A Podcast from Sonoma, CA featuring experts Brian Casey, Sam Coturri, Bart Hansen & host John Myers. Taking the stuffiness out of wine every Friday!
The Wine Makers – Sound & Fury
The guys gather this week on the day after… No not New Years Day, the day after what can only be described unbelievable. We touched on a number of subjects, everything from what’s going on in the vineyard to vineyard designated gummies. We are looking forward to 2021 and already have an entire list of guests we can’t wait to introduce you to. Stay safe everyone and we look forward to a great year. Cheers!!! [EP178]
The Wine Makers – Laura Brennan Bissell, INCONNU Wines
Laura joined the conversation while sitting on her lanai on Kauai sipping a Pellegrino in the morning sun talking about wanting to distill some rum. Ahh, the life of a winemaker right ?? Not exactly… Dig deeper and you’ll find that she is extremely thoughtful in her approach to the wine business, almost like she has one eye on a barrel of Merlot and the other eye up in space looking down at the planet. She catches the attention of the critics, named Winemaker to watch in 2017 and recently having her Carneros Merlot selected as 1 of 12 wines that defined 2020 by Esther Mobley, but that is not her goal. Laura wants to make soulful wines made with intention for everybody to enjoy. Reacting to climate change, she has moved up to Washington to make more acid-driven white wines, in a cooler environment with lower overhead. She is not a fan of social media or even the process of selling, Laura simply wants to create beautiful wines. You can purchase some of these wines through Benchmark in Napa. Happy New Year, thanks for supporting us this year, it is truly appreciated. [EP177]
1614 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
laura @ inconnuwine.com
The Wine Makers – Fine Disregard
Fine Disregard Wine Cowas founded by Mike Schieffer and Kara Maraden – both came to the Napa Valley drawn to wine from previous careers, Mike from Texas and Kara from Pennsylvania. Mike graduated from American University in Washington, DC – worked for the Discovery Channel – exploring a possible career in law – but then was bitten by the wine bug. His introduction to wine making came through a Rugby coach who connected him with several wineries in Bordeaux – Mike worked in Bordeaux in 2008 and later in the Hunter Valley in Australia where he was introduced to Sémillon – an introduction that would later influence his decision to work with Sémillon in the Napa Valley.
Kara graduated from Penn State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and Master’s in Plant Pathology. Trying to determine a career – she initially helped managed large estate gardens in Pennsylvania, sold beer for a stint before moving to California in 2010. Initially seeking a job in a tasting room, she soon discovered viticulture was a better match to her interests and background. She has been a viticulturist for Clos Du Val, Regusci and Foley Family of Wines. [EP176]
The Wine Makers – The Lists
This week on the show we discuss the wines on our favorite year ending lists, Wine Spectator Top 100, Wine Spectator top 100 wines under $20, Esther Mobley’s 12 California wines that defined 2020 and Jeb Dunnuck top 100. We also discuss automated tractors, future guests, supply chain inequities and our personal favorite wines of 2020. Happy Holidays. [EP175]
The Wine Makers – Ray Kaufman, Adelante Wines
Ray has had a life full of adventures, from traveling around Asia after graduating college to signing up to help build a sailboat and the being on the crew sailing around the South Pacific. Ray’s wine-making career began on various Sonoma Valley bottling lines in the late 1970’s. From there he worked at Kenwood Vineyards in the cellar for about 5 years. Ray also picked-up some Pinot Noir knowledge, by working a couple of harvests at Bouchaine Vineyards. In 1987 he began working as co winemaker for Laurel Glen Vineyards. When Ray first started, the wine world was a different place. He watched and learned as stainless steel tanks began replacing redwood tanks and concrete fermenters. He saw refrigeration become commonplace, and work in the vineyards and the wineries become more specific. He saw this willingness to change lead California to produce unique world class wines. Similarly, Ray developed as a winemaker first by following traditional procedures, then by following the more technical approach suggested by the University of Davis. Ultimately, Ray’s wine making style utilizes traditional, natural methods supported by technical knowledge. Ray is uniquely familiar with the difference between working with multiple vineyards to make one wine and using a single vineyard. In Argentina, the single vineyard concept is still new. Before Ray’s first visit, he knew very little about Argentina. Once he arrived, he found great joy in the people, the culture, the food, and of course–the Malbec. The wine industry reminded him of California when he first started out. At that time, there was an influx of new people and new ideas. Change for the better was in the air, grounded by an appreciation and respect for tradition. [EP174]
The Wine Makers – Repeal Day With Tom Wark
The Wine Makers celebrate their favorite holiday of the year, Repeal Day, with Tom Wark, wine publicist, wine blogger and tireless advocate for wine consumers, producers and retailers. Perhaps best known for his Fermentation Wine Blog, where he never shies away from controversy and frequently takes on the archaic “Three-Tiered System” of wine sales that has allowed wholesalers to keep a stranglehold on the market since the repeal of prohibition. Listen in as Wark dispatches on 30 years in the wine business, the current state of wine shipping laws, neo-prohibitionists and much more! [EP173]
Customer ReviewsSee All
Moderately educational, highly entertaining
Entertaining wine-centric podcast from a foursome of characters and their excitable dogs. Regular interviews typically feature boutique micro wineries. Bart Hansen represents the winemaker side of the podcast as he regularly recounts the everyday challenges of making Chenin. Brian Casey is a front-of-house wine slayer who has been working on his own wine brand while also becoming a propane tank transportation expert. John Meyers is a former Chicago media titan who now balances his time between orthopedic surgeries and chasing his dog out of the room while experiencing Zoom connection issues. And finally, Sam Coturri is a fashion designer who also operates a wine brand with potentially the most confusing brand name in the wine industry.
Learn and be entertained
Hard to write a review, other than to say it is a great podcast. Whatever that means to an individual listener is rather subjective. But if you like wine and all that surrounds wine, then this is a great listen. And while it is Sonoma-County-specific, it is first about wine. From vineyard to bottle to customer, and everything in between. The focus is on smaller wineries and/or winemakers for small producers, much like the two winemaker-hosts. The other host is a Sommelier working locally - well, until recently. Coronavirus furloughs hit a wide swath of businesses. I started listening to my first wine podcast about a year ago. I was looking for something different to hear on my (long) commute. I spent several months listening to a wine podcast I read about in the NYTimes. I listened twice a day, each way on my commute. Before I knew it, I had listened to two full-years worth, plus about 10 years worth of a curated top-ten list. I learned a ton on wine and now I wanted to learn more. And maybe something closer to home. Not sure exactly how I found The Winemakers Pod, likely a Google search. I recall downloading a dozen different or so to sample, and this was the winner. Not sure which episode was first, but soon after I downloaded all of 2019, plus their very first episode. I was hooked. On any given episode you get to hear people, who love what they do, talk about all the aspects of wine. I already enjoyed wine, and had the good fortune to be introduced to occasional wines way above my pay scale. The time spent listening to this (and a few others) has really added to my enjoyment of wie. To paraphrase a saying, it is amazing how you don't know how much you don't know until you know something. Each week, I know something more. The three 'wine experts' are down to earth, opinionated - some more than others - entertaining, and just plain fun. After a few listens, they almost seem like your friends. And probably would be if we all lived in Sonoma. If you are a first timer, go through the list of the past year. If you find one with a winery or winemaker that you already know, start there. So pour a glass and give a listen.
A perfect combination of wine knowledge and entertainment
I look forward to listening every week. They have turned me on to some great wineries, including their own Sixteen 600 & Dane Cellars. They bring on some great guests; industry insiders, local winemakers and wine related businesses. They have opinions, but offer an open minded approach to wine. If you’re a fan of wine, you should add this podcast to you’re weekly download.