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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 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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Ep 302: The Insider View of Long Island Wine with Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane Wine show art Ep 302: The Insider View of Long Island Wine with Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane Wine

Wine for Normal People

Long Island has 3,000 acres planted with grapes and at least 60 wineries. Lieb Cellars has been around for nearly 30 years and this week Russell Hearn, winemaker for Lieb Cellars and Bridge Lane wines (who has been there since the start), and Ami Opisso, General Manager and Long Island native, tell us about why Long Island is special, why Lieb is different, and how Bridge Lane is the king of quality wine in alternative packaging (yes, we cover this in detail!).

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Ep 301: Sheldrake Point Winery -- Refreshing Candor (and wine) in the Finger Lakes show art Ep 301: Sheldrake Point Winery -- Refreshing Candor (and wine) in the Finger Lakes

Wine for Normal People

Sheldrake Point Winery in the Finger Lakes began in 1997. For most of that time, Dave Wieman, vineyard manager, and Dave Breeden, winemaker, have been with the winery. They dish on what it's really like it is to make wine in this ever-changing, awesome region.

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Ep 300: A Past, Present, and Future look at Wine, for Normal People show art Ep 300: A Past, Present, and Future look at Wine, for Normal People

Wine for Normal People

As we always do when we hit a milestone, for episode 300 we reflect on three things we each have learned in the last 8 years.

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Ep 299: Texas Wine Country with the Wineries of Texas Fine Wine show art Ep 299: Texas Wine Country with the Wineries of Texas Fine Wine

Wine for Normal People

Texas is one of the oldest winegrowing states in the US, with vines predating California by 100+ years. The first vineyard in North America was by Franciscan priests circa 1660 in Texas and the industry grew throughout the 1800s. After Prohibtion decimated the industry, Texas jump started it's wine industry in the 1970s and today it's roaring back. Texas has 400 producers and it is growing and growing.The future is bright for the Lone Star state's wine industry.

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Ep 298: The Transformation of Loudoun County, Virginia -- The Vineyards at Lost Creek show art Ep 298: The Transformation of Loudoun County, Virginia -- The Vineyards at Lost Creek

Wine for Normal People

Loudoun County, Virginia is in close proximity to Washington, D.C. -- the farthest vineyards are just over an hour's drive away. The area is known more for big, beautiful event spaces & mediocre wine than as a premier region of Virginia. But about 7 years ago Aimee and Todd Henkle of Lost Creek decided to be part of the movement to change that. We learn how hey are doing so with elegant wines, one vintage at a time!

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Ep 297: Anthony Road Wine Company -- a Legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York show art Ep 297: Anthony Road Wine Company -- a Legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York

Wine for Normal People

Anthony Road Wine Company is a legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. It’s one of the pioneering wineries of the area, and it makes wines that reflect the soils and climate of the Finger Lakes. Their wines are made from grapes grown in vineyards owned or managed by the Martini Family and carefully selected by Peter Becraft, the head winemaker. This week Peter tells us the story of Anthony Road, his path to becoming the winemaker and the things that make the wines so unique.

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Ep 296: Boundary Breaks of the Finger Lakes, Where Terroir Reigns Supreme show art Ep 296: Boundary Breaks of the Finger Lakes, Where Terroir Reigns Supreme

Wine for Normal People

Boundary Breaks is located in the Finger Lakes in Central New York. It's the consummate cool weather growing region, where Riesling and aromatic whites reign supreme. Bruce Murray, the founder and creative force behind Boundary Breaks, tells us how he went from newspaper man, to working with Elon Musk, to running a winery so focused on terroir, they don't even have a winemaker (they have 3).

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Ep 295: Sleight of Hand- Washington State's Wine Magic show art Ep 295: Sleight of Hand- Washington State's Wine Magic

Wine for Normal People

Sleight of Hand Cellars is the fulfillment of two dreams. Jerry Solomon was a real estate attorney in San Diego who longed for a small town life and wanted wine to be part of it. Trey Busch was a Walla Walla winemaker who had insane talent but needed a partner to make his dream winery a reality. The two created Sleight of Hand 12 years ago to create exceptional, terroir driven wines that reflect Washington's unique beauty.

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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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