18 episodes

I, your host Mattia Scarpazza, found Looking Into Wine to share knowledge about wine. Focus is on areas that sparked my interest throughout my study years and I wished I’d had more time to explore in more detail. Now it’s time!

Each episode explores a specific topic in detail and how it is relevant to the wine trade.
What to expect? Interviews featuring experts and professionals to guide us through regions, grapes and challenges of vine growing, my own research and much more.

Looking Into Wine Mattia Scarpazza

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

I, your host Mattia Scarpazza, found Looking Into Wine to share knowledge about wine. Focus is on areas that sparked my interest throughout my study years and I wished I’d had more time to explore in more detail. Now it’s time!

Each episode explores a specific topic in detail and how it is relevant to the wine trade.
What to expect? Interviews featuring experts and professionals to guide us through regions, grapes and challenges of vine growing, my own research and much more.

    A study of the north Adriatic wine regions with author Paul Balke

    A study of the north Adriatic wine regions with author Paul Balke

    The Adriatic Sea, is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest and the Po Valley.

    The sea affects many wine regions in Europe but is in the northernmost part where it’s most visible, winds coming from the south channels through the whole sea into Friuli, Slovenia and Istria.

    For Paul Balke author of the Book North Adriatic, those regions are now separate only politically but are connected by their climate and could be considered are a wide over different states wine region.

    We centred our attention on Friuli Venezia Giulia as it represents well the climatic condition of the North Adriatic and the incredible diversity of grape varieties.

    We have talked about the interesting story of how producers after the 2nd World had vineyards in both Italy and Slovenia and were the only ones allowed to cross the border on daily basis.

    We talked about the historical importance of those regions both locally and internationally, we discussed why in Friuli we should not consider the plains are A and B sites, what grapes are grown in those regions.

    Use the code to receive a 10% discount on North Adriatic Book on Paul Website
    https://paulbalke.com/north-adriatic/
    If you are enjoying the podcast consider leaving a review!
    Some other useful links on the topic
    https://italianwine.guide/regions-en-gb/friuli-venezia-giulia-en-GB/
    https://www.shelvedwine.com/all-about-wines-of-friuli-venezia-giulia/

    The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks!
    What I use to make the podcast:
    Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht
    Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC
    Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR
    Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza

    Spotlight on Furmint, Hungarian noble variety with Caroline Gilby MW

    Spotlight on Furmint, Hungarian noble variety with Caroline Gilby MW

    In this episode, we explore Furmint a noble grape of Hungary, with Caroline Gilby Master of Wine.

    Furmint is undoubtedly one of Hungary most valuable white grape variety. Is unique, distinctive with a flavour profile quite unlike any other grape variety I have ever tasted.
    With Caroline Gilby MW, who has been visiting Hungary since the 90s, we discussed one of favourite variety.

    Gouais Blanc is the parent of Furmint, making it half-sibling to Chardonnay and Riesling and it is no surprise when one start to look at the styles that are produced today one can see the similitudes with those varieties.

    Until relatively recently, the traditional style of Hungarian Furmint has been sweet, more often than not blended with Hárslevelű, most notably in the blend for tokay.

    Furmint ripens late, is prone to botrytis, retains high acidity and builds lots of sugars – everything that one needs to produce sweet wines.

    But around the turn of this century, dry, varietal Furmints started appearing and gaining traction, the hot and dry 2003 vintage is the pivotal vintage for dry wines says Caroline in the podcast.
    Producers quickly saw the potential. Caroline explains what styles are can be found today, Furmint is a grape that not only makes a high-quality wine at all sweetness levels but can be used to make good sparkling wine too. It responds to Chardonnay-like winemaking techniques such as lees ageing, bâtonnage, malolactic conversion and ageing in barrel.

    We also talked about viticulture used to train Furmint and where in-country is grown successfully aside Tokaji.

    I commented how Furmint is one of the few grape varieties in the world that can produce such an array of style, a tasting idea is to have a journey through the styles produced by Furmint. I’ll definitely try it at some point soon. Since the dry styles of Furmint are becoming more common among producers, so is the growing interest in the grape around the world and is definitely now a good time to learn everything that you need to know about it Furmint!

    I would like to thank Wines of Hungary UK for helping to organise this episode.

    Some other useful links on the topic
    https://winehungary.co.uk/
    https://www.thewinesociety.com/explore-furmint-wine-grape-hungary

    What I use to make the podcast:
    Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht
    Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC
    Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR
    Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza

    Producer Profile: Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and Popelouchum California

    Producer Profile: Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and Popelouchum California

    Randall Grahm, one of California's most innovative vintners, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard and Popelouchum is the guest of Looking Into wine.

    We started by talking about his early days. After three years studying philosophy at Santa Cruz University, and completing a winemaking degree at UC Davis, Grahm acquired a vineyard site at Bonny Doon in the Santa Cruz mountains. His first dream was to make Pinot Noir, but he soon realised that it was too warm on the mountain. He then moved to Syrah with a great deal of success. Grahm recalls how it was to work with the grape in the 70s, and how difficult it was to find good cuttings.

    Continuing with Rhône varieties Grahm started to grow Grenache and Mourvedre. ‘I thought that if I blended those grapes maybe something good would be produced’, his beliefs were well-founded.

    In 1984 he produced the first vintage of the wine with which he will forever be associated, Le Cigare Volant (the story of the name features in the interview). Cigare, a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre (Since 2017 changed to Cinsault), Syrah, and other classic Châteauneuf grapes.

    During his high time, Randall produced more than 30 wines on any given vintage. I ask which wine he was most proud of and impressed by the quality. His writings constantly return to the concept that has dominated his life: the search for a true vin de terroir, not a vin d’effort.

    Randall's accolades are as numerous as the risks that he took over the years, including producing one of the first dry roses of California in the 90s, staging the "funeral" of Mr Bouchon aka Cork, using Demijohns (all the reasons are discussed in the interview) and he even managed to be interviewed by Oprah.

    We then discussed his latest project Popelouchum (Poh-puh-loo-shoom), a "New World grand cru" experimental vineyard in which Grahm hopes to breed 10,000 new grape varieties. He explains how he's using natural cross-breeding to find a variety that is 100% suited to the growing condition of the site.

    The project will take generations and so the restless experimentation continues. We will have to wait a long time to see the results of the San Juan Bautista project but whatever sort of wine it produces it will be nothing less than interesting. And Grahm will be that much closer to his goal of creating a true vin de terroir.

    Randall Grahm is truly a maverick winemaker that has inspired many others in California.

    How the Rhone Ranges influenced American wines with author Patrick Comiskey

    How the Rhone Ranges influenced American wines with author Patrick Comiskey

    The Rhône Rangers began as an informal band of like-minded renegades who were convinced that the grapes traditional to France’s Rhône Valley would thrive in the Mediterranean climate of California. As recently as the late 1980s, there were only a few dozen such producers on the entire West Coast.

    The ideas of those pioneers caught on rapidly in the 1990s and 2000s, and the 31 wineries that gathered for the Rhône Rangers’ first grand tasting, held in 1998 in San Francisco, grew to 90 by 2000. During the organization’s nearly two-decade history, more than 450 wineries have counted themselves as members, and tens of thousands of Rhône-loving tradespeople and consumers have attended Rhône Rangers tastings in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., thus changing deeply the way of American drinkers.

    Over the years the Rhone Movement has lost its influences but is still very much there, it’s evolving and moving to other varieties and there still passioned producers.

    In this episode, I spoke to author Journalist Patrick Comiskey. He, however, never lost his passion for either the true Rhone wines produced in the Rhone Valley in the south of France or the American Rhones being made primarily in California and Washington. Comiskey, a writer and critic for Wine & Spirits magazine, has penned the definitive work on the Rhone movement, "American Rhone, How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink."

    Comiskey, a gifted writer and storyteller, spent the better part of six years by his estimation researching the topic, conducting interviews, tasting the wines and eventually writing the book.
    We have also talked about the difference between Syrah and Petite Syrah and the new styles that contemporary Rhone Ranges are exploring.

    Randal Grahm and the white horse –
    https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/357543657887272599/


    The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks!

    AMERICAN RHONE, HOW MAVERICK WINEMAKERS CHANGED THE WAY AMERICANS DRINK https://amzn.to/3r4X0mJ

    What I use to make the podcast:
    Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht
    Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC
    Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR
    Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza

    Biodynamic Viticulture practises and principles with Douglas Wregg Les Caves de Pyrene

    Biodynamic Viticulture practises and principles with Douglas Wregg Les Caves de Pyrene

    In 1924, Rudolf Steiner presented his Agriculture Course to a group of 111, farmers in Poland.
    Steiner spoke of agriculture to ‘heal the earth’ and he laid the philosophical and practical foundations for such differentiated agriculture. Biodynamic agriculture is now practised internationally as a specialist form of organic agriculture.
    Steiner’s Agriculture Course comprised just eight lectures presented over a ten-day period. The path from proposal to experimentation, to formalization, to implementation and promulgation played out over a decade and a half following the Course.

    It needs to be understood that in the 1920s chemicals usage in agriculture was growing exponentially and concern started to grow in the agriculture circles.

    Biodynamic agriculture is now practised in 47 countries (Demeter, 2011) and, while it is nested within the broader organic agriculture movement, it has been at the forefront of organic farming developments, including, for example, the participation in founding the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (Paull, 2010), and taking one of the earliest stances against synthetic nanomaterials by excluding them from Demeter’s biodynamic food and agriculture standards (Paull, 2011a).

    In this episode, I spoke with Douglas Wregg director of Les Caves de Pyrene,
    on what are the principles of Biodynamic farming and how are the famous composts are created and what’s their indented usage, How important it is Demeter and why? Lastly, I asked where some producers may use Bio for a second reason as for Marketing.
    A deep dive into the topic of how and what are the practices

    Some other useful links on the topic
    http://lescaves.co.uk/lescaves-home
    https://www.biodynamic.org.uk/the-spray-preparations/
    https://vinepair.com/articles/biodynamic-wine-explained/

    The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks!

    If you are Looking to Lear more about the procedures used in Biodynamic I would suggest
    Biodynamic Wine by Monty Waldin - https://amzn.to/3qeZXQT

    What I use to make the podcast:
    Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht
    Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC
    Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR
    Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza

    Jane Lopes on the good and the ugly sides of the wine industry

    Jane Lopes on the good and the ugly sides of the wine industry

    In this episode, I spoke to Jane Lopes.
    Jane is the author of Vignette, in her book jane opens up about many great moments of her life and she put a great deal of effort in explain how stress and anxiety have dictated many part of her life. And outside the book, she has been recently been part of an expose article about sexual harassment from senior members of the then heads of the Court of Sommelier. It transpires while talking to Jane that the problem extends to other parts of the business.
    (find the link for the expose below).

    This episode differs from others that have been released so far, in that it is focused on the life story of the author in and out of the book but nonetheless, I wanted to shine a light on it and I invite everyone to listen to this inspiring story. I believe that in her book, many people can relate to her stories, and while Jane tells her story she connects that specific moment in time to a style of wine and explains it.

    In the first part, I spoke with Jane live, about some of the events and emotions that she had gone through. From the beginning, when she first became interested in wine, through to the stress of her examinations to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, only to see it taken away. She shows amazing resilience and devotion and through her story, there is something that many people can relate to.

    In the second part, we spoke about the recent sexual harassment exposé article in The New York Times, that Jane and other 20 women were part of, regarding the malpractice of senior members of The Court of Sommeliers in the USA.
    Jane shares with me how the long-planned and researched article came together, how she had felt about it all and what she hopes for the future.

    I can only thank her for sharing her story here.

    Expose article from Julia Moskin of The New York Times.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/dining/drinks/court-of-master-sommeliers-sexual-harassment-wine.html

    These following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks!

    Vignette: Stories of Life and Wine in 100 Bottles https://amzn.to/37pZMMl

    What I use to make the podcast:
    Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht
    Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC
    Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR
    Online Recording at studio-level quality:SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Badgers Retreat ,

Paul Balke episode

Once again an informative and most interesting podcast - many thanks Mattia.

mrCAwine ,

Randall Graham

Insightful podcast. Well done! @mrCAwine

rulivia ,

Drink up every episode!

A great podcast for learning about wine and furthering your knowledge about a range of topics, including regions, producers, grapes and trends in the industry. Mattia has a real passion for his subject and a genuine interest in his guests and their knowledge, but he cleverly achieves a light-hearted tone, with each discussion feeling like a friendly chat at the dinner table.

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