96 episodes

The love of wine has never been so lighthearted and fun! Grape Encounters is a bold departure from conventional wine education and enjoyment. Not long ago, wine tasting was regarded as something done by people with specially trained palates, sophisticated sensibilities and lots and lots of disposable income. Today, wine is being consumed by hundreds of millions of people who drink it simply because it is what they like. Grape Encounters is about the colorful people, the places, the ambiance and the passion that makes wine drinking one of the world's most popular pastimes. Grape Encounters is lighthearted, interactive and a very good time -- taking listeners out of the studio and into places you won't see on a winery tour. Behind every great wine is a winemaker who loves what he or she does and probably has a terrific sense of humor. No matter how much you love wine, you'll love it so much more when you tune in to Grape Encounters!

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    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 24 Ratings

The love of wine has never been so lighthearted and fun! Grape Encounters is a bold departure from conventional wine education and enjoyment. Not long ago, wine tasting was regarded as something done by people with specially trained palates, sophisticated sensibilities and lots and lots of disposable income. Today, wine is being consumed by hundreds of millions of people who drink it simply because it is what they like. Grape Encounters is about the colorful people, the places, the ambiance and the passion that makes wine drinking one of the world's most popular pastimes. Grape Encounters is lighthearted, interactive and a very good time -- taking listeners out of the studio and into places you won't see on a winery tour. Behind every great wine is a winemaker who loves what he or she does and probably has a terrific sense of humor. No matter how much you love wine, you'll love it so much more when you tune in to Grape Encounters!

    Episode #634 – How a Foot Race Through the Himalayas Took Winemaking to a Higher Level

    Episode #634 – How a Foot Race Through the Himalayas Took Winemaking to a Higher Level

    This story would make a great movie, if only the plot were believable. Michael Juergens is part Earnest Hemingway, part Ethan Luther (Tom Cruise’s character in Mission Impossible) and a hefty dose of Andre´ Tchelistcheff (Google him if you don’t know).



    Michael lives the life most people dream of; a senior partner at one of the big 4 international accounting firms, a guy who runs foot races in places like Antarctica and an uber-serious wine enthusiasts who is delightfully unpretentious. He also builds motorcycles and hotrods but, despite his extraordinary knowledge of so many things, his knowledge of geography leaves something to be desired. That’s why he didn’t hesitate to enter a running race in Bhutan. Michael’s girlfriend has had a life-long obsession with Bhutan, calling it her ultimate bucket list destination. And for reasons Michael is unsure of, he had it in his mind that Bhutan was some kind of tropical paradise, complete with pristine white sand beaches, cocktails with umbrellas in them, parasailing and the smell of coconut oil and plumeria in the air. Well, that’s what he envisioned when he signed up for the race—an island paradise—and that would be correct if the Himalayas were an island rather than perhaps the most imposing mountain range on the planet.



    Anyway, when Michaels girlfriend, who is also a competitive runner, gave him a little geographical realty check, the challenge was actually even more enticing and the couple focused their complete attention on high altitude endurance training. Yes indeed, the game was afoot, quite literally; and where that trail in the breathtaking Himalayas led Michael and Bhutanese officials is quite a story indeed.



    Today’s episode of Grape Encounters chronicle the adventures of a footloose wine enthusiast who found himself uncontrollably mesmerized by the magical Kingdom of Bhutan; a landlocked Himalayan country bordered by China to the north and India to the South. Bhutan had everything that an adventurer dreams of… everything except vineyards. That was an odd reality in a country that couldn’t possibly be more fertile. And so this very remarkable and unlikely story begins. Well, it actually began at a dinner with Bhutanese government officials following the daunting race and you’ll need to hear what happened on the other side of the finish line straight from the horse’s mouth. Are you ready for one of the most amazing tales we’ve ever shared on Grape Encounters? Go ahead. Hit “play.”



    This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where you can get 12 awesome wines hand-picked by Total Wine’s friendly experts. You’ll receive 2 wines that wow per month, all for a one time fee as low as $59! Best of all, you get to mix and match real gems… Red, white, rosé and sparkling, too. Pick a plan that’s just right for you!



    Click here and we’ll take you to the Membership page at TotalWine.com. While you’re there, spend a little time checking out their mind-boggling selection of more than 8000 wines and an equally impressive selection of beer and spirits, too!



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    Episode #633 – How a Grief-Stricken Family is Turning Wine Into Suicide Awareness

    Episode #633 – How a Grief-Stricken Family is Turning Wine Into Suicide Awareness

    This episode of Grape Encounters will tug at your heartstrings as few things can. It’s the story of a warm and cheerful family that suffered an unthinkable tragedy that came without warning and led them to a vineyard to heal themselves and bring hope to others. A lost loved one can never be replaced, but pain can be a powerful weapon capable of preventing tragedies from upending the lives of other families.



    Today, you’re invited to meet two of the three Stilsons; Deborah and her son Cole. They’re a joy to spend time with and it’s difficult to imagine that a story about the suicide of a father and husband could leave you feeling hopeful and uplifted, but this is a very special family that came to wine county and put hope in a bottle. Not only is the family channeling their energy into the production of first class Stilson Cellars wines, they’re using a significant portion of the proceeds of their “Aware” label to help prevent tragedies from tearing apart families they may never know.



    Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where friendly in-store teams can recommend the perfect bottle of wine or beer for any occasion and any budget. With 8,000 wines and 2,500 beers – there’s always something new to explore. Total Wine has built partnerships with some of the most intriguing winemakers, and brewers from around the world. Whether you’re hosting or bringing the wine, Total Wine & More’s always low prices and ridiculous selection will always provide something interesting to drink. More at totalwine.com



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    • 43 min
    Episode #632 – The Peculiar Intersection of Fine Wine Making and World News Breaking!

    Episode #632 – The Peculiar Intersection of Fine Wine Making and World News Breaking!

    Things aren’t always as they seem.  Like that nice fella at the farmers market, offering you a taste of some delicious Sonoma Valley wines.  He seems like a regular guy… maybe a wine country native, living the California dream?  That would be as far off as you can get!



    This guy is Ken Fuhr, a New York transplant with a resume´ in network news that spans several decades. During those years, the only thing that has ever separated him from the ultimate who’s-who list of Presidents, world leaders and A-list celebs is a camera.  Ken is considered a primary cameraman for all of the CBS, NBC and ABC news magazine shows and much, much more.  However, regardless of whether he’s behind a camera in the White House or pouring fine wines for you, his undivided attention and passion for the task at hand will be second to none.



    But there’s another major player in this story.  She’s Elizabeth Miller, CSW, CSS, Director of Consumer Sales, Hospitality & Wine Club for renowned Dutton Estate Winery.  Oh, she is also Ken’s wife and (technically) supervises his volunteer gig at the Santa Rosa, CA Farmers Market.  You see, when the pandemic stopped tasting room wine sales dead in their tracks, Elizabeth and Ken did some serious brainstorming and came up with the idea of schlepping the Dutton wines to the iconic Farmers Market in Santa Rosa in hope of keeping sales churning.  If you want to know how it all worked out and sneak a peek into this very special couple’s life and the magical world of Dutton wines, Give a listen.  Thank goodness for very special people like Elizabeth, Ken and, of course, six generations of Duttons!



    Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where friendly in-store teams can recommend the perfect bottle of wine or beer for any occasion and any budget. With 8,000 wines and 2,500 beers - there's always something new to explore. Total Wine has built partnerships with some of the most intriguing winemakers, and brewers from around the world. Whether you're hosting or bringing the wine, Total Wine & More's always low prices and ridiculous selection will always provide something interesting to drink. More at totalwine.com



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    • 43 min
    Episode #631 – Wine Festivals, Vineyard Events are Back as California and Oregon Celebrate the New Normal!

    Episode #631 – Wine Festivals, Vineyard Events are Back as California and Oregon Celebrate the New Normal!

    It may be a while before things truly get back to the way they were before the pandemic, but there’s an abundance of wine-related events to enjoy nonetheless. It’s wine month in California and you’ll find all sorts of celebrations happening up and down the state. Meanwhile, just up the coast, the Oregon Wine Experience is back, despite an adjustment to the date to better ensure the well-being of participants.



    We begin today’s episode of Grape Encounter by welcoming first-time guest, Desirae Meyers of the Asante Foundations; sponsors of the highly anticipated Oregon Wine Experience. The Oregon Wine Experience returns with all its glory, albeit, the Foundation felt it was in the best interest of exhibitors and guests to push the date back a tad. It’s a slight adjustment for a good reason and Desirae will give you all the details so that you can lock in your travel plans! Make sure you have your calendar ready so that you can take note of all the details.



    Following Desirae is another guest we’ve wanted to welcome to the show for quite a long time; wine, food and travel writer, Tina Caputo. Tina is joining us in the capacity of a spokesperson for The Wine Institute. If you’re a frequent Grape Encounters listener, you know that The Wine Institute is an invaluable advocacy organization that represents wineries large and small throughout the State of California. Today, Tina will be giving listeners the skinny on some of the most highly anticipated events that will be held in celebration of California Wine Month (better known as September). In her capacity as a journalist and blogger, Tina is responsible for an abundance of witty, unpretentious and highly informative food, wine, beer and travel content easily accessible online. Once again, have your calendar ready as Tina gives us the lowdown on several upcoming wine and food events you won’t want to miss!



    It’s time to get back to the things that make wine so doggone fun!



    Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where friendly in-store teams can recommend the perfect bottle of wine or beer for any occasion and any budget. With 8,000 wines and 2,500 beers - there's always something new to explore. Total Wine has built partnerships with some of the most intriguing winemakers, and brewers from around the world. Whether you're hosting or bringing the wine, Total Wine & More's always low prices and ridiculous selection will always provide something interesting to drink. More at totalwine.com



    Download this episode

    • 42 min
    Episode #630 – Grape Smoke Taint: Purfresh’s Remarkable Second Chance for Winemaking

    Episode #630 – Grape Smoke Taint: Purfresh’s Remarkable Second Chance for Winemaking

    Every year, around the globe, the devastation caused by wildfires is worsening at a catastrophic pace.  Moreover, if there's anything we've learned in recent years, it's that wildfires will overtake territory once thought to be invulnerable to its wrath.  There is no better example of this than vineyards.  No, they don't burn, but if there are grapes hanging from the vines, smoke from nearby wildfires will envelop the fruit and render it useless for winemaking.  That's because it can't be washed off with water or any other non-toxic substance.  It's called "smoke taint" and it was virtually unheard of a decade ago but now, as a result of persistent and rapid warming trends in many parts of the world, smoke damage is chalking up billions of dollars in losses year after year.



    In life, we get very few second chances; especially when it comes to wildfires... but that's changing thanks to a wildly innovative company known as Purfresh, based in Northern California.  Purfresh has develop their Titan units for deployment anywhere smoke is damaging crops.  The units, similar to ocean-going shipping containers, can hold up to 20 tons of grapes at a time and process them using temperature-controlled exposure to ozone.  In 24 hours, the smoke taint is gone!  And there are even more benefits to tell you about.  We'll leave that to today's special guest, Christian DeBlasio, Founder and CEO of Purfresh Wine. What an amazing turn of events in the battle against wildfire destruction. Detailed information about the Purfresh Titan units is available at PurfreshWine.com.  You can also drop us a line here using the Grape Encounters Contact Form and we'll get you connected to our friends at Purfresh promptly!



    Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where friendly in-store teams can recommend the perfect bottle of wine or beer for any occasion and any budget. With 8,000 wines and 2,500 beers - there's always something new to explore. Total Wine has built partnerships with some of the most intriguing winemakers, and brewers from around the world. Whether you're hosting or bringing the wine, Total Wine & More's always low prices and ridiculous selection will always provide something interesting to drink. More at totalwine.com



    Download this episode

    • 43 min
    Episode #629 – Pairing: It’s All About the Spice!

    Episode #629 – Pairing: It’s All About the Spice!

    We’ve been telling you this for years, but maybe you need to hear it from the King of Seasoning himself.  When pairing food, it’s really all about the spice!  Sure, you can generalize and say, “White with chicken and fish” or “red with beef, lamb or gamey meats,” but the truth is, you should be more concerned about the intensity if the spices you use than what you sprinkle or rub it on.



    Bren Randolph, founder of Bren’s Original, is a character and a half who’s been up to his neck in spices since he was knee high to a grasshopper.  His seasoning blends are so perfect and irresistible that folks will stop at nothing to get their hands on as many bottle as they can.  Some retailers literally have to ration Bren’s blends so as not to disappoint anyone.



    But there’s more to the story.  Since Bren is based in the Central Coast Wine Country of California, several formidable wineries have called upon him to create several variations of his secret spices that are more wine-friendly than anything that’s ever been concocted before.  You  don’t have to buy his special blends to learn the do’s and don’t of spicing up your wine pairings.  Listen in for much more than a sprinkle of spice insight on this edition of Grape Encounters!



    This edition of Grape Encounters is brought to you by Total Wine & More, where you can get 12 awesome wines hand-picked by Total Wine’s friendly experts.  You’ll receive 2 wines that wow per month, all for a one time fee as low as $59!  Best of all, you get to mix and match real gems… Red, white, rosé and sparkling, too.  Pick a plan that’s just right for you!



    Click here and we’ll take you to the Membership page at TotalWine.com.  While you’re there, spend a little time checking out their mind-boggling selection of more than 8000 wines and an equally impressive selection of beer and spirits, too!





    Download this episode

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
24 Ratings

24 Ratings

Alexstrath1 ,

Great Grape Encounters

David has some of the most lively guests who share awesome inspiration and guidance beyond just wine. I love his episode with Jean-Charles

wlsonb ,

Good variety

Entertaining, informative, and a nice variety of topics.

Jim Newc ,

Fun and Entertaining

David has an unpretentious approach to wine, that is fun and entertaining. He guides his guests and listeners through his whimsical world of wine.

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