12 Feb 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 154: Steve Flamsteed, Innocent Bystander

Steve explains to Debra what it’s like being an “Innocent Bystander” in the big world of Australian wine as a little family operation in the Yarra Valley. He describes the evolution of Aussie Chardie, with its move away from an oakier butterscotch style to something leaner and more minerally, and shares why their Pinot is always going to be pretty and perfumed rather than big and muscly. And while they’re on the topic of fermentation, Steve gets into why the bread at his other property, Giant Steps, is well worth the trek to the winery.

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5 Feb 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 153: Christophe Cordier, Domaine Cordier

Chardonnay specialist Christophe Cordier tells Debra what it’s like having one foot in the Mâconnais with a toe in Beaujolais (although Pouilly Fuissé is a stone’s through from Beaujolais, there are still not many producers growing fruit in both). For all you MW students (and other curious types), they get stuck into the differences between Pouilly Fuissé and St. Veran (for the less Burgundy-obsessed, these are two Chardonnay wines made in the southern part of Burgundy). Christophe wraps up by sharing his impressions on the 2012 vintage.

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30 Jan 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 152: Sam Weaver, Churton Wines

Sam Weaver fills Debra in about Marlborough’s new subregions, and the broad migration up into the southern hills. Sam drops the “T-bomb” (texture, for those of you who haven’t been avidly following the evolution of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc), causing Debra to corner him into defining the term, which Sam very thoroughly does. Then Debra asks Sam the million dollar question: where is the style of Marlborough SB headed (is grassiness all?)?

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23 Jan 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 151: Alain Schlumberger, Domaines Schlumberger

Sixth generation winemaker Alain Schlumberger (pronounced “Schlum-ber-zhay” since Alsace has been part of France) shares his views on Pinot Gris, Alsace’s most versatile, in-betweener wine. He fills Debra in on a little bit of the history of his family’s estate, and how they came to have the biggest domaine in Alsace. Finally, Alain weighs in on the sweet vs. dry debate that is still very much alive in Alsace, explaining how they latest round of back and forth began with the rather ripe 2000 vintage.

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15 Jan 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 150: Irit Boxer-Shank, Barkan Winery

Irit Boxer-Shank fills Debra in on the complexities of being a Kosher winemaker, from overcoming the natural urge to lay hands on the barrels, to the slight complication of constant supervision in the winery. Debra asks Irit what it’s like to be, in her words, a “gorgeous blonde female winemaker” in Israel, to which Irit responds positively that although at the moment women are still relatively uncommon in the Israeli wine industry, there is a general environment of gender equality.

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8 Jan 2013

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 149: Greg Gregory, Sleeper Cellars

Debra chats with Greg Gregory, formerly of Sleeper Cellars in Napa Valley about the winery’s (and his own) unusual name, and how the Sleeper model differs from that of most growers and wineries in the valley. As buyers and blenders of finished wine, they benefit from the reduced capital outlay and time to market that comes affiliated with this style of business. Debra queries Greg on how the wines are selected, and he assures her that while the fruit is always 100% Napa Valley, they don’t always create the same blend, allowing them more flexibility from vintage to vintage.

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