Cru Podcast | Stories From The People Behind Wine-logo

Cru Podcast | Stories From The People Behind Wine

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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
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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




Tasting Sustainable Farming with Remi Cohen

Remi directs the winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible for top quality, small-lot winemaking expressive of appellation and vineyard site. In addition, she oversees the sale of all wines through the hospitality experience and the wine club programs direct to consumer, and throughout the domestic and international markets. Learn more about Remi with the show notes here.


How Unconventional Wines Create Connections with West + Wilder

West + Wilder is redefining the look and taste of canned wine and setting a new benchmark for quality within a growing category. Dedicated to sustainability and taste, this small wine company with big world values recently added a Sparkling White and a Sparkling Rosé to their portfolio of West Coast inspired wines. With varied backgrounds in marketing and the wine industry, co-founders Matt and Kenny launched West + Wilder in May 2018 with the vision of making wine more accessible,...


Finding Home In Sonoma Valley with Dan O'Brien

Dan O'Brien has worked throughout the wine industry, first starting in high-end restaurants in the North East, eventually moving out west to San Francisco to start the Grand Award winning wine program at Cavallo Point. From there he started the Cultivar wine label, was the estate director for Long Meadow Ranch & Larkmead Vineyards, started the Hunt & Harvest wine label, and now is dedicating all of his time and efforts into Gail. Learn more about Dan with the show notes here.


How Wine Affects The World with Brian McClintic, MS

Brian McClintic is a Master Sommelier and documentary film star of the feature length SOMM, the follow up SOMM: Into the Bottle, and now Somm 3, coming out later in 2018. After 15 years in hospitality, spanning wine destinations such as the Little Nell in Aspen, Brian co-founded Les Marchands Wine Bar & Merchant in Santa Barbara, where he was named “The Wine Guy to Hire” by Departures magazine and among the “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” by Wine Enthusiast. Learn more about Brian at...


Finding Your Voice in Wine with Cameron Hughes & Jessica Kogan

As consumer advocates, Cameron Hughes Wines is passionate about bringing extreme wine value to wine drinkers at an affordable price. Cameron founded Cameron Hughes Wine with his partner Jessica Kogan in 2001. In 2004, they launched the “Lot Series” with Lot 1, a Lodi Syrah. More than a decade later, they've produced over 600 unique Lot wines and the company has become the #1 selling online wine brand. As CMO, Jessica oversees integrated marketing for Cameron Hughes Wine which includes the...


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...


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...


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...


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...