23 Oct 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 143: Mario Fontana, Cascina Fontana

Debra meets with Mario Fontana of Cascina Fontana, located in the Barolo region of Piedmont, Italy. With the winery situated in the Monforte d’Alba commune, Mario tells what differentiates his village from the others in the region, and he goes on to explain the history of his family in Barolo and how, as the sixth generation, making wine is not work or a business, but a natural continuation of his family’s tradition.

Mario tells Debra what the challenges of working with Nebbiolo are, along with his favourite vintages, and what makes a high quality Barolo (and how the balance of wine and the balance of life are so closely linked).

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23 Oct 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 144: Sofia Thanisch, Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch

Debra meets with Sofia Thanisch of Weingut Wwe. Dr. H. Thanisch, a specialist Riesling producer located in the Mosel Valley, Germany. Sofia is the great granddaughter of the winery’s founders, and the fourth generation of women involved in the business. Debra and Sofia talk about just what causes Mosel Riesling to be so elegant, and why she believes it to be the very best grape variety worldwide. She explains why Mosel Riesling (vs Riesling from the rest of the world) is such a niche product and how the style varies from most other Rieslings, and why this is a compliment to Asian cuisine. They talk about what makes a truly great wine, what makes or breaks a vintage and why Mosel Riesling is drinkable vs sippable.

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16 Oct 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 142: Willi Schaefer, Weingut Willi Schaefer

Debra chats about all things Mosel Riesling with Willi Schaefer of Weingut Willi Schaefer, who explains about the long hang time for grapes in the region and why you can drink Mosel Riesling all night and wake up in the morning feeling good. They go on to discuss the steep slopes of the Mosel Valley which means everything is done by hand, and the why most of the vineyard workers are born and bred in Mosel.

Willi tells Debra how to judge when to harvest the grapes, and how in the past, they’ve done two rounds of harvesting two weeks apart. He finishes by sharing his secrets to great aromatics in Riesling and offers some thoughts on the 2009 vintage.

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9 Oct 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 141: Giovanna Rizzolio and Italo Sobrino, Cascina della Rose

Debra chats with Giovanna Rizzolio and Italo Sobrino of Cascina Della Rose, a winery located in Barbaresco region of Piedmont, Italy. They start off discussing Italy’s powerhouse wines – Barolo vs Barbaresco, with Giovanna explaining that although they are both Nebbiolo grapes, the soil makes the difference in Barolo and Barbaresco, with Barolo being “big” and Barbaresco being softer and “feminine”, with more velvety tannins.

They discuss the abundance of fog in the region and the effect it has on the grapes. Giovanna offers some ideal food matches for Barbaresco, then they go on to talk about the snowy winters of Barbaresco and how the covering of snow on vines is a good thing, plus what is happening in the winery at that time of year. Finally, they finish with a discussion on the best vintages of the last decade.

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2 Oct 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 140: Delia Viader, Viader

Debra catches up with Delia Viader, of Viader Vineyards in Napa Valley, California. They discuss the stunning setting of Howell Mountain, what a typical day consists of for Delia at the winery and the origin of the name Viader. Delia shares her goals for Viader over the next 10 years, with family playing a huge role in this development phase. They go on to discuss what makes Howell Mountain a special AVA for wine quality, including why it is so appropriate for Bordeaux grape varieties. Finally Delia gives her summary on what Viader wines are all about.

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25 Sep 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 139: Hugh Ryman, Château de la Jaubertie

Debra catches up with a unique personality in the wine world, Hugh Ryman. He explains to Debra the two “hats” that he wears – firstly as an owner and winemaker at his property Château de la Jaubertie, a 50 hectare organic winery in the Monbazillac appellation of France. Secondly he is, and has been, a consultant to many wineries around the globe and is credited as one of the pioneers of the “flying winemaker” concept.

They discuss the many interesting places Hugh has made wine and the history he has witnessed in the process, the difference between being a consultant and a property owner, the expanded role distribution now plays in the wine industry, and more. Plus, Hugh tells Debra about the most fascinating cultural and historical events he’s witness as a flying winemaker.

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