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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 379: The Main Alternatives to Oak --All About Concrete Eggs and Amphoras show art Ep 379: The Main Alternatives to Oak --All About Concrete Eggs and Amphoras

Wine for Normal People

Oak stabilizes color and smooths tannins, some think of it as a seasoning ingredient. But what about the other vessels that are increasingly popular for fermentation and aging? What do they do? We discuss the main alternatives to oak -- concrete eggs and amphoras --and the benefits of each. The show is a hybrid of discussion and interview, as I welcome Steve Rosenblatt of Sonoma Cast Stone, who manufactures concrete eggs and tanks, and Debbie Passin of VinEthos.com who sells next generation amphoras.

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Ep 378: Prosecco -- The wine, the region, and how to get the best bottles show art Ep 378: Prosecco -- The wine, the region, and how to get the best bottles

Wine for Normal People

In this show we go over the details of the Prosecco region, the winemaking techniques, and I share the most important thing about the wine and how to get the best: the DOCGs that make way better wine than the cheap and cheerful stuff at the supermarket. By the end of the show you’ll understand why Prosecco shouldn't be compared to Champagne (spoiler alert – it’s not made the same and that’s on purpose!) and how to get better versions of what you may already be sipping!

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Ep 377: The Wines of Beaujolais and its Ten Divine Cru show art Ep 377: The Wines of Beaujolais and its Ten Divine Cru

Wine for Normal People

Beaujolais is a unique, standalone wine region in central eastern France. Crafted from the Gamay grape, Beaujolais wines and terroir are like no other on earth. The challenge as wine lovers: we must know what we’re looking for -- the 10 cru emphasize their individual cru on the label and Beaujolais is in small print. But if you can remember (or bookmark!) these names, you are in for some of the most interesting, best value reds available. These are wines to discover. Once you do, you’ll drink them forev

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Ep 376: The 1976 Judgment of Paris -- the Tasting That Made California Wine Famous show art Ep 376: The 1976 Judgment of Paris -- the Tasting That Made California Wine Famous

Wine for Normal People

It is the 45th Anniversary of the Judgment of Paris: a 1976 tasting of California and French wines, organized but the late Steve Spurrier, that opened the door for wines from the US and all over the New World to be recognized for their excellence. We should raise a glass to him, his business partner Patricia Gallagher, and to journalist George Taber, all of whom made this event so very significant and helped elevate California and New World wines to "World Class" status!

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Ep 375: Phil Long of Longevity Wines -- Bringing Heart to CA's Livermore Valley show art Ep 375: Phil Long of Longevity Wines -- Bringing Heart to CA's Livermore Valley

Wine for Normal People

Phil Long of Longevity Wines is a true Garagiste – he began his making wine in the garage with his late wife Debra and by 2008, the couple quit their full-time jobs and opened their winery in the Livermore Valley, a sub-AVA of the Central Coast with hot days and cool nights. Phil is known for his balanced wines of Bordeaux and Rhone varietals. He is also the President of the Association of African American Vintners and has been a key player in discussions around the lack of diversity in the wine industry.

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Ep 374: Bordeaux Classification Systems Explained show art Ep 374: Bordeaux Classification Systems Explained

Wine for Normal People

We get in the weeds on the five classifications of Bordeaux (read the Wine For Normal People book or listen to Ep 59 and 60 to get up to speed on Bordeaux before listening if you don't know much about Bordeaux!). We talk about their history, what they aimed to achieve and the criteria each use. We try to clear up what each is ranking, how they are ranked and why it all matters...even if it is from 165 years ago!

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Ep 373: Tips for Wine Travel with Travel Writer and Media Producer, Krista Simmons show art Ep 373: Tips for Wine Travel with Travel Writer and Media Producer, Krista Simmons

Wine for Normal People

Krista Simmons is a culinary travel writer and owner of the digital media company, Fork in the Road Media. She has been on TV shows like Top Chef Masters, Hell's Kitchen, The Today Show, and has written for Travel + Leisure, and the LA Times.

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Ep 372: The Grape Miniseries -- Gruner Veltliner show art Ep 372: The Grape Miniseries -- Gruner Veltliner

Wine for Normal People

Grüner Veltliner (GROOH-ner felt-LEEN-ah) is the main white grape of Austria. In this show we discuss its surprisingly recent rise to fame, its unusual origins, and its important place in wine. From young and fresh to full, silky and age worthy, Grüner is a grape that has it all. We take you through its assets and explain why it should be in your rotation, if it isn't already.

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Ep 371: The Wines of Croatia show art Ep 371: The Wines of Croatia

Wine for Normal People

Croatia is a small country with great wine potential. With a 2,500-year history of winemaking, this beautiful nation has coast, islands, and inland hills, all with unique soil types that make its growing conditions unlike anywhere else. The four main regions make distinctive wines using indigenous grapes and although the industry is just getting back on its feet after a century of war, socialism, and poor viticulture, Croatia is a country on the ascent, and one you should know about! 

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Ep 370: Six (or Twelve) Unorthodox Wines for Spring show art Ep 370: Six (or Twelve) Unorthodox Wines for Spring

Wine for Normal People

For this show, we discuss an unorthodox list of lovely reds and whites for spring. I can guarantee that most of these ideas you won't see on other lists! Etna from Sicily? Check. Chignin Bergeron from Savoie in France? Yup. If you're looking for a change from the norm and a great spring list, here it is! 

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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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