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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 319: How to Get Great Rhône Wine with Serge Doré, French Wine Importer show art Ep 319: How to Get Great Rhône Wine with Serge Doré, French Wine Importer

Wine for Normal People

Serge Doré is a fan favorite and he returns to tell us about the place in France where he feels most at home: the Rhône. We've learned about life as an importer and about the business of wine in Bordeaux from Serge, and this time he tells us about the Rhône.

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Ep 318: High Altitude Wines show art Ep 318: High Altitude Wines

Wine for Normal People

High altitude wines are often discussed in the wine world, but what REALLY defines high altitude? There are a lot of features that would make a region qualify but the keys to determining “high elevation” are latitude and altitude and their cross section. In this ultra-dorky show, we discuss the genetic adaptation and metabolic changes that happen in high altitude grapes and how it affects flavor, body, and character of the wines they make.

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Ep 317: Valpolicella and Amarone from Veneto, Italy with Filippo Bartolotta show art Ep 317: Valpolicella and Amarone from Veneto, Italy with Filippo Bartolotta

Wine for Normal People

Filippo Bartolotta joins us again to explain the wonders and changing nature of the Valpolicella region in northeast Italy. Filippo tells us about the geological underpinnings of the region, how the winemaking styles developed here, and what's gone on in modern history. We cover things you many of you have asked about in this show, like the difference between Valpolicella, Valpolicella Classica, Valpolicella Ripasso, and Amarone della Valpolicella and what apassimento is and how it affects flavor.

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Ep 316: Women of Bordeaux with Caroline Perromat of Ch Cerons and Sylvie Courselle of Ch Thieuley show art Ep 316: Women of Bordeaux with Caroline Perromat of Ch Cerons and Sylvie Courselle of Ch Thieuley

Wine for Normal People

In celebration of Women’s History month, I talk to two wonderful women in wine from Bordeaux. Sylvie Coursell of Château Thieuley, runs her family estate in the Entre-deux-Mers with her sister and makes lovely red, white, and sparkling. Caroline Perromat runs (with her husband Xavier) the historic Graves estate of Château de Cerons, which is well known for beautiful reds, whites, and especially botrytis affected sweet wines.

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Ep 315: The Grape Miniseries -- Mourvedre/Monastrell show art Ep 315: The Grape Miniseries -- Mourvedre/Monastrell

Wine for Normal People

The grape miniseries continues! This time we cover the grape known as Monstrell in Spain, Mourvèdre in France, and Mataro in other parts of the world. Difficult to grow and make, when treated well the wines from this grape are unlike any other -- herbal, gamy, powerful.

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Bonus Sponsored Ep: Vanessa Conlin, MW, Head of Wine for Wine Access show art Bonus Sponsored Ep: Vanessa Conlin, MW, Head of Wine for Wine Access

Wine for Normal People

This episode, sponsored by Wine Access, is with Vanessa Conlin, the Head of Wine and Master of Wine candidate. She has had a wonderful and unexpected career: While pursuing a career in opera, she discovered a love of food and wine and pursued wine education while continuing her music studies. Vanessa talks about her transition to wine, her passion for the industry, and what makes her job at Wine Access so fun and unique.

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Ep 314: Ribera del Duero, Spain -- a Study in Power and Elegance show art Ep 314: Ribera del Duero, Spain -- a Study in Power and Elegance

Wine for Normal People

Ribera del Duero makes some of the most outstanding Tempranillo in the world. Located in the northwest of the Spain, about two hours north of Madrid, Ribera del Duero has been making wine for 2,600 years but its modern story is one of a dynamic, changing region that is improving every year. This is an exciting region and an example of Spain's willingness to change, improve and go the distance to produce excellent quality wine.

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Ep 313: The Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy's Hidden Gem show art Ep 313: The Cote Chalonnaise, Burgundy's Hidden Gem

Wine for Normal People

The famed parts of Burgundy make wine that most of us can only read about in books and articles. But Côte Chalonnaise, just south of those famed parts, is overlooked. It has a similar climate, similar soils, and many years it makes wine that isn't so different from its neighbors to the north. If you want to try Burgundy but the cost stops you, this pod is a must-listen.

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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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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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