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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 425: Cairanne of the Southern Côtes du Rhône with  Jean-Etienne Alary of Domaine Alary show art Ep 425: Cairanne of the Southern Côtes du Rhône with Jean-Etienne Alary of Domaine Alary

Wine for Normal People

Cairanne is an 877 ha/2,167 acre appellation in the southern Rhône Valley that has been farmed since the time of the Greeks. It is not just a regular appellation, it is a cru of elevated status in the Côtes du Rhône. It doesn’t get the credit it deserves! After tasting much of it at a wine fair in the southern Rhône, I found it unbelievably delicious. A cru with acidity and a lighter profile but still so much character? YES. And after speaking to a few of the other producers in the appellation, I found . Jean-Etienne has a worldly view, after spending time in Australia and New Zealand,...

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Ep 424: Using data to answer our most important questions about wine with David Morrison, PhD, of The Wine Gourd show art Ep 424: Using data to answer our most important questions about wine with David Morrison, PhD, of The Wine Gourd

Wine for Normal People

David Morrison is a wine analyst and writer. He is an Australian living in Sweden. He has a PhD in plant biology, and that expertise led him to explore the wineries throughout Australia, learning about the high quality wines and vineyards there. He runs a blog called The Wine Gourd (), which looks at wine from a totally different perspective – one that focuses on wine data. He seeks to take a more objective look at data, and he draws logical conclusions without an agenda, which means that most of his work provides new insights in wine that others can’t or won’t provide. Much of his work...

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Ep 423: Interesting things about the Rhône Valley that you won't read in books show art Ep 423: Interesting things about the Rhône Valley that you won't read in books

Wine for Normal People

This podcast was recorded after my trip to the Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône, a wine trade fair that I was invited to by . It was a wonderful learning experience and I stayed on for a few days afterwards to explore Hermitage, Côte Rôtie, Condrieu, St. Joseph, Crozes-Hermitage, and in the south, Beaumes de Venise with Claude Chabran of Rhonéa, Gigondas with Elisa Cheron from , and a self-guided tour of vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was a fantastic trip and I am grateful to the people at Inter-Rhone for the opportunity. Photo: Découvertes en Vallée du Rhône at Palais des...

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Ep 422: Old Vines Defined, with Langmeil Winery of Barossa, Australia show art Ep 422: Old Vines Defined, with Langmeil Winery of Barossa, Australia

Wine for Normal People

 The background, the history, the viticulture, and the first major definition in form of the Barossa Old Vine Charter are all covered. If you ever wondered what "old vines" really means, we have answers!  has a long and storied history. In 1843, Christian Auricht planted a mixed farm in the heart of the Barossa Valley in Australia. In 1932 Theodor Hanisch, Christian’s grandson established the first winery on the property and after a period of disrepair, in 1996, three men, who had strong roots in the Barossa - Richard Lindner, Carl Lindner and Chris Bitter - rejuvenated the...

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Ep 421: Alternatives to A Favorite - Cabernet Sauvignon show art Ep 421: Alternatives to A Favorite - Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine for Normal People

Inspired by a question from a Patron, we give you an original list of wines that are true alternatives to Cabernet if you love the OG and you want to branch out. We come up with 7 solid ideas that are similar but different enough to make them interesting.   The original idea for this list was from Patron Serl Z. and Leigh W. gets credit for naming this series.  People were so excited for these new ideas, we may just make it into a series! We begin by discussing the main characteristics of Cabernet Sauvignon: Flavors: Black fruit –especially blackcurrant, black cherry, black plum,...

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Ep 420: Denise Marrone of Agricola Gian Piero Marrone In Barolo show art Ep 420: Denise Marrone of Agricola Gian Piero Marrone In Barolo

Wine for Normal People

Denise Marrone comes from a long line of wine growers and winemakers in Barolo. Starting in 1910 when Pietro , at age 23, asked his father in if he could improve vineyard practices, the family has had a dedication to producing the highest quality grapes and wines  possible from the Langhe, specifically Barolo and Barbaresco.  The family’s legacy, dedication to the land, and their unbelievable hospitality at the winery in La Morra (you have to visit), is such a joy to learn about. Denise and her sisters run with their father, Gian, today. Denise is a fireball of energy, and her...

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Ep 419: The Grape Miniseries -- Roussanne show art Ep 419: The Grape Miniseries -- Roussanne

Wine for Normal People

Although one of the most prestigious white grapes of the Rhône Valley, Roussanne is relatively unknown given its penchant for making aromatic, complex, full yet acidic wines. Often used as a blending partner with Marsanne or even with Syrah in its native northern Rhône, the grape shines alone in certain versions from Châteauneuf du Pape, California, Australia, and a handful of other places around the world. In this show we examine the majesty of this grape, which makes extraordinary wines that you should be drinking! Photo credit: Roussanne - Geshem winery.jpg,   Here are the show...

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Ep 418: April Nalle and Whitney Hopkins on Making a Small Vineyard Eco-friendly show art Ep 418: April Nalle and Whitney Hopkins on Making a Small Vineyard Eco-friendly

Wine for Normal People

April Nalle from who make brilliant Zinfandel (also great Pinot noir, blends, Cabernet and more) in an old-school style, is a good friend with whom I speak often. April has had some really big moments lately, where she’s gone from just being concerned about climate change to being inspired to be a change agent. She’s at the beginning of her journey and I wanted to get her at this point to tell us how it all starts.   In this show we talk about how to make a vineyard more environmentally friendly, so we are joined by vigneron Whitney Hopkins of Hopkins River Ranch in the Russian...

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Ep 417: Oregon's Willamette Valley -- A Discussion of My Trip show art Ep 417: Oregon's Willamette Valley -- A Discussion of My Trip

Wine for Normal People

After a trip to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, M.C. Ice and I have a casual discussion on "What I learned on my school vacation" 😂 -- a  few details of the region, specifics on the wineries and sub-regions, and ultimately (apologies, but Oregon super fans won't want to hear this) my opinions on the challenges I have with the Pinot Noir of the region and how I feel that Chardonnay may be Willamette's best grape.  View from Beaux Frères Remember -- the show is based on my opinions with some facts (as I have always said, Wine For Normal People is not a study guide for an...

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Ep 416: The History of Sicily... From the Wine Perspective show art Ep 416: The History of Sicily... From the Wine Perspective

Wine for Normal People

Sicily has a long history, and all of it is tied up with the evolution of wine and food in the Sicilian culture. In this show, we look at how this huge Mediterranean island played a major role in every major civilization from indigenous tribes to the current generation of young winemakers who seek to carve out a niche for and its unique wine culture. Here’s a brief timeline of what we talk about:  Sicilian Wine Timeline... 10,000 years ago: Natural grapevines on Etna Indigenous groups – Siculi, Socani, Elymi (Greeks who brought wine to Sicily) Photo: Metropolitan Museum of Art ...

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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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