Weekly Interview: Dan Wampfler

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-30-2015

Dan Wampfler

Dan Wampfler

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week we continue our series of features on Walla Walla winemakers by interviewing Dan Wampfler, the winemaker at Dunham Cellars.

If you have been following our series on Walla Walla closely, you may recall that Reggie Mace explained how Dan initially got Reggie involved in the wine industry. We’ve observed similar dynamics over and over again in our interviews of Walla Walla winemakers. No doubt it is a testament to the cooperative atmosphere that Walla Walla winemakers have continually reported. Throughout its expansion, it seems, the place as remained a close-knit community.

Dan embodies that warm, welcoming community. As you’ll see, his personality shines through his responses to our questions.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Paul Gregutt

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-23-2015

Paul Gregutt (credit: Karen Stanton-Gregutt)

Paul Gregutt (credit: Karen Stanton-Gregutt)

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week we continue our series of features on Walla Walla winemakers by interviewing Paul Gregutt.

If you follow the wine world closely, you don’t need an introduction to Paul. His accomplishments in the wine industry — both as a writer and more recently as a winemaker — are too many to list.

Paul is currently a contributing editor at Wine Enthusiast; a weekly columnist at the Seattle Times; the author of Washington Wine and Wineries published in the University of California Press; and a guest contributor to various wine publications including the Wine Spectator and Decanter.

On top of all of that, Paul recently took on winemaking responsibilities in his hometown of Waitsburg, Washington (Walla Walla County) as the Wine Director at Waitsburg Cellars. It is primarily in that last capacity that Paul was interviewed. But as you’ll see, Paul tells us not just about Waitsburg Cellars but also about the very history of winemaking in Walla Walla.

We were very glad to feature Paul this week. Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Marty Clubb

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-16-2015

Marty ClubbEach week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker; and in the past couple of interviews, we have featured Tanya Woodley and Reggie Mace — two relatively new Walla Walla winemakers.

This week, we’re featuring Marty Clubb, the owner and managing winemaker at L’Ecole.  Marty has been been making wine in Walla Walla since 1989, when nobody quite knew that great wine could be made there — except for a handful of pioneers like Marty.  L’Ecole is the third oldest winery in the Walla Walla Valley.

Needless to say, Marty has a unique historical perspective of the Walla Walla Valley that few people have.

Check out our interview with Marty below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Reggie Mace

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 01-09-2015

Reggie Mace

Reggie Mace

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Reggie Mace, the winemaker at The Mortal Vintner. With Reggie, we continue our on-going series of interviews of Walla Walla winemakers.

Reggie is no traditional winemaker. For one, besides making wine, he also makes mead, fermented honey. Fermentation aside, Reggie is also a musician, an artist, and a lot of fun to interview.

As you’ll see, Reggie has a noticeable voice of a new generation of winemakers.

Check out our interview with Reggie below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Tanya Woodley

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 12-19-2014

Tanya Woodley

Tanya Woodley

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Tanya Woodley, the winemaker at SuLei Cellars.

Regular readers will remember that we interviewed John Freeman at Waterbrook in August. John mentioned Tanya as a new winemaker that he was excited about.

With Tanya, we hope to kick off a series of interviews of winemakers based in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. The bold paradigmatic reds of Walla Walla seem to fit the time of the year; and when compared to Napa, the region receives much less attention in the wine press.

Below, Tanya discusses her career path to winemaking, what makes Walla Walla special, and the 2013 vintage.

Check out the interview below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Steve McIntyre

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 12-05-2014

Steve McIntyre

Steve McIntyre

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Steve McIntyre, the proprietor of McIntyre Vineyards, where he is also involved in winegrowing and winemaking.

Steve is one of the most experienced wine growers in the Central Coast, even setting aside McIntyre Vineyards. He was a founding member of Monterey Wine Company and for the past three decades, he and his wife, Kim, have owned and operated Monterey Pacific. Today, they farm 11,000 acres in Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Bernabe and Hames Valley for some of California’s most prestigious producers. Steve alone has planted more than 20% of the SLH AVA!

Check out our interview with Steve below the fold.

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Weekly Interview: Meredith Smith

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 11-28-2014

Meredith Smith

Meredith Smith

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Meredith Smith, the winemaker at Sawtooth Winery in Idaho’s Snake River Valley.

By 2006, Meredith had established a career in real estate development and accounting. But she was also a wine lover; and she realized about herself that almost all of her books and magazine subscriptions were related to wine. So she packed up her career and went back to school—and enrolled in the Washington State University viticulture program.

She joined Sawtooth right after graduating. Before long, she climbed the ladder to Assistant Winemaker, and then to Associate Winemaker. Her wines have received positive press from Wine & Spirits and Wine Enthusiast.

Below, Meredith talks about switching careers, recent vintages in Idaho, and rap music.

Check out our interview with Meredith below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Nicolas Cantacuzene

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 11-21-2014

Nicolas Cantacuzene

Nicolas Cantacuzene

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Nicolas Cantacuzene, the winemaker at Emeritus Vineyards, which produces estate-bottled Pinot Noir from Sonoma.

There are some winemakers who grow up in the wine industry, for whom winemaking is family tradition; and then there are those who leave behind a career and take the leap of faith into winemaking. Nicolas is squarely in the latter group. Though he had the oenophilic advantage of a French upbringing, Nicolas never planned on a wine career until he found himself taking a break from his chemistry studies in Paris – and found himself in love in Sonoma.

Below, Nicolas discusses how chemistry can limit winemaking, punching down the cap with your feet, and what’s so special about Burgundy.

Check out our interview with Nicolas below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Dan Fishman

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 11-07-2014

Dan Fishman

Dan Fishman

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Dan Fishman, the owner and winemaker at Hatton Daniels Wine Cellars.

Dan did not grow up in the wine industry. It was by chance in college that he took Wine Appreciation 101 and feel in love. Now, a decade or so later, Dan makes wine not only at Hatton Daniels, but also at Donum Estate.

Below, Dan tells us about dropping out of a PhD Program in Psychology to work harvest, about how working retail shaped his winemaking philosophy, and about making a name for yourself as a new winemaker.

Check out our interview with Dan below the fold!

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Weekly Interview: Heidi Seifried

Posted by | Posted in Interviews | Posted on 10-31-2014

Heidi Seifried

Heidi Seifried

Each week, as regular readers know, we pose a series of questions to a winemaker. This week, we’re featuring Heidi Seifried, the winemaker at Seifried Estate, the oldest family winery in New Zealand’s South Island.

In 1973, Austrian-born Hermann Seifried and his New Zealand wife Agnes planted their first vineyard in the Nelson region. They passed on their passion to this generation. Heidi is their eldest daughter and the winemaker at Seifried Estate. She is helped by her brother Chris in the cellars, and by her younger sister Anna with sales and marketing.

Before she became a winemaker, Heidi was first qualified as a dentist. She worked full-time as a dentist for three years until 2001, when Heidi went back to Lincoln University and completed her Post Graduate Diploma in Viticulture and Oenology (with Distinction). Heidi still spends some time in surgery though just one day a week these days, while juggling a young family, and working in the family business four days a week.

Check out our interview with Heidi below the fold.

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