Debra catches up with Charles Johnston of Helena View Winery, located in the Calistoga region of California, which was formed back in 1992 as a weekend project of building the winery and growing grapes for Charles. Charles tells Debra how they’ve been certified organic since 1992 and how important he believes this is, as well as the eco-friendly aspect of the winery itself.
They go onto discuss Charles’ China connection, both in the past with his role of building the Sunkist and citrus growers business after he finished graduate school, then again more recently when he joined the Shandong Wiehai
Weal Wine Company in 2006, a joint Sino-American venture. They discuss China’s domestic production in the future (including Debra’s question – will China change the world?), where Charles feels the future lies, and what inherent changes the Chinese wine industry needs to make in order make its wine competitive.
We’re very pleased to announce that one of our Touchmedia taxi videos has been shortlisted for the Born Digital Wine Awards, results to be announced at the London Wine Fair. Thanks everyone for your support and keep your fingers crossed for us!( 0 Comments ) - Leave a Comment
Debra discusses the many guises of Tasmanian Pinot Noir with Jeremy Dineen of Josef Chromy. They discuss the attributes that define distinctly Tassie Pinot, be it the wild red fruit characters or firm acidity. Also, since it can’t all be fun and games, they get into what the biggest challenges of growing grapes in a marginal region are.( 0 Comments ) - Leave a Comment
Debra chats with sparkling winemaker Natalie Fryar of Jansz Tasmania about why sparklers are a winemaker’s biggest challenge, why Tassie has all the right attributes to make them (just like “that other great sparkling wine region” aka Champagne), and shares her secret non-traditional technique for achieving a perfectly pink rosé.( 0 Comments ) - Leave a Comment
Debra meets husband and wife team Sharona and Daron Belogolovsky from Vitkin Winery in Israel. They explain that it is a family owned winery – Sharona’s brother is oenologist, Daron is the winemaker, and Sharona manages the two of them! Debra and the Belogolovsky’s discuss the different grape varieties they use at Vitkin, including “Carignan”, a grape variety brought to Israel in the 19th century by Baron Edmond de Rothschild, along with the new varieties that thrive in the hot Israeli climate.
Sharona explains to Debra the difficulty winemakers in Israel face when it comes to land, and how due to government regulations, they can only hold a farm of 3 hectares in the area they live, which forces they to seek other plots elsewhere in the country as well. Daron describes the Carignan grape variety to Debra as well as telling her what he likes second best about the job of winemaker (first is, of course, drinking the wine!).( 0 Comments ) - Leave a Comment
Debra catches up with Swiss-born Peter Huwiler of Napa Station Winery in Napa Valley, where their discussion on the inspiration for the winery’s name leads to the history of the Napa Valley tourist train. Peter gives Debra background on the family-owned winery, including their sustainability policies, number of cases produced and his philosophy on winemaking. Debra questions Peter on whether he is tempted to return “home” to Switzerland to make wines.
Debra probes Peter on the question on how he selects a winemaker – and his answer may surprise many. Also surprising is one of his favourite food matches for Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Debra and Peter conclude by discussing the future of the Napa Valley, its maturity in the world market and many and varied terroirs.( 0 Comments ) - Leave a Comment