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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 442: The Greats -- Brunello di Montalcino show art Ep 442: The Greats -- Brunello di Montalcino

Wine for Normal People

In Italy’s arsenal of great wines of the world, Brunello di Montalcino may be the most coveted of all. Its small production and terroir-driven style represents the pinnacle of Sangiovese, widely considered Italy’s most famed grape. Made in the small and historic Tuscan hilltop village of Montalcino, just south of Siena, the grapes thrive in the climate and soils of this rugged area. Although the youngest of all the Italian greats, Brunello, with its rich flavors, elegant balance of acidity and tannin, and incredible ability to improve with age, is a wine that everyone should experience...

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Ep 441:  Will Henry from Lumen Wines Asks --  Are Wild Vineyards the Way of the Future? show art Ep 441: Will Henry from Lumen Wines Asks -- Are Wild Vineyards the Way of the Future?

Wine for Normal People

is farming this vineyard gone wild and it's making the best Pinot Noir there is... Be forewarned! This is a pretty dorky and technical show. Some of you say you would like to hear what wine people talk about when we’re together: here it is!   Will Henry, co-proprietor at  in the cool climate AVAs of Santa Barbara, returns to the show (he was on to tell us a story about a vineyard he happened upon that is changing his ideas about how viticulture should be approached in California.   Will had recently purchased the Warner Henry Vineyard (named after his late father...

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Ep 440: Jason Haas of Tablas Creek -- Regenerative agriculture,  alternative packaging,  & Improving the environmental footprint of wine show art Ep 440: Jason Haas of Tablas Creek -- Regenerative agriculture, alternative packaging, & Improving the environmental footprint of wine

Wine for Normal People

Jason Haas is a Partner and the General Manager of . His late father, Robert Haas was a renowned importer who partnered with Château de Beaucastel in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to scout a perfect site to grow Rhône varieties in California. They found it in the Adelaida District of Paso Robles and built one of the best wineries in California.   Jason doesn’t just oversee the business, winemaking, and sales and marketing operations, he also is actively involved in the Rhone Rangers (they promote Rhone varieties in California), the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance, Family Winemakers of...

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Ep 439: Gamay All Day with Serge Doré (AKA, Serge talks about Beaujolais!) show art Ep 439: Gamay All Day with Serge Doré (AKA, Serge talks about Beaujolais!)

Wine for Normal People

Another energetic, entertaining show with Serge!   Serge Doré with his daughter Gabriele. Photo: JoAnn Actis-Grande Portsmouth Herald  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 favorite, joins us to talk about Beaujolais, one of his favorite regions. Like all the French regions with which he works, Serge has seen the ups and downs of Beaujolais and has stuck around through a lot in working with the producers here. In the show, Serge takes us through the evolution of the region....

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Ep 438: The Grape Miniseries -- País show art Ep 438: The Grape Miniseries -- País

Wine for Normal People

País, known as Criolla Chica in Argentina, and Mission in the US,  was brought by the Spanish conquistadores and was South America’s most planted grape for centuries until an economic boom in Chile and waves of migration in Argentina brought new and interesting grapes to these nations. Argentina has plantings of the grape, California now barely any, so Chile is the epicenter of the grape, where it is thought of as the locals’ grape – something low quality and common that has been around forever but has never made more than cheap, bulk wine or wine for local consumption.  País...

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Ep 437: Tom Wark on the history of US alcohol law, recent threats to wine shipping & how Prohibition altered cultural views of wine show art Ep 437: Tom Wark on the history of US alcohol law, recent threats to wine shipping & how Prohibition altered cultural views of wine

Wine for Normal People

is a wine writer, wine public relations company owner (Wark Communications), and our trusted resource for figuring out what is going on with the US wine industry and how it affects us, as wine drinkers. In his role as the executive director of the , he manages and helps direct lobbying, litigation, and membership strategy and management for the retailers in the US and in that role has really helped dissect and expose some of the logistical and really cultural issues around wine in the US. He is the author of     In this show we discuss a variety of topics, including the...

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Ep 436: Wine Faults -- what are they, how to spot them, and what to do about them show art Ep 436: Wine Faults -- what are they, how to spot them, and what to do about them

Wine for Normal People

Wine is a product of nature, human intervention, chemistry, and it’s subject to many outside influences – storage, transport, handling – that can do a number on what’s inside the bottle. In this episode, we cover the main things that could go wrong with wine, how they got there, and what to do about it (where possible)! Photo: Pixabay Shout out to , the outstanding scientist and wine writer who makes so many complex science concepts so easy to understand. Here is the link to his book, “,”* from which some of the reference materials for the pod were taken. Also to  * who...

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Ep 435: Alternatives to a Favorite -- Pinot Noir show art Ep 435: Alternatives to a Favorite -- Pinot Noir

Wine for Normal People

Patron Serl Z asked: What are wines other than Pinot Noir for those for whom that is the only red wine they will drink? Photo: Pinot Noir grapes, Canva photos Pinot has so many different faces depending on where it’s grown – terroir is everything with the grape. But if we’re talking about medium-bodied, more acidic styles that are food-friendly, then this podcast answers that question!   Italy: Schiava or Teroldego from Alto Adige Bardolino or lighter styles of Valpolicella from Veneto Nebbiolo from Piedmont, alternately Grignolino, a light, acidic wine The reds of Mount...

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Ep 434: The World's Foremost Authorities on Rosé -- Elizabeth Gabay, Master of Wine, & Ben Bernheim, Co-Author show art Ep 434: The World's Foremost Authorities on Rosé -- Elizabeth Gabay, Master of Wine, & Ben Bernheim, Co-Author

Wine for Normal People

Elizabeth (Liz) Gabay, Master of Wine, is the world's foremost expert on rosé and a big part of her career has been studying, writing about, and understanding rosé. Ben Bernheim, her son, is now learning from her wisdom and and is a specialist in his own right. The two of them have just completed the excellent book “ Liz is largely responsible for shifting the tide on rosé and helping people to understand that this wine is its own serious category that deserves thought, study, and consideration. In addition to , Liz is the author of and she is also a contributor on rosé in...

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Ep 433: Quinta da Raza -- Terroir, Family, & the Complex White Wines of the Vinho Verde Region of Portugal show art Ep 433: Quinta da Raza -- Terroir, Family, & the Complex White Wines of the Vinho Verde Region of Portugal

Wine for Normal People

Vinho Verde, the DOC (Denomination of Controlled Origin) Region, has made wine since Roman times. This region is one of the largest DOCs in Europe but within its boundaries there are vast differences between the nine sub regions. In this show,  Mafalda Teixeira Coelho, co-owner of and Pedro Campos, winemaker clear up a lot of the misconceptions about Vinho Verde. We learn about the terroir of this old and complex region, the various subregions, and how serious, and sometimes ageworthy wine is being produced here.   Photo: Mafalda Teixeira Coelho, co-owner of  and Pedro Campos,...

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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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