8 May 2012

Talking Tasmanian Wines with Natalie Fryar

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.

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1 May 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 121: Sharona and Daron Belogolovsky, Vitkin Winery

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!).

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24 Apr 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 120: Peter Huwiler, Napa Station

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.

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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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