring Taste & Terroir with Rajat Parr

In this episode, Raj and I dig into his story of being both a sommelier and winemaker, we chat about the fascinating topic of the terroir of California, and Raj tell us about his new book The Atlas of Taste along with his new, 500 person wine club he’s opening soon. Learn more about Rajat with the show notes here. With that, there are two organizations I want to introduce you to, that are working to support, rebuild, and make thrive wine country in the wake of the devastating fires that...


How to Grow a Family Owned Winery with David Ramey

David Ramey is the owner and winemakers of Ramey Wine Cellars based in my new home of Healdsburg, California. You may have heard of Ramey, or even purchased a few bottles, as it is distributed in almost every market. David has been making wine for 40 odd years in France, Napa, Sonoma, most notably at Chateau Petrus, you’ve probably never heard of that though, Chalk Hill, Matanzas Creek, Rudd Estate, and Dominus in Napa and Sonoma. Learn more about David with the Show Notes here In this...


The Making of a True Rosé with Lorenza Wine

Melinda Kearny and Michèle Ouellet, the mother-daughter duo behind Lorenza Rosé based in Napa. Learn more about Lorenza with the show notes here. In this episode we dig into the story behind Lorenza, what it was like starting to make rosé eight years ago when the main things on the market were Charles Bieler and his pink Cadillac paving the way, and the dreaded white zin hangover that everyone has experienced at least once in their life! We also chat about making wine with intentionality...


How to Experiment with Wine with Chad Stock

Chad Stock is the winemaker and owner of Craft Wine Co, which produces the labels Minimus Wines, Origin Wines, and Omero Cellars in Carlton, Oregon. Learn more about chat with the show notes at Chad is known for experimenting with many varietals and styles to produce truly unique wines that not only he loves and is proud of, but that push the boundaries of traditional and low intervention winemaking. From Gruner to Grenache and wines with high VA to...


On the Road to Becoming a Wine Expert with Chappy Cottrell

This episode is a little different. It is a bonus episode you could say. Here's the deal! Recently, I was asked to take part in the Road to Wine Expert Summit, which is a virtual wine summit that shares interviews with 30+ wine experts sharing their stories, tips, and secrets to get you on the fast track to wine expertise and help you build a foundation for your dream career in wine. Some of the speakers include folks who have been on Cru before, like Hillary Zio, Brian McClintic, and...