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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 371: The Wines of Croatia show art Ep 371: The Wines of Croatia

Wine for Normal People

Croatia is a small country with great wine potential. With a 2,500-year history of winemaking, this beautiful nation has coast, islands, and inland hills, all with unique soil types that make its growing conditions unlike anywhere else. The four main regions make distinctive wines using indigenous grapes and although the industry is just getting back on its feet after a century of war, socialism, and poor viticulture, Croatia is a country on the ascent, and one you should know about! 

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Ep 370: Six (or Twelve) Unorthodox Wines for Spring show art Ep 370: Six (or Twelve) Unorthodox Wines for Spring

Wine for Normal People

For this show, we discuss an unorthodox list of lovely reds and whites for spring. I can guarantee that most of these ideas you won't see on other lists! Etna from Sicily? Check. Chignin Bergeron from Savoie in France? Yup. If you're looking for a change from the norm and a great spring list, here it is! 

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Ep 369: The Greats -Sauternes and Barsac show art Ep 369: The Greats -Sauternes and Barsac

Wine for Normal People

Sauternes and Barsac, two small parts of Bordeaux, make some of the most famed sweet wines on the planet, and certainly some of the most expensive. We go in depth on these areas and talk about what makes them part of "The Greats" of the wine world.

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Ep 368: Michael Dhillon of Bindi Wines, Icon of Australia's Boutique Wineries show art Ep 368: Michael Dhillon of Bindi Wines, Icon of Australia's Boutique Wineries

Wine for Normal People

Michael Dhillon of Bindi Wines is one of the most famous winemakers in Australia. A native son of Gisbourne, where his family has lived for more than a century and a half, his vineyard is in Victoria, in the Macedon Ranges, an area less than an hour outside of Melbourne on the southern end of the Great Dividing Range. Michael makes Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and cool climate Shiraz. He joins to share his passion for this magical region, and tell us about his wines, which many think are the best of Australia.

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Ep 367: Chardonnay -- The Grape Miniseries Refresh show art Ep 367: Chardonnay -- The Grape Miniseries Refresh

Wine for Normal People

In this show we take another look at the regal Chardonnay grape and talk about how it has changed over the years. This is an update of a previous show done years ago, so we cover everything we do in a normal grape mini-series but with a fresh take. The gist of the show: To get the most out of your experience with the grape, it's important to understand place and producer so you can get the styles you like every time!

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Ep 366: Riccardo Sobrino of Cascina Delle Rose, The Toast of Barbaresco's Boutique Producers show art Ep 366: Riccardo Sobrino of Cascina Delle Rose, The Toast of Barbaresco's Boutique Producers

Wine for Normal People

Riccardo Sobrino, of Cascina delle Rose, runs a boutique estate in Barbaresco that produces elegant and complex wines and has been in his family for more than 70 years. Cascina delle Rose, was started by Riccardo’s mother, Giovanna Rizzolio, in 1992 on this ideal site which contains the cru of Tre Stelle and Rio Sordo. Made to highlight terroir, these wines represent the elegance and grace that is inherent to the wines of this region.

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Ep 365: Vins Doux Naturels -- the Underrated, Elegant Wines of Southern France show art Ep 365: Vins Doux Naturels -- the Underrated, Elegant Wines of Southern France

Wine for Normal People

Vins doux naturels (VDNs), translated to ‘naturally sweet wines’, are some of the most historic yet underestimated wines in France. With a mild sweetness, balancing acidity, and fruit or nut flavors (depending on the aging regimen) these wines offer so much pleasure, balance and a beginning or end to your meal that will make shine every time.

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Ep 364: The High-End World of Rare Wines with Dave Parker of Benchmark Wines show art Ep 364: The High-End World of Rare Wines with Dave Parker of Benchmark Wines

Wine for Normal People

In this episode I welcome David Parker, founder of Benchmark Wine Group -- the largest online seller of fine and rare wines for wine retailers, restaurants, and collectors worldwide. 

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Ep 363: The Personal Side of Loire with Serge Dore Importer show art Ep 363: The Personal Side of Loire with Serge Dore Importer

Wine for Normal People

Serge Doré, importer of French wine (and American via Quebec…he’s a man of many identities and a worldliness we can only aspire to!) and popular podcast regular, joins us to talk about the Loire Valley. Serge joins to give us the world of Loire from his perspective, humanize it with stories of producers he imports, and tell us what we can expect from this sometime confusing but wonderfully beautiful and diverse French wine region.

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Ep 362: The Grape Miniseries -- Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio) show art Ep 362: The Grape Miniseries -- Pinot Gris (Pinot Grigio)

Wine for Normal People

Of the many grapes that we have covered in this series, possibly the hardest to define is the one in this show -- Pinot Gris. It's so complex in part because it goes by many names and can taste neutral and boring to oily, powerful, and bold with notes of smoke, ginger, and spice. It can be bone dry to amazingly sweet and can be powderpuff or very serious in quality.

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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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