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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 338: Glassware and Gadgets Revisited show art Ep 338: Glassware and Gadgets Revisited

Wine for Normal People

We haven't done a show on this topic for a long time, so here's the 2020 update. We cover what to look for in glassware, decanters, wine fridges, wine openers, preservation systems and more. This is the skinny on what you need and what you don't (and why!).

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Ep 337: Feudi di San Gregorio and the Unrivaled Wines of Campania, Italy show art Ep 337: Feudi di San Gregorio and the Unrivaled Wines of Campania, Italy

Wine for Normal People

Dr. Antonio Capaldo, with his brilliance and razor-sharp humor, joins me to discuss the beautiful wines of Campania, Italy -- one of my all-time favorite regions. He is the Chairman of Feudi di San Gregorio and shares his insights on the region, its appellations, what makes the land and grapes special, and the bright future Campania has ahead of it.

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Ep 336: Santorini, Greece and it's divine white of Assyrtiko show art Ep 336: Santorini, Greece and it's divine white of Assyrtiko

Wine for Normal People

Santorini is one of Greek wine's guiding lights. The wines from this ancient volcanic island are unlike any other – exhibiting fullness, smoky minerality, and acidity that you won’t find elsewhere. The whites of Assyrtiko are among the best Greece has to offer. The fascinating history and legacy of viticulture will transport you to this lovely Mediterranean paradise. In this show, we take you on the ultimate armchair travel destination: the island of Santorini, a Greek paradise!

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Ep 335: The Grape Miniseries-- Gewurztraminer show art Ep 335: The Grape Miniseries-- Gewurztraminer

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Gewurztraminer is one of the most distinctive grapes and makes one of the most overtly perfumed, full bodied whites in existence. The lychee, rose, citrus, incense, and smokey notes can be intoxicatingly fantastic or WAY too much. We discuss the grape's origins, its diva personality, and how to get the best wine for you based on the style you prefer.

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Ep 334: Hungarian Wine Overview with Zoltan Heimann of Heimann Winery show art Ep 334: Hungarian Wine Overview with Zoltan Heimann of Heimann Winery

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Zoltán Heimann has much to teach us about Hungarian wine. He joins to help me present Hungary's wines, keep me on task with the proper pronunciations (the reason it’s taken me so long to cover this country, honestly!), and to give us an overview of what we can expect from Hungary -- including grapes and regions from Tokaji to Villány to Sopron and more. To end, we focus on Zoltan's beloved region of Szekszárd (sex-ARD), known mostly for its famous Kadarka red wine, of which he is a huge champion.

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Ep 333: Richard Betts, Former Master Somm, Shows What Moral Fortitude REALLY Looks Like show art Ep 333: Richard Betts, Former Master Somm, Shows What Moral Fortitude REALLY Looks Like

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After nearly two decades as a Master Sommelier, feeling disillusioned by the lack of evolution in the organization, Richard Betts altered the wine world forever by being the first person to resign as a Master Sommelier. In the show, he tell us about his journey and his decision. He shares what it really means to choose integrity over status and exclusivity and we talk about why the Court of Master Sommeliers is such a problematic organization riddled with bias and fear.

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Ep 332: Tahiirah Habibbi from the Hue Society Is On a Mission to Diversify Wine show art Ep 332: Tahiirah Habibbi from the Hue Society Is On a Mission to Diversify Wine

Wine for Normal People

Tahiirah Habibbi is an accomplished sommelier who has worked in some of the most prestigious hotels and restaurants in south Florida. As a black female sommelier, however, it has been a mixed bag. While her experience fostered her love of learning and wine, it also exposed her to the ugly world of racism in the wine industry. She tells us about her journey, how she founded The Hue Society to help other black and brown people who want to pursue wine, and what we can do to be more inclusive in wine.

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Ep 331: Carnuntum -- Austria's Newest, Oldest Quality Red Wine Region with Christina Netzl show art Ep 331: Carnuntum -- Austria's Newest, Oldest Quality Red Wine Region with Christina Netzl

Wine for Normal People

Carnuntum is a small wine region in Austria with only 2% of the wine growing area, but it packs a punch in quality. A short drive from Vienna, Carnuntum is an old Roman hub, with a rich history and its wine is only just making an impact on the international wine scene. Christina Netzl, from Weingut Netzl joins – a producer who is largely responsible for putting this region on the map and making its red wines, especially of Zweigelt, so well-known and respected.

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Ep 330: Journalistic Integrity in Wine with Don Kavanagh of Wine-Searcher show art Ep 330: Journalistic Integrity in Wine with Don Kavanagh of Wine-Searcher

Wine for Normal People

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Ep 329: Muscadet - The Overlooked White of the Loire show art Ep 329: Muscadet - The Overlooked White of the Loire

Wine for Normal People

The wine world often looks at Muscadet with disdain for its lighter body and subtlety of flavor. But for white wine lovers who care less about showiness and just want something with the interplay of acidity with nutty, bread flavors and soft textures, this historic wine is a thrill. This week we discuss this westernmost area of Loire Valley, which lies along the banks of the Loire and its tributaries and how it has remade itself into a place with serious wines.

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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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