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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 431: The Grape Mini-Series -- Sémillon show art Ep 431: The Grape Mini-Series -- Sémillon

Wine for Normal People

Sémillon used to be the most planted white grape in the world. From its native home in France to Australia, Chile, South Africa, Argentina, and beyond, it was planted en masse to pump out large quantities of flavorless bulk white wine. The problem was that Sémillon doesn’t cooperate when it’s forced to high yields. It loses acidity and it lacks flavor unlike some other grapes that can still muster some umph when over-cropped (Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Colombard, to name three).  For this reason, plantings were replaced and the grape became unpopular. Today it is grown in...

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Ep 430: New Insights on the Médoc from a Recent Trip  show art Ep 430: New Insights on the Médoc from a Recent Trip

Wine for Normal People

After a recent trip to the Médoc (the left bank of Bordeaux), I came away with a whole new appreciation for the region. In this show, I share what I learned and my main takeaway is simple: when we are thinking about Médoc, never forget that there are real people behind the bottle you drink and they care what you think about the wine! It's a place of wonder, great modesty, kind people, and exceptional wine.  Here is the list of SOME of the things I learned!  Bordeaux is not “over”, “done”, “hopeless” or “doomed” for wine and we need to stop talking about that...

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Ep 429: Marchesi di Barolo -  Where Modern Barolo was Created show art Ep 429: Marchesi di Barolo - Where Modern Barolo was Created

Wine for Normal People

Although much bigger, more well-known, and a bit fancier than the people I usually speak with, I wanted to make an exception and have the family who owns on the show so they could explain how the modern style of Barolo was created by the winery. It's much more buttoned up, and less of the normal conversation style I usually do, but it's an essential bit of history that will help fill-in some gaps about Barolo! Marchesi di Barolo in Barolo, photo from There are a lot of historic wineries and a lot of people in wine claim to have been the first to create a wine or a technique. But this week,...

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Ep 428: Laurent Delaunay of Maison Edouard Delaunay -- The Magnificent Story of a Family's Loss & Triumph in Burgundy show art Ep 428: Laurent Delaunay of Maison Edouard Delaunay -- The Magnificent Story of a Family's Loss & Triumph in Burgundy

Wine for Normal People

Catherine & Laurent Delaunay, photo from Laurent Delaunay of in Bourgogne (Burgundy) as well as and under that many estates and DVP or Domaines et Vins de Propriété joins the show to discuss his amazing story of loss and triumph in Bourgogne (Burgundy).   Laurent’s family wine ties stretch back to 1771 in the Loire, but the Delaunay name was made as one of the historic great houses of Bourgogne. The domaine began in 1893 and by the 1920s, the wines of the ’s could be found in top restaurants in around France and beyond -- The Ritz in London, Raffles in Singapore – and in...

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Ep 427: Some Things to Consider When Traveling to Piedmont  (in Person or Through the Glass) show art Ep 427: Some Things to Consider When Traveling to Piedmont (in Person or Through the Glass)

Wine for Normal People

After a week-long trip to Piedmont, Italy with a group of 20 patrons, I give an update on the region and offer some ideas on how to explore the wines on the ground and through the glass. View from La Morra Tips and producers mentioned/that we visited or that I recommend visiting:  1. To explore Nebbiolo, first hit Roero, then Barbaresco, and finally Barolo (first La Morra and Barolo, then Castiglione Falleto, Serralunga, and Monforte). Roero producers: , Barbaresco producers: , , , Barolo producer: , Marina Marcarino of Punset in Barbaresco   2. Barbera regions: Nizza, Barbera...

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Ep 426: Giovanni Correggia of Matteo Correggia -His Exquisite Wines from Roero in Piedmont show art Ep 426: Giovanni Correggia of Matteo Correggia -His Exquisite Wines from Roero in Piedmont

Wine for Normal People

Giovanni Correggia of Matteo Correggia. Photo ©Wine For Normal People This podcast was extra special for me, as I was able to record live with Giovanni Correggia of in Roero, a part of the Piedmont in Italy that I love and that I try to champion as much as possible. I met Giovanni several years ago and loved his wines and his family story. This podcast is so many things all at once: A great education on the Roero region, by the most famed producer there The story of a grape that was reborn in this place A lesson in the politics of the Piedmont and how some simple choices have brought fame...

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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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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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