Weekly Interview: Jim Close

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-22-2016

Jim Close

Jim Close

Every week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Jim Close, the winemaker at Gamble Family Vineyards.

Gamble Family Vineyards was founded in Tom Gamble, a third-generation Napa native. Tom proudly calls himself owner/farmer: one gets the sense that Tom is deeply committed to the land that he works.

Jim joined Gamble Family Vineyards in 2003, after spending a year in Languedoc. Before that, as you’ll read, Jim studied winemaking in the UK, where he grew up in a wine-appreciating family.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Guillaume Michel

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-08-2016

Guillaume Michel

Guillaume Michel

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Guillaume Michel, the winemaker at Louis Michel & Fils.

The Michel family has been growing grapes in Chablis for six generations– since 1850.  They now manage 25 hectares of vineyards and make about 150,000 bottles of wine every year.

Enormous thanks to VinConnect — the U.S. company that enables U.S. consumers to order wines directly from Louis Michel & Fils — for facilitating this interview with Guillaume. Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Megan Bell

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 04-01-2016

Megan Bell

Megan Bell

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Megan Bell, who is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to launch her personal wine project, Margins Wine.

Megan graduated from U.C. Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology. She decided on that degree without a grand plan. But, as it so often does to those around it, wine found its way into the core of Megan’s life. Slowly but surely, as Megan traveled from one internship to another, and from one winemaking region to another, wine shaped Megan’s career.

Megan is now the Assistant Winemaker at Beauregard Vineyards. Her person wine project, Margins Wine, aims to give voice to “as many underrepresented regions and varietals as possible.”

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Jan Holtermann

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-19-2016

Jan Holtermann

Jan Holtermann

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Jan Holtermann, the proprietor and winemaker at Alma Fria.

Jan grew up in the wine business. After completing his studies, Jan joined his family wine-importing business in Costa Rica. But after two decades of importing wine, Jan was ready to make his own. He moved with his family to Sonoma County. Within a year, he found the vineyard that he liked. And so began Alma Fria.

If there can be said to be different “types” of individuals in the wine business, one “type” is undoubtedly the intellectual — someone who lives deliberately, with careful thought and reflection, and with some struggle for correctness. From the interview, Jan strikes us as such an intellectual. And as expected, his thoughts on wine and winemaking are a joy to read.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Greg Adams

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 03-04-2016

Greg Adams

Greg Adams

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Greg Adams, the winemaker at Gregory James Wines.

Greg had a prolific winemaking career when he decided to become his own boss, thirteen years ago. A California native, Greg’s career took him to Argentina for six years, and then back to California to Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, and then to Flowers Vineyard and Winery — when Greg and his friend Jim teamed up to start the eponymous Gregory James Wines.  But Greg’s winemaking positions represent just a tiny fraction of his wide-ranging travels. Ever restless, Greg has traveled to Champagne, to Rhone, to Burgundy, and more. One gets the sense that Greg has visited just about every great winemaking region. One also gets the sense that, from every place, Greg has absorbed a bit of the winemaking pathos of the place. And finally, one gets the sense that Greg is far from done.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: John Grochau

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-19-2016

John Grochau (credit: Josh Chang)

John Grochau (credit: Josh Chang)

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring John Grochau, the winemaker at the eponymous Grochau Cellars.

Not that there is a particularly conventional path to becoming a winemaker, even if there is one, John did not follow it. John had a full career as a bike racer before taking the plunge to become a winemaker. In fact, it was when he wa bike racing in the Loire Valley in France that he became seriously interested in wine.

After working at a restaurant for fourteen years, after working harvest at Erath, and after four years at Brick House Vineyards, in 2002, John made his very first wine under his own label. It’s been more than a decade since then, and already, John is not only bottling the Oregon-traditional pinot noir and pinot blanc, but also experimenting with varieties like gamay and melon de bourgogne. We are thrilled to see where his experiments lead him.

Check out the interview below the fold!

 

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Weekly Interview: Ben Cane

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 02-05-2016

Ben Cane

Ben Cane

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Ben Cane, the winemaker of Westwood Estates, located in Sonoma.

Westwood Estates was founded by a close group of friends, all oenophiles, who shared a passion for great wine. In 2005, they purchased the winery, whose history stretches back to 1984. Westwood has now just started to present their wines to the world; 2014 is its first vintage.

Ben joined Westwood as winemaker in 2014. But Ben was armed with a truly global winemaking education by the time he began working at this current job. Below, you’ll see Ben describe his wide-ranging winemaking experience, stretching multiple continents and some of the most important winemaking regions. Reading the interview, one gets the sense that Ben is truly a bon vivant – and that Westwood is only the latest chapter of a book continuing to write itself.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Vangelis Gerovassiliou

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-29-2016

Vangelis Gerovassiliou

Vangelis Gerovassiliou

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Vangelis Gerovassiliou of Ktima Gerovassiliou.

Ktima Gerovassiliou was founded by Vangelis in 1981. But the vineyards of Ktima Gerovassiliou predated Vangelis. His family had been growing grapes in the region; so his decision in 1981 was not to start but rather to revive.

Vangelis was well prepared for the task when he founded Ktima Gerovassiliou. After studying agriculture in Greece, Vangelis attended the University of Bordeaux and studied oenology with his famous mentor, Emile Peynaud. And after his studies in Bordeaux, beginning in 1976, he worked as an oenologist at Domaine Porto Carras, where he managed 450 hectares of vines.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: David Baverstock

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-22-2016

David Baverstock

David Baverstock

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring David Baverstock, the head winemaker at Esporão.

Founded in 1973, Esporão has been owned — first in part and then in entirety — by the Roquette family. And since then, Esporão has been growing steadily, with its first branded vintage in 1985, its building and rebuilding of winemaking facilities, its expansion of brands, and its acquisition of new estates and vineyards. Most recently, in 2012, Esporão opened newly renovated tourism facilities (photo below).

David became the head winemaker of Esporão in 1992. But David is originally from another winemaking region. He was born in Adelaide and grew up in the Barossa Valley. After completing his enological education in Australia, David began working in the Australian wine industry, but he was itching for a new experience. So he went to Beaujolais to work with Marcel Lapierre and then to Portugal.

Check out the interview below!

 

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Weekly Interview: Giorgio Pelissero

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-08-2016

Giorgio Pelissero

Giorgio Pelissero

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. After a brief hiatus for the holiday season, this week, we are featuring Giorgio Pelissero, the winemaker of the eponymous Barbaresco estate Pelissero.

The Pelissero family has been farming vineyards in Barbaresco for three generations now. It was the second-generation Pelissero, Luigi Pelissero, who began bottling the estate grapes in 1960. Giorgio is Luigi’s son. Giorgio came back to his hometown after his oenological studies and now runs the family estate.

Enormous thanks to VinConnect — the U.S. company that enables U.S. consumers to order wines directly from Pelissero — for facilitating this interview with Giorgio. Check it out below the fold!

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