17 Apr 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 119: Herta Peju, Peju Winery

Debra catches up with Herta Peju of Peju Winery, a family winery located in Rutherford in the middle of the Napa Valley. They talk about the secret to being a good winemaker, which Herta says comes down to having a good palate. Debra asks for Herta’s tips on developing tasting skills, as well as how Herta developed her palate, given she was not from a winemaking or tasting background when she and her husband Tony bought their winery in 1982.

Debra asks Herta about Rutherford, which is a historic and highly regarded region in Napa Valley. Herta goes on to describe how fantastic their grapes really are, even going as far as to say the grapes are so good, you don’t even have to be very talented to make good wine, much to Debra’s amusement! Finally she offers an insight on what to expect from Peju’s wines.

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10 Apr 2012

VINITALY 2012 Awards Ceremony: Debra Meiburg MW & Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Presentation of the Vinitaly International Award at the Palazzo Giusti in Verona, Italy.

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3 Apr 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 118: KR Rombauer III, Rombauer Vineyards

Debra meets K.R Rombauer III of Rombauer Vineyards in Napa Valley, located in St Helena (or “Sanelina”, as Debra pronounces it). K.R. tells Debra why St Helena, as well as about all the other sites Rombauer Vineyards has in the Napa Valley, including Calistoga, California’s recently added AVA. K.R tells Debra how tricky site selection can be in Napa, with boron in the soil in some areas, and the prevalence of hot springs.

They discuss Napa’s climactic variation and blending grapes from different Napa Valley sites, the fun and challenges of a family winery business, along with the necessities of making it work.

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27 Mar 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 117 Stephanie Jones Bailey, Jones Family Vineyards

Debra catches up with Stephanie Jones Bailey, of Jones Family Vineyards located in Calistoga, one of Napa Valley’s newest AVAs. Recently nicknamed “accidental vintners”, Stephanie tells Debra how and why the family got into the wine business, and how the support of Napa’s super palate, Heidi Barrett, provided a push to make the leap into the business. They also muse about the humorous story of how Stephanie met her husband and dragged him into the family business too.

Stephanie and Debra discuss the locale of the winery, which faces south to San Francisco Bay, receiving full sun exposure, which makes for some very hot days, but is also ideally located to capture the bay breezes. It also gives them a special head start come harvest time over their Northern Californian winemaking neighbours. Finally, Stephanie tells Debra which grape varieties and wines her two young daughters could be compared to, as well as sharing her hopes for the future of Jones Family Winery.

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20 Mar 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 116: Maria Lurighi, Domaine A

Debra meets Maria Lurighi from Domaine A, a 20ha property in the Coal River Valley of southern Tasmania, owned and operated by Swiss couple Peter and Ruth Althaus. They discuss the origins of the winery’s name and the unique microclimate of Domaine A’s site, including the fact that it receives some of the longest sunshine hours in the whole of Australia. Maria offers Debra insight into the relatively “young” Tasmanian wine industry, which is famed for its sparkling wine produced in the traditional method, beautiful aromatics and is now impressing the wider international wine industry with their “fresh young man out of the blocks”, Pinot Noir.

Maria tells Debra of Domaine A’s Langtons classification. They discuss the incredibly small yield (5000 cases) but high quality of Domaine A’s wines, and how this is achieved through strict viticultural regimes and the truly handmade nature of their wines. Finally they discuss how Peter searched the southern hemisphere far and wide for a site to make wine, and fell in love with Tasmania.

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14 Mar 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 115: Jon Phillips, Inspiration Vineyards

Debra gets back to her roots with an interview with Jon Phillips of Inspiration Vineyards, located in Russian River Valley, Sonoma County California. Jon tells Debra which grape varieties thrive in the region, and why this beautiful part of California, with its charming towns, great restaurants and natural beauty, is on par with, if not better than Napa Valley – their neighbours (and rivals!).

Jon tells Debra about the style of their award-winning Cabernet Sauvignon, the challenges of growing wine in the flat terrain of the region, and the unique attributes of the Pinot Noir grape from Russian River Valley. He tells Debra the difficulties of launching a new label in Sonoma, a region filled with big brands with great recognition and market share. Finally, Jon reveals his ultimate food pairing for Inspiration Vineyards Pinot Noir.

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