24 Jul 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 131: Nik Weis, Weingut St. Urbans-Hof

Continuing with the Riesling theme, Debra chats with Nik Weis about the Mosel valley and what it takes to produce a great Riesling there. For Nik, it comes down to minerality, acidity and mild sweetness. While it’s tricky to get the right ripeness levels, so that no single element sticks out awkwardly, the Mosel with its very high latitude (50 – further north than Champagne!) and generally cool climate gives the grapes their best shot.

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17 Jul 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 130: Annegret Reh-Gartner, Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt

Debra meets with Annegret Reh-Gertner of Reichsgraf Von Kessellstatt, a winery located in the Mosel region, Germany. Annegret tells Debra what makes Mosel riesling so special, describing it as light, mineral driven and that it “dances on the palate like a beautiful ballerina”. She goes on to tell Debra about the challenges of global warming and how, so far, they have been the winners from the effects of global warming, experiencing great vintages every year (compared to the past, where two vintages per decade would be outstanding).

They discuss the longer ripening time required by riesling grapes in Mosel which leads to the strong aromas which characterise the wines, as well as the minerality and “saltiness” in the wine, and how the “struggles” the grape experiences ultimately gives it its “backbone”.

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10 Jul 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 129: Franck Duboeuf, Georges Duboeuf

Debra catches up with Franck Duboeuf of Georges Duboeuf “the Duboef dynasty” in Beaujolais, France. They discuss how the Deboeuf family represents the heart and soul of Beaujolais and what their role has been in growing fame and worldwide recognition of Beaujolais region’s wines. Debra also discovers what it is like for Franck to be the son of such a world-famous figure in the wine industry.

They discuss the best food pairings for Beaujolais wines and why Beaujolais enjoys such good recognition in Asia. Finally, Franck reveals his thoughts on the much-hyped annual November release of the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau, which is said to be delivered by plane, helicopter, elephants and more to the market, due to its extremely short shelf-life.

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3 Jul 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 128: Tom Carson, Yabby Lake

Debra catches up with Tom Carson of Yabby Lake, located on Australia’s Mornington Peninsula (near Melbourne, Victoria). After some Aussie pronunciation lessons, Tom tells Debra why it’s good for business and Pinot Noir to be located in “Melbourne’s summer playground”, including the fact that it is a maritime climate, with water on three sides.

They discuss the fascinating little Australian crayfish – “yabbies” – that the winery is named after and why they are so “tough and hardy”: “a bit like vines” according to Debra, or a “bit like Aussie guys” according to Tom. Finally they discuss how Tom got into winemaking in the first place, what his favourite parts of the job are and why winemakers, like wine, “get better with age”.

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26 Jun 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 127: Wayne Stebhens, Katnook Estate

Debra meets with Wayne Stehbens of Katnook Estate in South Australia’s Coonawarra region. As he has been at the helm of Katnook Estate from the very beginning ( 1979), he and Debra discuss the evolution of Katnook Estate’s wine and the Australian wine industry over that time. They discuss the remoteness of Coonawarra, and the unique Cabernet Sauvignon the region is renowned for producing, and Debra poses the question of the region’s “eucalyptus character”.

Wayne tells Debra how the region is at the mercy of Mother Nature, and they conclude with Wayne’s all-time favourite vintages from the 32 he’s been involved in.

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19 Jun 2012

Debra Meiburg MW Meets the Winemaker 126: Stephen Carrier, Château de Fieuzal

Debra catches up with the ever-enthusiastic Stephen Carrier, winemaker for Château de Fieuzal, located in the heart of Graves, Bordeaux, which produces very famous white wines, despite it being disproportionately out-produced by their reds. He tells Debra about their famous neighbours, the dynamic nature of the area and about the Irish owners of the property.

Stephen talks about how his job for the last three years has been to come in and restore and replant the vineyards to match the more traditional mix of grape varieties for Bordeaux, with the next challenge being to rebuild the winery. Finally he tells Debra the surprising location of his first red winemaking job and what his beverages of choice are.

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