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Ep 279: Greg La Follette of Alquimista Cellars and pioneer of Sonoma, CA Pinot Noir

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 06/03/2019

Ep 312: Filippo Bartolotta explains the Essential Nature of Vintage and Italy's Anteprima System show art Ep 312: Filippo Bartolotta explains the Essential Nature of Vintage and Italy's Anteprima System

Wine for Normal People

Filippo Bartolotta is a teacher, writer, and a wine storyteller. He is an excellent communicator and he joins me to talk about Anteprima in Italy which, as you’ll hear, is a purely Italian take on the famed en Primeur of Bordeaux (which we will also explain).  We take an in depth look at vintage, the importance of small producers in Italy, and offer some golden nuggets on how to take advantage of good and bad vintages. 

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Ep 311: Monty Waldin -- Biodynamics, Organics, Sustainability Expert AND Host of the Italian Wine Podcast show art Ep 311: Monty Waldin -- Biodynamics, Organics, Sustainability Expert AND Host of the Italian Wine Podcast

Wine for Normal People

Monty Waldin is a British broadcaster, author, and winemaker with a focus on organics and biodynamics. His first book, “The Organic Wine Guide” (1999), was voted Britain’s Wine Guide of the Year. He has also written award winning books “Biodynamic Wines” and “Wines of South America.”  Monty has winemaking experiences in both hemispheres, had a tv show called “Chateau Monty” (2008) about biodynamic winemaking in France, and he is a renowned writer, and the host of the Italian Wine Podcast.

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Ep 310: The quality revolution of Alto Adige, Italy with Karoline Walch of Elena Walch show art Ep 310: The quality revolution of Alto Adige, Italy with Karoline Walch of Elena Walch

Wine for Normal People

Elena Walch is a winery with an essential role in the quality revolution of Alto Adige, Italy. Alto Adige is in the northeast corner of the country and has unlimited variety and wines that offer delicate, unique flavor profiles. Karoline Walch of Elena Walch tells us about how her mother took on the task of transforming the region from making bulk plonk to crafting delicate, unique, cool climate, terroir-driven varietal wines.

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Ep 309: Tranquil Vale of Hunter Valley, Australia on Boutique Wine, Bushfires, and Climate Change show art Ep 309: Tranquil Vale of Hunter Valley, Australia on Boutique Wine, Bushfires, and Climate Change

Wine for Normal People

Connie Paur Griffiths of Tranquil Vale Vineyards in the Hunter Valley of of New South Wales, Australia joins to educate us about this fascinating region, discuss the 2019-2020 bushfires that have threatened it, and to talk about the challenges facing wine and climate in Australia's future.

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Ep 308: The Reality of the Australian Fires with Paracombe Wines of Adelaide Hills show art Ep 308: The Reality of the Australian Fires with Paracombe Wines of Adelaide Hills

Wine for Normal People

Kathy Drogemuller of Paracombe Wines in Adelaide Hills in South Australia tells us her story, what is special about the high-altitude vineyards of Adelaide Hills, and then she gives us great perspective on the large-scale fires that destroyed much of her beautiful region. She shares what has happened, why it has happened, and the importance of knowing that there are many, many people who are open for business.

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Ep 307: The Grape Miniseries -- Muscat (the Granddaddy of them all) show art Ep 307: The Grape Miniseries -- Muscat (the Granddaddy of them all)

Wine for Normal People

To kick off 2020, we have the original wine grape, the one from which so many were derived: MUSCAT! In the show we discuss the three main types of Muscat and the wines and regions that you need to seek out to get a taste of this ancient, delicious, complex grape. 

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Ep 306: Planeta and the story of modern Sicilian wine with Alessio Planeta show art Ep 306: Planeta and the story of modern Sicilian wine with Alessio Planeta

Wine for Normal People

Alessio Planeta has spent his life dedicated to the study of Sicily and figuring out how to make it a significant force in world wine. With his family, Alessio now has six wineries around Sicily, and they have almost single-handedly put Sicily on the map as a quality player. They continue their mission to show what Sicily can do and what its forgotten varietals can bring to the world of wine. They are one of the big reasons we have access to excellent Sicilian wine today.

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Ep 305: Gaia Gaja on the Past and Future of Barbaresco and Piedmont, Italy show art Ep 305: Gaia Gaja on the Past and Future of Barbaresco and Piedmont, Italy

Wine for Normal People

This week, one of the most famous wine producers in the world joins us -- Gaia Gaja from Gaja in Barbaresco in Piedmont, Italy. We discuss the history of her famed family, why their wines are like liquid velvet, and how climate change is forcing new ways of thinking. Her philosophy, outlook, and class show why Gaja has earned its place at the top of the wine world.

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Ep 304: Hightower Cellars, Red Mountain, Washington, and an Honest Look at WA Wine show art Ep 304: Hightower Cellars, Red Mountain, Washington, and an Honest Look at WA Wine

Wine for Normal People

Tim and Kelly Hightower have been making beautiful wine in Washington State (in the northwest of the US) specifically Red Mountain, for about 2.5 decades. They tell us about the evolution of Washington State wine, their path, and then we discuss some of the reasons Washington wine can and should be so much more popular. This is a real insightful look into the challenges and opportunities of Washington State wine! 

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Ep 303: Alternative Wines For Thanksgiving Pairing show art Ep 303: Alternative Wines For Thanksgiving Pairing

Wine for Normal People

We have much to be grateful for this year – Patrons, the release of the Wine for Normal People book, and all of you listeners! This is our yearly TG episode. This time we take the traditional pairings and offer some alternatives. You can stick with what you know based on our recommendations or go out on a limb. Either way, we are truly grateful for you, for your tolerance of our Beastie Boys and Hobbit references and for your continued support! Thank you!

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More Episodes

Greg La Follette is known in the wine world as a founding father of California Pinot Noir. A former seminarian and biochemist with degrees in Plant Biology and Chemistry, he was an early AIDS researcher at the University of California San Francisco before earning his masters degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California Davis.

Greg has worked for BV, started La Crema and Hartford Court for Jackson Family Wine (Kendall-Jackson), started Sonoma Pinot cult brand Flowers and his own brands LaFollette (which he sold) and now Alquimista. Greg has consulted all over the world – in northern California, Oregon, Europe, South America, and Australia. He is widely considered an expert on Pinot Noir.

 

Here are a few things we chatted about:

  1. Greg's early history, including his time with André Tchelistcheff, the father of American Viticulture (also mentioned in Ep 275: http://winefornormalpeople.libsyn.com/webpage/category/ep-275-lane-tanner-the-pinot-czarina-of-santa-barbara-county-california)
  2. The allure of Pinot Noir and the various styles Greg has made over the years -- from big and brawny at Flowers to elegant and earthy at Alquimista. Greg talks about winegrowing and the challenges of Pinot Noir (and why Chardonnay is important to grow as a sanity check!)
  3. The influence Burgundy has had on Greg's wine over the years
  4. The fascinating chronicles of working at La Crema, starting Flowers for someone else, starting and selling Tandem (now La Follette) and then departing to the best stop: Alquimista Cellars!
  5. We discuss Patrick Dillon, Greg's partner in Alquimista (and a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, writer, editor), and how their styles combine to make a style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay you won't find elsewhere in California. 

Alquimista's wines are spectacular. Check them out!  

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