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I'll Drink to That! Wine Talk

Food & Cooking Podcasts

A former sommelier interviews incredibly famous and knowledgeable wine personalities in his tiny apartment. He gets them to talk candidly about their lives and work, and then shares the conversations with you. To see new episodes sooner and to see all of the hundreds of back episodes in your feed, it is important to FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE the show. It is free to do either, the show is free. Contact info- Email leviopenswine@gmail.com Instagram @leviopenswine Twitter @drinktothatpod Website illdrinktothatpod.com




A former sommelier interviews incredibly famous and knowledgeable wine personalities in his tiny apartment. He gets them to talk candidly about their lives and work, and then shares the conversations with you. To see new episodes sooner and to see all of the hundreds of back episodes in your feed, it is important to FOLLOW or SUBSCRIBE the show. It is free to do either, the show is free. Contact info- Email leviopenswine@gmail.com Instagram @leviopenswine Twitter @drinktothatpod Website illdrinktothatpod.com




IDTT Wine 491: Ukraine, Wine and Terror

Levi Dalton speaks with three Ukrainians about the struggles faced by winemakers and winery owners amongst the warfare in Ukraine. Alla Plachkova discusses fleeing Kyiv as bombs begin to fall on the city in 2022. She talks about rescuing her mother and fleeing south inside Ukraine as warfare stretches across the country. She shares the fears she felt as a mother trying to protect her children, and the terror she felt as bombs fell and planes roared over her home. Alla talks as well about her family's decision to open their home to refugees fleeing the war. Alla talks about the roots of her husband's family, and his founding of a winery near Odessa. She talks about the success her husband found with Odessa Black, a grape variety specifically associated with Ukraine. She also touches on the success the winery has had in bringing tourists to the region it was founded in. She finishes with a strong statement of ideals about the freedom of the Ukrainian people. Sergiy Klimov covers the recent development of Ukrainian wines since the early 2000s, as well as the ancient roots of winemaking in the country stretching back thousands of years. He describes a history where winemaking has at times flourished in the area, while it has been restricted or suppressed at other times. He also touches on the different winemaking regions of Ukraine today. Sergiy describes what it is like to sell Ukrainian wines to people who have never had it before, and gives a rationale for the recent rapid quality development for winemaking in the country. Anna Gorkun talks about the difficulties faced by a wine business in Ukraine today, and about adjusting business strategies to cope with a country that has seen waves of turmoil from warfare and the pandemic. She also talks about what her own business is trying to achieve. Anna further gives her assessment of Ukraine's shift towards the west, and of Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine's President. This episode features commentary from: Alla Plachkova, Kolonist Wines Sergiy Klimov, the author of "The Untold Story of Ukrainian Wine" Anna Gorkun, 46 Parallel Wine Group NOTE: This episode contains discussions that may be disturbing for children. Parental discretion is advised. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 490: Patrick Campbell Pruned Mountain Vines on Crutches

Patrick Campbell was the owner of Laurel Glen Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain in California, a winery he sold in 2011. He began the Tierra Divina Vineyards company, which encompasses the Terra Rosa, REDS, !ZaZin, and Tierra Divina wine labels, among others. The Tierra Divina Vineyards brands include wine labels from Lodi in California, from Argentina, and previously from Chile. Patrick talks about growing up in Southern California in the 1950s and 60s, and his early experiences drinking wine with his family as a teenager. He talks about visiting wineries in the Cucamonga Valley of California during the period of the time when that was a prominent appellation for California wine production. And he sums up the kind of wines that were being made in the Cucamonga Valley area at that time. Patrick talks about his increasing engagement with his religious feelings, which would eventually lead him to study the Philosophy of Religion at Harvard University, and to then join a Zen Buddhist Center in Sonoma, California. He makes a connection between religious feeling and farming, and talks about his work pruning old vine Palomino at the Zen Center. When a vineyard then came up for sale near the Zen Center on Sonoma Mountain, Patrick bought it and expanded the acreage. In the process he learned about the history of immigration to Sonoma Mountain, spoke with many of the interesting characters who called the Mountain home, and took an increasing interest in wines from the area. Patrick describes the vine growing conditions of Sonoma Mountain, and discusses his early days as a grape grower in the late 1970s. He talks about learning how to prune. He contrasts his business experiences with Chateau St. Jean with the more positive outcome he had selling grapes to Kenwood Vineyards. He discusses the vintages of the 1970s and 1980s on Sonoma Mountain, some of which were more successful than others. And he details his shift from just selling grapes to then making wine and selling it under his own label. The grape material at Laurel Glen and the Laurel Glen clone are discussed, and so are the market preferences for California wine in the 1980s. Patrick talks about the setup of his winery in the early days, and details his use of punching down to maximize contact between juice and skins. He also stresses the importance of tannin management when dealing with Mountain Cabernet. He emphasizes that he is not a university trained winemaker, and talks about winemaking as a process of controlled spoilage. He explains facets of his technique, such as his approach to maceration, pressing, and cooperage at the time. And then the conversation takes a turn, as Patrick describes his increasing interest in bulk wine, in marketing bulk wine from California, and then subsequently developing projects in Chile, followed after that by a long period of working with wine from Argentina. Patrick talks about Argentina as a relatively little known wine region at the time he first visited it, and shares his experience of first trying a wine from Malbec. He then covers the situation for winemaking in Argentina during that period, and the social, economic, and political realities that he witnessed as well. Patrick contrasts the wine culture and society of Chile at that time with what he witnessed in Argentina, and then describes the boom period for Argentinian Malbec in the global wine market, as well as what happened next. Patrick enunciates a philosophy in step with and taking cues from local winemaking traditions, while also being frank about his embrace of modern winemaking techniques and methods. He further discusses the market for the wines. Patrick's involvement with the push for expanded direct shipping of wine in the United States comes into the discussion, and he talks about the numerous strategy sessions, the different partnerships, and the approaches that were developed in the run up to a United States Supreme Court verdict on the question of direct shipping from...


IDTT Wine 489: Sylvain Pataille and the New Old Style

Sylvain Pataille is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Sylvain Pataille, which is located in the Marsannay area of Burgundy, within France. Sylvain discusses the impact in Burgundy of economic changes over the last one hundred years, and notes the special situation of Marsannay, which is near the city of Dijon in France. He does into some depth about the the vine planting history of the Marsannay area, and the commercial success of rosé wine from Marsannay. Sylvain then relates the more recent history of his own family's wine domaine, including its association with the Aligoté grape. This leads him to contrast the region's older viticultural practices - which he has identified from reading older books - with more recent norms. He also gives an overview of the different areas of the Marsannay appellation, and its top crus. Sylvain describes his own progression in oenology, from a more technical lab background to his very different focus today. He talks about working with "the best and the worst wine growers" in Burgundy as an oenological consultant, and what feelings led him to leave that sort of business in the lab behind, with a shift of focus to his own wine domaine. At his own domaine he has explored no sulphur vinifications and low sulphur bottlings, as well as non-filtered bottlings, which he sums up as "new old style." He has also attempted to use less sulphur and copper treatments in his vineyards, and experimented with Biodynamic applications. Sylvain summarizes what is particular about the native yeasts and bacteria of Burgundy. He also details how the shift in vintage conditions from year to year, alternating between hot and cold years, has implications for both the vineyard work and the winemaking. He further contrasts the draining ability of different types of soils he works with, and what that means for the work in the vines. Realizations about yields, and what they imply for the finished wines, are also shared, as well as key times for decisions about yields. Guyot Poussard pruning, which is concerned with sap flow pathways in the vine wood, is something that Sylvain has embraced, and he explains why in this interview. He gives a summary of some of the advantages of Guyot Poussard, and what he values in his vineyard work. Sylvain gives an overview of the differences between Aligoté, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir in the vineyard, as well. Stem inclusion is something that Sylvain prefers in both white and red wines, and he explains why, as well as what stems bring to the final wines in terms of color, alcohol level, and acidity. He also discusses why he prefers to crush fruit, and what crushing promotes in a fermentation and in a finished wine. When it comes to pressing, Sylvain also has his preferences, and he explains the benefits of vertical pressing. Further, he addresses topics likes the timing of malolactic conversion, lees stirring, oxidation, and reduction, specifically enunciating multiple causes of reduction. Sylvain also gives his thoughts on the topic of premature oxidation (premox) of Chardonnay in Burgundy in general. This episode also features commentary from: Bruno Clair (translated by Peter Wasserman), Domaine Bruno Clair John Kongsgaard, Kongsgaard Wine Becky Wasserman, Becky Wasserman & Co. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 488: Erin and the Volcano

Erin Scala explores the wines of Pico Island, a part of the Portuguese Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. Erin puts on sturdy boots and ventures to the Azores to explore mysterious vineyards and ancient lava stone walls in view of the giant volcano on Pico Island. She explores grape varieties grown on Pico, such as Arinto dos Açores, Terrantez do Pico, and Verdelho, and describes the wines made from them. She also details local traditions associated with winemaking on the island, as well as the geography of the place and its history. Erin speaks with several different people who live and work on Pico today, leading a tour to many of the top wine producer addresses on the island. In the process, she also goes into specifics about what some of the top producers are up to in regards to topics like oxidation, reduction, pressing, and wine aging, touching on the wide range of wines on made on the island. Erin finds out about some of the distinctive vineyard practices on the island. She also gives a sense of some of the different personalities amongst the winemakers and vine growers. In the process, Erin reveals the renaissance of winemaking that has occurred in recent years on the island, as well as explaining what occurred to send vine growing into decline there many decades ago. Across this episode, Erin interweaves the culture, context, and history of this area of Portugal into the survey of the wines there. Listeners will hear about the distinct cheese of the island, the spiritual significance of the soups there, the effects of the vineyard walls, the impact of the whaling industry on Pico, and "The Year of the Noise". More than a sense of place, Erin also conveys a sense of the sublime. She takes you to some of the hardest vineyards to farm on Planet Earth, and gives you a fantastic sense of why it is important to do so. This episode features commentary from (listed in order of appearance): Vanda Supa, Director of Environment and Climate Change of Pico Monica Silva Goulart, Architectural Expert of the Pico Island Vineyards Paulo Machado, Insula and Azores Wine Company Dr. Joy Ting, Enologist at the Winemaker's Research Exchange António Maçanita, Azores Wine Company Catia Laranjo, Etnom André Ribeiro and Ricardo Pinto, Entre Pedras Lucas Lopez Amaral (translated by Paulo Machado), Adega Vitivinícola Lucas Amaral Tito Silva (translated by Fortunato Garcia), Cerca dos Frades Jose Eduardo and Luisa Terra, Pocinho Bay Fortunato Garcia, Czar Winery Bernardo Cabral, Picowines Co-op Filipe Rocha, Azores Wine Company Christina Cunha (for her uncle Leonardo da Silva), Santo Antonio Carcarita Marco Faria, Curral Atlantis Winery See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 487: Dominik Sona and a Conception of Kabinett

Dominik Sona is the General Manager of the Koehler-Ruprecht winery, which is located in the Pfalz region of Germany. Dominik speaks about his family history in the Pfalz and his winemaking work early in his career for a winery, Villa Wolf, in that area of Germany. He also discusses the situation for the Koehler-Ruprecht winery in 2010, when he began to work at that winery. He references the history of the Koehler-Ruprecht winery, and notes that the previous proprietor, Bernd Philippi, was a pioneer in the production of dry Riesling wines from the Pfalz. Dominik speaks about the winemaking protocol for wines at Koehler-Ruprecht, and contrasts that with the winemaking at Villa Wolf. He also gives details about the handling of grapes in the winery, and the explains how the wines are aged at Koehler-Ruprecht prior to bottling. He discusses the exit of the winery from the VDP organization of German wineries in 2014, and touches on what led to the decision to leave the VDP. He also stresses what is important for the philosophy of winemaking at Koehler-Ruprecht: a focus on dry Riesling, fermented with native yeasts, aged in old wood barrels for a long period on the lees, and given a limited dose of sulphur. Dominik refers to method of selection at Koehler-Ruprecht, and notes that choices regarding bottlings, such as determining which lots go into Kabinett Trocken versus Spatlese or Auslese Trocken, are decisions made on tasting the wines, not on analytical numbers or areas of the vineyard. He explains what he is looking for on the palate when he makes those choices, and also describes the aromatics and food pairing potential of those wines. He also speaks about the ageability of the wines, and how they might evolve in bottle. And he gives some insight into the R and RR wines, the rare wines that Koehler-Ruprecht makes in certain years. In relation to these topics, Dominik also discusses climate change, and the likelihood that the vintages in these days tend towards more ripeness than the vintages in the past. The Saumagen is the most famous vineyard owned by Koehler-Ruprecht, and where the most prestigious wines of the winery emerge from. Dominik discusses the characteristics of that vineyard, including the exposure, the microclimate, and the presence of limestone there. He also discusses what wines from the Saumagen display that other wines of the winery might not. And he makes the connection between the flavors of the Saumagen Riesling wines and what foods they may pair well with. Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) is also discussed, in addition to Riesling. Dominik discusses the evolution of Spätburgunder winemaking in the Pfalz, and talks about what has changed and why. He also notes the move to new types of vine material for Spätburgunder, and talks about what the ramifications of that change may be. This interview represents an excellent opportunity to learn about the specifics of winemaking at a winery that follows its own path, and about which there is somewhat little information generally available. At the same time, the episode provides a large amount of context for understanding some of the changes in German winemaking in general. This episode also features commentary from: Florian Lauer, Weingut Peter Lauer Johannes Selbach, Weingut Selbach-Oster Egon Müller IV, Weingut Egon Müller-Scharzhof and Château Bela Katharina Prüm, Weingut Joh. Jos. Prüm Klaus-Peter Keller, Weingut Keller See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 486: George Skouras and the New Old World

George Skouras is the owner and winemaker at Domaine Skouras, located in the Peloponnese of Greece. George explains how his interest in wine first developed, and discusses his time as a student, working and living in France. He then talks about the early period of his career, making wine on the Greek island of Cephalonia. He describes a key meeting with Spyros Kosmetatos, which would lead to the founding of the Gentilini Winery on Cephalonia, and to market success for a white wine he made there. George shares some of the business philosophies that he developed at that time and which stayed with him later on. George then discusses his return to an area near where he grew up, Nemea, to focus on the production of wines from the red Agiorgitiko and the white Moscofilero grape varieties. He talks about his first vintages of making wine at Domaine Skouras, and about the resistance he faced trying to sell Agiorgitiko wines in the international markets. This last problem was solved by the addition of some Cabernet Sauvignon into the blend of one of the Skouras wines, a wine called Megas Oenos. That blend was a market success, and led to more interest as well in the native Agiorgitiko wines from Nemea. That interest was shared by George, who spent decades examining the different areas in which Agiorgitiko was grown, and exploring the different qualities that the grape possesses. George came to several conclusions about how to grow and to handle Agiorgitiko, and he shares those thoughts in this interview. He also describes the different growing areas for the grape variety. He then touches on a key change, the recent development of virus-free clones of Agiorgitiko. Further, George gives an assessment of his own wines from Agiorgitiko, and their development over time. George frequently discusses how both the Greek wine business and the international markets for wine have changed over time, and he gives an account of his own developments in response. He also summarizes his work with little known native grape varieties like Mavrostifo. And George speaks in some detail about Moscofilero, specifically about a darker colored variant of Moscofilero known as Mavrofilero. George talks about his early learning curve with Moscofilero winemaking, and describes the attributes of a Moscofilero wine from the Peloponnese. Several viticulture and winemaking topics are touched on in this interview, including irrigation, yields, elevation of vineyards, destemming, press wine, cooperage, lees contact, and aging. If you are curious about the development of Greek wine since the 1970s, this is a key perspective to take into account. George is one of a generation of Greek winemakers who have decidedly shaped the Greek wine scene of today. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 485: Robert Vifian and Stories from the Tan Dinh Wine Cellar

Robert Vifian is the chef and co-owner of Tan Dinh Restaurant, located in Paris, France. Robert was born in Vietnam in 1948, and lived in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) as a child, experiencing the effects of the Tet Offensive firsthand. He and his family are French, and he moved to Paris, eventually joining his parents there. Robert's mother founded Tan Dinh Restaurant in 1968, and later Robert joined her in the kitchen there. Robert then took over as Chef of that restaurant in 1978. As the 1970s moved in the 1980s, the restaurant became popular with artists, actors, and other cultural types, and became both a chic spot to dine and a destination for wine aficionados. Robert became interested in both cuisine and wine, and was soon searching out rare bottles, organizing private tastings, teaching in a wine school, and visiting cellars in Burgundy and Bordeaux. He visited producers such as Domaine Coche-Dury each year for many years, and developed a lot of familiarity with the wines of Domaine Comtes Lafon, Domaine Georges Roumier, and Domaine Hubert Lignier, tasting every vintage of each for several decades. He shares his reflections and thoughts about this producers in the interview. He also discusses Henri Jayer and Anne-Claude Leflaive, and their wines. Robert also developed a lot of familiarity with Right Bank Bordeaux, specifically Pomerol. And Robert had close friendships with oenologists like Jean-Claude Berrouet and Michel Rolland, as well as wine critics like Robert Parker, Jr., and those friendships lended support to his experiences of Bordeaux. He recalls those relationships in the interview, and shares his views on each person. He also discusses aspects of what he learned about Pomerol over the years. Robert had a friendship and a working relationship with the late Steven Spurrier during the time that Spurrier lived in Paris. Robert recalls the friendship and his different experiences with Spurrier in this interview. He also discusses the California wines that he learned about as a result of his acquaintance with Spurrier, dating back to The Judgement of Paris tasting in 1976. This interview follows the Paris wine scene from the 1970s until the present, and encompasses thoughts on both benchmark wine regions of France and key producers from those places, across the same decades. This episode also features commentary from: Steven Spurrier, formerly a Consulting Editor for "Decanter" Magazine Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. Christian Moueix, Etablissements Jean-Pierre Moueix See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 484: Erin Scala Looks Deep Into Lake Garda

Erin Scala explores the long history and many recent changes in the area around Lake Garda and in the Bardolino wine zone, in the northeastern Italy. Erin speaks with a number of different winemakers and specialists to clarify the situation around the evolution of winemaking in the Bardolino zone, from Roman times to the present day. She addresses the shift in the area in recent years towards rosé production, and explores both why this has occurred as well as the historical precedents for it. She enunciates how the wineries in the area vary in their choice of technique, and describes the different styles of the resulting wines. Erin examines both the shifting cultural and climatic settings for the wine production of this area. She explains how this Lake area - now well within Italy - was once at the border with Austria, as well as the recent effects of climate change there. She discusses the typical foods of the place, as well as the microclimate created by its defining feature: the lake. Erin also looks ahead to what wine styles may become more prevalent in the zone in the future. If you have not kept up with the rapid changes for wine within the Bardolino zone in recent years, this episode is a complete and crucial overview of the situation on the ground. This episode features commentary from: Gabriele Rausse, Gabrielle Rausse Winery Luca Valetti, Cantina Valetti Roberta Bricolo, Gorgo Francesco Piona, Cavalchina Marco Ruffato, Le Ginestra Matilde Poggi, Le Fraghe Daniele Domenico Delaini, Villa Calicantus Andreas Berger, Weingut Thurnhof Fabio Zenato, Le Morette Franco Christoforetti, Villa Bella Giulio Cosentino, Albino Piona Angelo Peretti, author of the book "Il Bardolino" Katherine Cole, journalist and author of the book "Rosé All Day: The Essential Guide to Your New Favorite Wine" Special Thanks To: Irene Graziotto See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 483: Listen to Françoise Vannier and Never Look At Burgundy the Same Way Again

Françoise Vannier is a geologist who has studied and mapped the vineyards of Burgundy for multiple decades. She is based in France. Françoise discusses how she began her study of the vineyards of the Côte d'Or, and the surprising results that emerged from her research. She touches on both broad themes and specific, individual instances in her analysis of the rock types and rock weathering in the Côte. For example, she explains how the Côte de Nuits differs from the Côte de Beaune in broad terms, and then gives examples from specific vineyards and villages that illustrate those divergences. She emphasizes the importance of the both the parallel and vertical faults that exist in the Cote d'Or, and explains how the vertical faults are often where combes have developed, which are breaks in the slope (like valleys). Françoise highlights the importance of these combes to understanding the rock distribution of the Côte d'Or. This then plays into her contention that village names are not as helpful as one might think for understanding the vineyards of the area, as it is the combes that are the actual markers of where the rock distribution changes in the Côte d'Or. Françoise also emphasizes the difficulty and complexity of the topic of Côte d'Or geology, enunciating a number of nuances to the different rock types, and how they weather. She also points out that multiple rock types may be found within a single vineyard, as faults do not fall only at the borders of vineyards. Furthermore, the rock types do not nicely match up with the hierarchy of perceived quality of the vineyards, as the same type of rock may be found under both a villages vineyard and a Grand Cru. These realizations prompted Françoise to examine the historical, cultural, or climatic reasons why certain vineyards are in more esteem than others today, and she shares in this interview her thoughts on those subjects. Françoise speaks about numerous areas of the Côte d'Or in some depth, including areas within the boundaries of Marsannay, Gevrey-Chambertin, Morey-Saint-Denis, Chambolle-Musigny, Pommard, and Meursault. She dispels common myths about the topic of Burgundy geology, and she gives examples of specific crus to illustrate many of her points. She also provides an examination of how human activity, in the form of quarries, house building, and clos (walled vineyard) construction has altered the Côte d'Or. Lastly, Françoise describes how the Côte d'Or differs from other areas of France which also feature calcium carbonate deposits, such as Champagne and St. Émilion. Anyone who wishes to understand Burgundy better will benefit from listening to this episode multiple times. This episode also features commentary from: Brenna Quigley, geologist and vineyard consultant Christophe Roumier, Domaine Georges Roumier See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 482: Lorenzo Accomasso and Barolo from the War Until Now

Lorenzo Accomasso is a vintner in the La Morra area of Italy's Piemonte region. He has been releasing Barolo and other wines under the Accomasso label for several decades. Lorenzo discusses the increased interest in Barolo and in the wines of the Piemonte that has occurred over the last couple of decades, as well as the increased planting of vineyards in La Morra. Lorenzo talks about helping his parents at the winery in the post-World War II years. He contrasts the current situation for the wines with the period of the 1960s, when people were leaving the countryside to find jobs in factories. He also recalls the difficult growing conditions of the 1970s, and the changes in attitude towards topics like green harvesting and fruit sorting that have occurred over time. Lorenzo is clear about his winemaking stance as a Traditional producer, and touches on some of the techniques that separate his winemaking from those who operate in a Modern style. He talks about the changes in popularity for Modern and Traditional wines from the Piemonte, and how those categories have been perceived in the market over time. He also touches on the difficulty of changing one's winemaking style once it has been set. Vineyard work is discussed, and Lorenzo makes a distinction between his different Barolo vineyards (Rocche, Rocchette, and Le Mie Vigne). He contrasts the different attributes of those vineyard sites. Vintage evaluations are given for many years, stretching back to the 1970s. Lorenzo gives his frank opinions of many vintages, and at times gives his thoughts on ageability as well. Then he discusses some of the difficulties he has experienced when making wines from the Dolcetto grape variety, in contrast to Nebbiolo. This is a rare opportunity to hear from a Piemonte vintner who lived through World War II, and with that in mind, this episode begins with a history of Italy and of the Piemonte in the later years of that war and after. That was a time when fighting between Fascists and Partisans took a huge human toll, with many deaths. The capsule history then transitions into a discussion of the changes the Piemonte experienced in the second half of the 20th century, as emigration and industrialization changed the environment for wine production. Italian cultural commentators Mario Soldati and Luigi Veronelli are also talked about, as are the changes in winemaking that increasingly began to take hold in the late 1970s and into the 2000s. Those changes gave rise to different winemaking camps in the Piemonte, which are discussed. Eventually the market for the Piemonte wines begins to change, and at the same time there arrives a belated realization that climate change has altered the realities for vine growing in the Piemonte. This episode also features commentary from: Martina Barosio, formerly of Scarpa Nicoletta Bocca, San Fereolo Beppe Colla (translated by Federica Colla), the ex-owner of Prunotto Luca Currado, Vietti Umberto Fracassi Ratti Mentone, Umberto Fracassi Angelo Gaja, Gaja Gaia Gaja, Gaja Maria Teresa Mascarello, Cantina Bartolo Mascarello Danilo Nada, Nada Fiorenzo Giacomo Oddero (translated by Isabella Oddero), Poderi Oddero Federico Scarzello, Scarzello Aldo Vaira (translated by Giuseppe Vaira), G.D. Vajra Aldo Vacca, Produttori del Barbaresco Michael Garner, co-author of Barolo: Tar and Roses Victor Hazan, author of Italian Wine Thank You to... Robert Lateiner and Gregory Dal Piaz for the use of the recording of Lorenzo Accomasso Carlotta Rinaldi and Giuseppe Vaira for their translation work Chris Thile for voiceover Bodhisattwa for the whistling of "Bella Ciao" See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 481: Wine Before and After the Genocide

Zorik Gharibian is the founder of the Zorah winery, in the Vayots Dzor region of southern Armenia. Zorik discusses the long history of wine production in Armenia, referencing evidence that wine was made in Armenia in the Copper Age (about 6,000 years ago). He talks about the grape remnants and clay storage jars that have been found from that time. And he discusses other wine related finds in Armenia, in both the pre-Christian era and later. Zorik then explains why a hundred year gap occured in the dry wine production of Armenia, and he talks about the situation for wine as he found it in Armenia in the late 1990s. Zorik explains his rationale for beginning his own winery in Armenia, and talks about the different winemaking regions of Armenia. He gives special emphasis to the area that he chose to base his production in, Vayots Dzor. He talks about the native grape family of that region, which is known as Areni, and his experiences with planting a new Areni vineyard. That is contrasted with his comments about a much older vineyard of Areni, which he also works with. Both vineyards are own-rooted, as phylloxera is not present in the region. Zorik also talks about the amphora clay containers that housed wine in Armenia in ancient times, and which he uses today as well. He gives his explanation for why he chose to mature his Areni wine in amphora - known as Karas in Armenia - as opposed to wooden barriques. And he relates details about his search to find amphora that were already existing in Armenia and which he could use, as well as to develop production of new amphora there today. He further gives a summary of the drinking habits of his surrounding region in Armenia, and an outlook on what it is like working in Armenia today. This episode also features commentary from: Katherine Moore, Union Square Wines Lee Campbell, Early Mountain Vineyards Conrad Reddick, Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 480: Kevin Zraly Was At the Top of the World and Then Lost Almost Everything

Kevin Zraly is the author of "Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course". He is also the co-author (with Mike DeSimone and Jeff Jenssen) of the book "Red Wine: The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties and Styles". Kevin was for decades the Cellar Master of Windows on the World restaurant, located on the top floors of the North Tower of New York City's original World Trade Center. Kevin describes his entry into the world of restaurants as a college student, and how a series of seemingly chance events led him to study and teach about wine. He recalls trips to California, France, Italy, and Spain to visit wineries, and some of the standout moments in those adventures. Then Kevin talks about his short lived career as a wholesale wine salesman in New York City, and explains how that quickly developed into a job opportunity as the Cellar Master at the brand new Windows on the World restaurant in the late 1970s. His role at Windows brought him into contact with legendary restauranteur Joe Baum, whom Kevin talks about at length. Kevin talks about the philosophy behind the wine program at Windows on the World - from the selection to the pricing to the service style - and recalls a key trip to Bordeaux to source wines there with Alexis Lichine. He also explains how working at Windows led to his book deal, and to more and more teaching opportunities. Kevin became famous as a teacher and speaker about wine, and in this interview he discusses how he approaches speaking to a group about wine. He also recalls the origins of the New York Wine Experience, which he founded. The interview with Kevin goes from highs to lows, as Windows on the World is closed by a bombing in 1993, and then totally destroyed as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Kevin shares the pain he has felt as a result, and gives his rationale for why he might have survived while his co-workers perished. He also talks about how he has coped with the aftermath of those terrible events on a personal level, and some of the challenges that he has faced as a parent. This episode also features commentary from: Martin Sinkoff, Martin Sinkoff Associates See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 479: Christopher Howell Doesn't Want It To Be About Him

Christopher Howell is the winemaker and General Manager of the Cain Vineyard and Winery in the Napa Valley of California. Christopher discusses his early wine tastings and home winemaking in the 1970s, and talks about some key relationships that helped form his interest in wine. He explains how he ended up pursuing an oenological and viticultural education in Montpellier, France, highlighting some notable people that he studied with, and how that school work then led to a stagiaire position at Château Mouton Rothschild in Bordeaux. Christopher talks about a chance meeting that he had while working at Mouton, and something that was said to him that has stayed with him for the rest of his life. He also discusses other adventures in other wine cellars in France, notably at Château Rayas in the Rhône Valley. Christopher discusses his return to the United States, and a pivotal meeting with Helen Turley that then led to a job at Peter Michael in the late 1980s. He talks about characteristics of Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer that would contribute to their success in the wine world, and Christopher is frank about what he learned from them both. He further explains how the transition to working at the Cain Vineyard and Winery came about, where he has now been employed for the last thirty years. Christopher is open about his sometimes unconventional winemaking choices, and explains the thought processes behind some idiosyncratic decision making, as well. In particular concerning brettanomyces, reduction, and volatile acidity. He also discusses the evolution of the different wine offerings at Cain, and what he has learned from that progression. He shares a great deal of his philosophy on topics like farming, vineyard trellising, terroir expression, grape variety blending, and wine complexity. He also is frank in his discussion about what his career choices have really entailed. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Cathy Corison, Corison Winery Kelli White, author of "Napa Valley Then and Now" Ehren Jordan, Failla John Lockwood, Enfield Wine Co. Bernard Portet, founding winemaker at Clos Du Val See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 478: Jason Lett Is Not At Peace

Jason Lett is the co-owner of The Eyrie Vineyards, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Jason discusses how his father, David Lett, helped transform the Willamette Valley into a growing region for Pinot Noir, acheiving worldwide acclaim for his efforts. Jason, who was born shortly after his father arrived in Oregon, retraces in this conversation the path that led his father there. He also talks about the character of his father, what he was trying to accomplish and why. Jason is clear about the state of winery, the wines, and his relationship with his father at the time of the transition to his own leadership at The Eyrie Vineyards. Jason explains realizations he has made working with other grape varieties besides Pinot Noir in Oregon, such as Chasselas and Trousseau. He also talks about how the farming at the family properties has changed since his father's day. And he discusses how his approach to certain wines is different from his father's practice. Jason is open about how trips to Burgundy and interactions with Burgundians have affected him and his work. He specifically talks about people like Gérard Potel, André Mussy, the Drouhin family, Michel Lafarge, Patrick Bize, and Romain Lignier. Some of Jason's comments about these people are further fleshed out in this episode by additional commentary spliced in from other interviews in the I'll Drink to That! archive. Climate change is also discussed in this episode, as Jason addresses how this reality might be approached in the vineyard. And he talks about how the region that his father made famous for Pinot Noir has itself changed over the decades since. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Mimi Casteel, Hope Well Wine Jacques Seysses, Domaine Dujac Dominique Lafon, Domaine Comtes Lafon Michel Lafarge, Domaine Michel Lafarge Christophe Roumier, Domaine Georges Roumier Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. Russell Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 477: Mary Ewing-Mulligan Says Intro Books Don't Sell...More Than Several Million Copies

Mary Ewing-Mulligan is the President of International Wine Center, located in New York City, and a co-author of the "Wine For Dummies" books. Mary discusses her introduction to working with wine, employed by an Italian government agency responsible for promoting Italian wine. She explains the situation for Italian wines in the United States at the time, the 1970s, and how the Italian wines in the market went about competing with wines from other countries. She also contrasts that situation for Italian wine to the situation for Italian wine in the United States today, and points out what has changed. Mary then talks about her own experiences traveling to Italy, and her friendship with the Currado family of the Vietti winery in Italy's Piemonte. Mary goes on to explain a key decision in her own wine career, leaving a high paying job in public relations to take a more modestly paid position at a wine school. She talks about her struggles to pass the Master of Wine exam, and her eventual triumph as the first woman residing in North America to earn a Master of Wine title. She then discusses her introduction of the Wine and Spirit Education Trust curriculum to the United States. Mary's career takes another turn as she and her husband Ed McCarthy write the very successful "Wine For Dummies" book that led to a number of other wine books in the "Dummies" series being authored by the couple as well. She talks about how she and Ed went about writing the "Dummies" books, in terms of approach. And Mary grapples in this interview with being on the one hand the author of "Wine For Dummies," while on the other hand also being a Master of Wine. She explains how she feels about the pairing, and what her motivations were at each point in her career. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 476: Christophe Roumier Has A Family History Written In Wine

Christophe Roumier and his family run Domaine Georges Roumier, located in the Burgundy village of Chambolle-Musigny in France. Christophe discusses the arrival of his grandfather in Chambolle-Musigny, and the beginning of the Roumier family history with wine. He talks about his family's work for the Comtes Georges de Vogüé domaine, also in Chambolle-Musigny, and then explains the timeline for estate wines at Domaine Georges Roumier. Christophe further discusses the Roumier and Ponnelle family connections (Christophe's mother was a Ponnelle), and the role that Christophe's father took on at Pierre Ponnelle, as well as at Domaine Georges Roumier. Christophe also details his own route to studying oenology in the late 1970s, and then working at the family domaine beginning in the 1980s. The vineyard holdings of Domaine Georges Roumier are discussed in detail, covering the plots for Bourgogne Rouge and Chambolle-Musigny villages, as well as the Les Cras, Les Combottes, and Les Amoureuses 1er Crus in Chambolle-Musigny, Clos de la Bussière 1er Cru in Morey-Saint-Denis, and the Grand Crus of Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Bonnes-Mares, and Musigny. Christophe then discusses the Corton-Charlemagne parcel he works, the Clos Vougeot that he used to farm, and the Échezeaux parcel that he recently began working. Christophe addresses both the character of these vineyards, and character of the wines that they produce. Christophe talks about the farming practices at Domaine Georges Roumier, and addresses his move to organic farming methods in the 1980s. He specifically highlights why the move to organic has been important for his wine production. He also talks about topics like vine trellising, and the changing conditions in the Burgundy vineyards today. In terms of winemaking, Christophe discusses aspects like the stages of a fermentation, the role of reduction, the importance of temperature control to his work, lees contact, sulphur addition, and further, Christophe enunciates the ramifications of delaying the start of a malolactic conversion. This episode also features commentary from the following people: Dominique Lafon, Domaine Comtes Lafon Becky Wasserman-Hone, Becky Wasserman & Co. Jacques Seysses, Domaine Dujac Jean-Pierre de Smet, founder of Domaine de l'Arlot Michel Lafarge, Domaine Michel Lafarge Benjamin Leroux, Benjamin Leroux Claude de Nicolay, Chandon de Briailles See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 475: Giacomo Oddero Remembers the People Who Believed in Barolo

Giacomo Oddero and his family operate Poderi e Cantine Oddero, in the La Morra area of the Barolo appellation in Piemonte, Italy. Giacomo, who was born in the mid-1920s, remembers the difficulties encountered in the Barolo region in the aftermath of World War II, as well as the specific changes that helped set the Barolo area on a path to prosperity. He recalls the challenges posed by families leaving the area in lean times, and the cooperation that was necessary to make region wide changes in wine production standards. Giacomo specifically mentions the process of codifying the Barolo appellation rules, encouraging growers in the area to register their grape production, and the move to make less wine of a higher quality. He also discusses the family purchases of vineyards like Brunate, Rionda, and Rocche di Castiglione, and the differences he finds between single vineyard Barolo and a blended Barolo classico. Giacomo talks about why he chose to stay in the Piemonte during hard times, and the decisions that he and his brother Luigi undertook when the two worked together, when their winery was known as Fratelli Oddero. Giacomo also mentions several other prominent names in the Barolo region, such as Renato Ratti and Battista Rinaldi. Finally, he explains what a public initiative undertaken during his tenure as mayor ultimately entailed for the region. Those who want to understand the culture and history of the Piemonte region will find this interview to be a treasure trove of information. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 474: Rod Berglund Is Not Just A Swan Clone

Rod Berglund and his family own Joseph Swan Vineyards in Sonoma County, California, where Rod is also the winemaker. Rod explains how he first became interested in wine, and what led him to found his own winery in the late 1970s. He also discusses how he met winemaker Joe Swan, who would eventually become his father-in-law. Rod conveys how Joe in many ways stood apart from his California winermaking contemporaries of the 1970s and 1980s, making choices influenced by the changes Joe had seen in Burgundy, France. Those included the use of French oak barrels, an increasing interest in whole cluster, and a focus on low yields from the vineyard. As Rod explains it, Joe's approach to winemaking was a simple one, but he also took seriously the goal of making great wines of limited production. This extended to Joe's approach to Zinfandel, which he made with an eye to high quality, rather than assuming the grape variety had to have a bulk wine destiny. Rod touches on some of the other people that influenced Joe's vision of wine, including André Tchelistcheff, Jacques Seysses, and Kermit Lynch. This episode also features a clip from IDTT episode 460, wherein Joel Peterson speaks about his experiences working with Joe Swan in the 1970s. As the interview progresses, Rod details the changes he has made at the winery and in the vineyard since Joe Swan passed away, explaining the logic of each adjustment. This conversation also touches on topics like the "Swan clone," extended maceration, whole cluster use, tannin management, malolactic conversion for Chardonnay, the specifics of growing grapes in the Russian River Valley, and the makeup of old Zinfandel vineyards. Those wanting to understand the transition of California winemaking practice from the 1960s to now will benefit tremendously from hearing this episode. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 473: Tomoko Kuriyama Explains the Burgundy Mindset

Tomoko Kuriyama is a partner in Chanterêves, a micro-négociant based in Burgundy, which she runs with her husband Guillaume Bott. Tomoko spent over a decade working in wineries in Germany, then moved to Burgundy in France and started Chanterêves. She explains in this interview the differences between Germany and Burgundy in terms of the winemaking and vineyard work. She also discusses the outlook of the growers in each place, and how those differ. Tomoko worked with growers in Germany like Paul Fürst and Peter Jakob Kühn, and visited German growers like Helmut Dönnhoff and Gernot Kollmann. Then in 2005, she did a harvest at Domaine Simon Bize in Burgundy, which subsequently led her to move to Burgundy and start a micro-négociant there. When addressing topics like botrytis, the nature of a fermentation, brettanomyces, sulphur dose, lees contact, reduction, and tannin management, Tomoko compares and contrasts the approaches in Germany with those in Burgundy. By doing so, she explains both at a deep level. Tomoko also describes how winemaking in Germany and in Burgundy have evolved in the years that she has been making wine. For example, she describes the embrace of infusion instead of extraction in the red winemaking of Burgundy, and why it may be so common today. Those looking to better understand the character of German wine and Burgundy will find a lot of revelatory information in this interview. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.


IDTT Wine 472: Anthony Hanson Washed Burgundy's Dirty Laundry

Anthony Hanson wrote the book "Burgundy," which was originally published in 1982, and then subsequently revised by him for another edition published in 1995. He is today a consultant for Haynes Hanson & Clark, as well as The Fine Wine Experience in Hong Kong. Anthony describes his entry into Beaune (via bulldozer) in the 1960s, and his first tasting at the Hospices de Beaune in Burgundy. He discusses his growing awareness of domaine bottled Burgundy at the time, and how he found those domaine wines to differ from the négociant bottlings that were being shipped to England back then. Anthony talks about his tastings at various Burgundy domaines, with personalities like Hubert de Montille, Jacques d'Angerville, Aubert de Villaine, Jacques Seysses, and Becky Wasserman. He then explains why he began to write his book "Burgundy," which was first published in 1982. That book addressed topics such as clones, fertilizers, chaptalization, blending, the influence of Guy Accad, and the growing amount of domaines bottling their own wine for sale. Anthony subsequently revised that book for another edition published in 1995, and in this interview he explains what had changed in Burgundy between 1982 and 1995, described by him as a period of important changes in the region. In addition, Anthony addresses in this interview topics that emerged later for Burgundy, such as premox and a debate around climate change. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.