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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Weekly Interview: Bruno Paillard

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 12-12-2015

Bruno Paillard

Bruno Paillard

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Bruno Paillard, the famed Champenoise owner and winemaker of the eponymous maison.

The Paillard family has been growing grapes in Champagne since 1704. But Bruno wanted more: he wanted to make his own Champagne. So, after failing to convince his father to start a Champagne house, Bruno decided to found one on his own. That was 1981. Bruno disgorged his first bottles in 1985. And he has been making fantastic Champagne ever since.

Below, Bruno tells us his story and gives us an insight into what it is like to grow up in Champagne. Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Elia Pellegrini

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 12-04-2015

Elia Pellegrini

Elia Pellegrini

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a wine professional. This week, we are featuring Elia Pellegrini, the owner of Aia Vecchia, a Tuscan winery with estates in Bolgheri and Maremma.

The Pellegrini family, after many generations in the Tuscan wine industry, founded Aia Vecchia in 1996. Its first vintage was 1998. And its growth – in quality and in prominence – was spurred by the famed Hungarian Tibor Gal.

Elia is the fourth-generation Pellegrini in the Tuscan wine business. He joined Aia Vecchia only recently in 2011, after his first career as a professional soccer player ended too early with a knee injury.

Check out the interview below the fold!

 

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Weekly Interview: Sam Spencer

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 11-20-2015

Sam Spencer

Sam Spencer

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Sam Spencer, the winemaker at Head High Wines (Sonoma).

Head High Wines is a collaboration between Sam and Bill Price. The two wine-industry veterans share a passion for the outdoors, and particularly for surfing.  Head High itself is a surfing term used to describe waves that are as tall as the surfer. Currently, Head High’s production is approximately 7000 cases, but Sam and Bill plan to grow the brand quickly in the coming years. Their current releases are the 2014 Rose, 2013 Red Blend, and 2013 Pinot Noir.

In addition to his work at Head High, Sam also owns and oversees farming of the Madder Lake Vineyard. Sam has decades of experience in the wine industry, and before founding Head High Wines, Sam was the oversaw the grapegrowing and winemaking at Cameron Hughes Wine.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Chris Tynan

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 11-13-2015

Chris Tynan

Chris Tynan

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Chris Tynan, the winemaker at Cliff Lede Vineyards.

Cliff Lede Vineyards is a relative newcomer to Napa. It was founded in 2002 by Cliff Lede, a Canadian-born Bordeaux enthusiast, when Cliff purchased sixty acres of estate in the Stags Leap District. In the coming years, Cliff replanted the vineyards of his new estate with the help of David Abreu. And Cliff finished building the winemaking facility in 2005.

Chris joined Cliff Lede in 2012. Before coming to Cliff Lede, Chris worked as assistant winemaker at Colgin Cellars for five years. And even before that, as you’ll read below, he was a restauranteur in New Mexico.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Albert Costa

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 10-30-2015

Albert Costa

Albert Costa

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Albert Costa, owner and winemaker of Priorat’s Vall Llach.

Vall Llach was founded in the early 1990s by singer Lluis Llach and notary Enric Costa. But its vines are much older than that. Some of the oldest estates contain 60- to 90-year-old Garnacha (Grenache) vines.

Albert grew up around wine thanks to his father Enric’s venture. After travelling the world and making wines in Napa, Australia, and New Zealand, Albert returned home to become the winemaker at Vall Llach.

Enormous thanks to VinConnect — the U.S. company that enables U.S. consumers to order wines directly from Mas de Daumas Gassac — for facilitating this interview with Samuel Guibert. Check it out below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Richie Allen

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 10-23-2015

Richie Allen

Richie Allen

Each week, as our regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we are featuring Richie Allen, the winemaker at Rombauer Vineyards.

Koerner and Joan Rombauer moved to Napa Valley in 1972 and established Rombauer in 1980.  Their first vintage — the 1980 Cabernet Sauvignon — was actually bottled at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, where Joan was working.  Fast forward almost three decades, and in 2008, Richie Allen became winemaker at Rombauer, after having started at Rombauer as a harvest intern and having worked through the ranks.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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