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Ep 222: Meeker Wine of Sonoma, CA with Lucas Meeker, the Next Gen of CA Wine

Wine for Normal People

Release Date: 03/04/2018

Ep 519: A Year in the Vineyard in Sonoma with Brian Callahan of Crux Winery show art Ep 519: A Year in the Vineyard in Sonoma with Brian Callahan of Crux Winery

Wine for Normal People

For this show I ask my friend with Brian Callahan, small vineyard farmer and co-owner of Crux Winery in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma (the Middle Reach though – the warmer part, so they do Rhône varietals) to tell us what a year in a Sonoma vineyard looks like. He takes us through what he has been doing for the last 18 years in his vineyard, a three acre plot that produces the beautiful fruit that turns into Crux wine.    This is a real look at what happens in the vineyard over the year to ensure a healthy harvest. We discuss what he can do and what Mother Nature gives or...

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Ep 518: Biodynamic, Organic, Sustainable, Regenerative Wine (and more) -- the Update show art Ep 518: Biodynamic, Organic, Sustainable, Regenerative Wine (and more) -- the Update

Wine for Normal People

These categories of "better for the earth" wines are technical, tricky, and ever-evolving, so I felt that it was time to do a comprehensive update!   In this show, I do best to break it all down in as simple a way as possible…I cover: Biodynamics Organics Sustainable farming Regenerative agriculture And then, quickly, the loose ends – vegan wine and natural wine   I start with an overview of the Pre- and Post- Industrial Revolution types of farming: Traditional farming is original agriculture, by the industrial revolution introduced inorganic sprays, applications, etc --...

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Ep 517: Wines that are worth the splurge show art Ep 517: Wines that are worth the splurge

Wine for Normal People

Tax Day in the US has come and gone. Many of us are getting a refund, so if you have a little extra change, here are some great wines to consider.   A few on the list are... Burgundy in red and white: Pinot and Chard Pomerol in Bordeaux Syrah from The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater in Walla Walla Washington Old Vine Zinfandel from Sonoma, Napa, and Amador County Châteauneuf-du-Pape BLANC   I offer descriptions and explanations of each wine in the show. I hope you enjoy and find a way to spend your tax money!   ...

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Ep 516: Celebrity Wines Explained show art Ep 516: Celebrity Wines Explained

Wine for Normal People

This week friend, listener, Patron, and wine diva @wineshenanigans and the wine game show @Wineopardy Monica G. joins to  talk with me about wines made by celebrities, aka Celebrity Wines. We run through what they are, how many of them are made and then we discuss specifics. We wrap with our analysis of whether or not we would recommend buying these wines.   We make two caveats:  1.     These are our opinions about these wines – don’t sue me!  2.     Some of these brands are impossible to obtain, so we haven’t had...

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Ep 515: The Origin Story of Oak Barrels -- (plus how barrles are used, reused, and how sustainable they really are) show art Ep 515: The Origin Story of Oak Barrels -- (plus how barrles are used, reused, and how sustainable they really are)

Wine for Normal People

Inspired by a question from friend and Patron Amy Payton, this week I cover the history of oak barrels. I go from animal skins in Mesopatamia to modern day barrels, talking about how winemakers decided that oak was the best vessel for wine. I answer her follow up questions too -- How are barrels obtained by winemakers? What happens to them after they are used and are oak barrels sustainable? I learned so much in this show and I thank Amy for the idea.  ______________________________________________ Full show notes and all back episodes are on Patreon.  ...

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Ep 514: The Grape Miniseries -- Fiano show art Ep 514: The Grape Miniseries -- Fiano

Wine for Normal People

This week I explore one of my favorite grapes of all time, Fiano! The grape makes some of the most exquisite wines you could imagine -- whites with layered complexity, age-ability, and unadulterated deliciousness. I discuss all aspects of the grape:   The historical overview of the grape and how Mastroberardino saved it from obscurity (Check out ) A discussion of Fiano in the vineyard and how adaptable it is Some thoughts about winemaking and its effect on the grape The aromas and flavors of the grape Where it grows: Italy: Campania (65%), specifically Irpinia, and within that area the...

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Ep 513: The Divine Dolcetto of Diano d’Alba with Giulio Abrigo of Abrigo Giovanni show art Ep 513: The Divine Dolcetto of Diano d’Alba with Giulio Abrigo of Abrigo Giovanni

Wine for Normal People

I welcome to the show my friend , who focuses on the exquisite Dolcetto in Diano d'Alba in the Barolo zone of Piemonte. Abrigo Giovanni is a small family operation, operating on just 13 ha or 32 acres mainly in Diano d’Alba -- the site of the winery and the family home. Dolcetto Diano d’Alba is one of a handful of DOCG zones for the grape – stricter controls and the top Dolcetto wines are made in this area. Here, the elevation, the soils, and the exposition are ideal for this highly underrated grape. Abrigo Giovanni focuses on Dolcetto but for the past 11 years they also make a highly...

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Ep 512: Volcanic Wines show art Ep 512: Volcanic Wines

Wine for Normal People

In recent years, there has been a lot of buzz around “volcanic wines.” The term makes it sound as if these are wines that are spawned from a volcano, but in reality these are wines that many people believe have special qualities because they grow on volcanic soils.    In this show, I define the types of volcanoes before discussing the ecosystems they form.Here is the list of wines/places I discuss in the show:   Italy   Mount Etna, Sicily: Reds (Rosso of the Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio grapes), whites (Bianco, mainly of the Carricante grape)   Soave,...

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Ep 511: The Greats--  Semillon of the Hunter Valley, Australia show art Ep 511: The Greats-- Semillon of the Hunter Valley, Australia

Wine for Normal People

The Hunter Valley is the OG -- the first place where Australian grape growing took place. For 200 years there has been continuous winegrowing and winemaking among the rolling hills and green valleys, which are peppered with iconic wineries, many of which have been around for more than 100 years. Although other types of wines are made, the Hunter has one crown jewel -- Semillon. In this show I give detail on the history, background and terroir of the Hunter before discussing the Semillon and why it is so special and is truly a GREAT!!   I give an overview of the Hunter Valley, which...

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Ep 510: Virginia’s Iconic Barboursville Vineyards with Winemaker & GM Luca Paschina show art Ep 510: Virginia’s Iconic Barboursville Vineyards with Winemaker & GM Luca Paschina

Wine for Normal People

I welcome to the show, again, and this time for a much longer and more thorough conversation, Luca Paschina, the head winemaker and GM of Barboursville, the historic property in the Monticello AVA of Virginia. Luca was on the show in 2016, originally on episode 162.   Barboursville has a long history, which starts around the same time as its current owners’ wine history -- the Zonin family of Veneto (found 1821). We discuss Thomas Jefferson and his role in trying to get Virginia wine started. Luca tells us about Gianni Zonin, who purchased Barboursville in 1976 and created the first...

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This week, Lucas Meeker of Meeker Wine -- a Millennial winemaker who has taken the helm of winemaking and operations at this Sonoma favorite. In his philosophical, intellectual way, Lucas recounts stories of the winery's early days and then discusses everything from additives in wine, to how wine is like vocal range. 

Lucas graduated magna cum laude from Colgate University with High Honors in English in 2007, but he returned home to the family winery with plans to eventually head to graduate school. But once he started doing marketing, label design, and cellar rat work, he caught the wine "bug."  He made wines under his own label, Lucas J. Cellars, for four vintages (2007-2010) and honed the craft of winemaking through hands on experience and a passion for reading and learning from his Dad, other winemakers, books, UC Davis, the internet, and his own mistakes. Eventually, he abandoned his plans for graduate school and further dedicated himself to the craft of winemaking. Lucas took over daily operation of the winery in 2010, and after four years as Co-Winemaker with Charlie, officially became Head Winemaker in 2014.

Here are the show notes:

  • We chat about the storied history of Meeker, including Charlie's stories from MGM, how he bought the vineyard and how he uprooted Lucas from his Hollywood life to Sonoma
  • We discuss various aspects of the wine industry -- what Custom Crush is and why it's important to wineries like Meeker, the importance of label reading and why some wineries are a sham
  • We wax poetic on the virtue of Merlot and Lucas gives thoughts on wine traditions and their importance
  • Lucas talks about the "magnitude" of wine  and how he parses wine descriptions
  • We talk about Zinfandel and changes in the wine industry in the last 10 years -- including how wine can be altered or honest
  • We have a great conversation about the Meeker philosophy and Lucas's "end zone"
  • We end on a positive note: Lucas's optimism for the next gen of winemakers

 

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