PODCAST

Looking Into Wine

Mattia Scarpazza

I am your host Mattia Scarpazza and I found Looking Into Wine to share knowledge about wine. Focus is on areas that sparked my interest throughout my study years and I wished I’d had more time to explore in more detail. Now it’s the time! Each episode explores a specific topic in detail and how it is relevant to the wine trade. What to expect? Interviews featuring experts and professionals to guide us through regions, grapes and challenges of vine growing, my own research and much more.
Chianti Classico, its history and its oddities with authors Bill Nesto MW and Frances di Savino
Chianti over centuries had become the equivalent of Italian red wine and grew to be a style rather than a wine that represented a place. The key producers in the Chianti Classico region were aristocrat Florentine families with interestingly up to the Second World War, a run their estates with a system known as sharecropping. Landowners allowed farmers the use of the land in return for half of the production, which resulted in little incentive to improve quality. Central Tuscany saw the very first attempt to define a wine production area legally by Grand Duke Cosimo III de ’Medici in 1716, with the boundaries outlined and criminal penalties on any merchant or customer buying wines falsely claiming to be from these areas. This law was never really used, though it was intended to protect the good reputations of these wines and to prevent fraud. The creation of Sassicaia in 1968 and Tignanello in 1971 inspired the category of Super Tuscans and led to similar wines produced in the 1980s in the Chianti Classico region. Chianti Classico became an autonomous DOCG in 1996. In other words, it is no longer a sub-zone of Chianti. My guests today are Frances Di Savino and Bill Nesto MW co-authors of ‘Chianti Classico: The Search for Tuscany’s Noblest Wine.’ With which we explore the history of Chianti Classico, how those decisions tarnished the images of Chianti and what the contemporary producers are looking to change that. Bill is a Master of Wine who teaches in two colleges at Boston University: Metropolitan College, Fran is a corporate attorney who has a background in medieval and Renaissance studies and is Bill’s partner in life and on the wine road Remember to Subscribe and leave a Review! We would love you hear from you! Reach us on: Instagram Looking into wine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com Online Recording on studio-level: Squadcast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
17-12-2021
44 mins
Wine producer profile: Testalonga wines with owner Craig Hawking from Swartland S.A.
As South Africa approaches yet another wave of #Covid, I speak to Testalonga is one of the most progressive producers of the country. This Durban-born winemaker Craig Hawking is all about avoiding stereotypes, an ideology embodied in his self-designed wine labels which we discussed on the show. They are all constructed from various photos that have appealed to him in some way Craig was the first producer to experiment with Amber wines in #SouthAfrica not without any resistance from authorities and critics as Craig tells in the episode. We talked about their new estate the #BanditsKloof #vineyard located in the northern mountains of Swartland and the soils and climate of #Swartland, touch on #Harzeverlu in South Africa. After travelling extensively in Portugal and Austria learning his craft Craig returned to South Africa and became the winemaker at top Swartland estate #Lammershoek. Craig now makes his wines from various small, #organic vineyard sites in Swartland and makes his wine naturally, with as little intervention as possible. The climate is Mediterranean with granite soils And of course, he explained where the name #Testalonga comes from The district of Swartland has a warm dry climate. Rainfall is around 500 mm per year, though a good proportion of it falls in the growing season. Soils are diverse but mainly of low fertility, suitable for grape growing. A range of varieties is grown, as in other regions. Soils are diverse but mainly of low fertility granite and shale, particularly around the Paardeberg, which is farmed by many of the top producers. And a would like to thank Les Caves the Pyrenne to help with connecting to the amazing producer Here you can find further information about Testalonga and the SA wines: http://lescaves.co.uk/lescaves-home https://www.wosa.co.za/home/ Swartland Wine Regions, Coastal Region, Western Cape - Wines of South Africa (wine-searcher.com) #winecast
03-12-2021
29 mins
Spotlight on Israel wines with Journalist Adam Montefiore
Israel is a sliver of a country stretching 424 km/263 miles in length. The north and centre of the country may be divided into the fertile coastal plain and the mountainous region that runs down the spine of the country, which falls away to the Jordan Rift Valley in the east. The quality revolution began in the 1890s with Baron Edmond De Rothschild although commercial operations were in place before as my guest Adam explains in the interest. In this episode we explore the history of Isreal’s wines with details in the various phases that it went through, We also explained how and why are kosher wines produced and lastly we spoke about the unique vicissitudes that Israel faces with bombing and some effected in the vineyards Adam promptly ensure that Israel is mostly a peaceful place to live. The regional area is as follow: Judean Foothills (27 per cent) The area between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Galilee (25 per cent) In the north Golan Heights (18 per cent) In the northeast corner; a volcanic plateau Coastal Plain (15 per cent) The hot and humid Coastal Plain was one of the areas first planted in the 1880s by Baron Edmond de Rothschild Central Mountains (11 per cent) Includes Mount Carmel Negev Highlands (4 per cent) Adam S. Montefiore is a wine industry insider turned wine writer. He is the wine writer for the Jerusalem Post, a partner in the Israel Wine Experience and CEO of Adam Montefiore Wine Consultancy. He has been referred to as ‘the English voice of Israeli wines.’ He is the author of The Wine Route of Israel and contributes to Hugh Johnson’s Pocket Wine Book & Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine. He is a member of The Circle of Wine Writers. Some other useful links on the topic https://www.winesofisrael.com/ https://adammontefiore.com/ https://winesisrael.com/en/homepage-mobile/
12-11-2021
44 mins
Discussing Micro-Oxygenation in winemaking myths and usage with Professor Clark Smith
Micro-oxygenation, or Mox to its mates, is a controlled, periodically continuous addition of tiny amounts of oxygen to the wine, usually red. Forget the new world being leaders in technical winemaking innovation. Mox was devised in 1991 by Patrick Ducournau, of Domaine Mouréou in Madiran, as a way of softening the tannins of his home grape variety Tannant which has legendary tannins. Benefits include the stabilisation of colour, the building up and softening of structure and the lessening of stinky, reductive notes. It’s now widely used across the winemaking globe, on tannic grape varieties. Mox and pinot noir are unlikely ever to be best buddies. Since Micro-Oxygenation increases the wine’s reductive capacity, it does not reduce ageing time and is not useful for promoting the early release. After the structure is built, if the wine is sent immediately to barrels, frequent racking’s may be necessary to prevent the wine from becoming closed and hard. My guest Clark Smith, has been working, researching, and studying the use of Micro-Oxygenation in wines since 1997. We go through some of the myths about Micro-oxygenation and we discuss how most winemakers only use it to stabilise colour and speed up the bottling times but in truth Micro-oxygenation applied at a specific stage can help with the structure of wines tannins. Remember to hit the subscribe button, and if you find this Podcast gives you valuable information’s give us a review and tell your friends! If you are enjoying the podcast you can donate on Mattia Scarpazza.com You can find Looking into wines on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and every major listening app We would love you hear from you! Reach us on: Instagram Lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com
29-10-2021
28 mins
Producer profile: Chene Bleu with owner Nicole Rolet
In this episode, I talk to Nicole Rolet the co-owner of Chêne Bleu, who has to put Chêne Bleu on the global wine map in just over two decades. Blessed with a convergence of natural factors, Chêne Bleu has the benefit of an exceptional location, multifaceted geology, and a southern Rhône climate with soils more typical of the northern Rhône. Isolated and protected, high in a mountain saddle, Chêne Bleu has its provenance in a unique, four-corner borderland of the department Gigondas, Cotes du Ventoux, Côtes du Rhône and Séguret come together Nicole explains why they felt that it was right for them to not be part of those appellations. The story of Chêne Bleu begins with Xavier Rolet, a Frenchman who has made a big mark in the world of finance. In 1993, he came upon a run-down estate in the South of France. The property was so dilapidated and overgrown, that no one had expressed interest in it for 20 years. His first offer was accepted, and he went to work. In the episode, we explore how the Nicole and Xavier Background has to help to shape the success of Chêne Bleu, their long term vision and having the wit to collaborate earlier on with some of the most important wine specialists in the world. What are the principles of Biodynamic are used at Chene Bleu and what lay ahead for the estate? Remember to Subscribe and leave a Review! We would love you hear from you! Reach us on: Instagram lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
15-10-2021
35 mins
The values of old vines and creating its category with Sarah Abbot MW
All over the world old vines get proudly mentioned on labels, in many languages. Such is the value everywhere accorded to old vineyards and the wines they produce. With my guest Sarah Abbot MW who run the Old Vine conference, we looked at what are the values of old vines and why we should care for them? Sarah aims to create a global category for Old Vine which has she say has been successful for South Africa in the last decade How does a vine actually achieve old age? This is not as straightforward a question as it seems, considering all of the physical, environmental, social, and economic forces working against agricultural permanence. First, avoiding certain pests and diseases is key. The root louse phylloxera is largely responsible for the lack of truly old vines around the world. But because it is unable to thrive in extremely sandy soils, some regions, such as eastern Washington or much of Chile, still have vines planted on their own roots. Another major debilitating factor is trunk disease. A handful of these plague viticulturists, but they all operate via the same mechanism: a malevolent fungus enters the vine, typically during or after pruning, reduces productivity, and eventually causes death. Because a vine receives a fresh set of pruning wounds every season, it naturally follows that older vines are more vulnerable. That said, some varieties are more resistant than others In many countries, less productive vines continue to be ripped out. They might be replaced by other higher-yielding varieties or entirely new crops. Even the most cherished historic plot may have to be grubbed up if it just does not produce enough fruit to be economically viable, given the labour costs associated with the extra attention they often require. Across the south of France in the 1990s and 2000s, foreigners snapped up lots of "unproductive" old vineyards. The old French growers were pleased to set up their retirement by selling plots that had been hard to work. The new owners generally had lower hopes for yield, and higher ones for bottle prices, and farmed accordingly. Perhaps surprisingly, it was possible in the mid 2000s to purchase some of those venerable Barossa parcels. But this was more due to a collapse in buying contracts from multinationals. In this episode, Sarah talks about what she aims to achieve with her conferences. We delve into the hurdles that a vine needs to overcome to get to old age and the Economic factors. Sarah also highlights research that shows how vines DNA mutate in their old age showing that they are adapting to their ‘Terroir’ making them vital to the diverse pool of vines and she doesn't fail to mention that many hectares of old vineyards are lost every year. For further information on the fascinating topic: https://www.oldvines.org/ https://historicvineyardsociety.org/vineyards https://www.savetheold.com/ https://oldvineproject.co.za/ Reach us on: Instagram Lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com Leave a comment if you are enjoying the podcast it helps with the growth and is always appreciated by us! Mattia
01-10-2021
33 mins
What is Smoke Taint and how does it affect wines with Anita Oberholster UC Davis California
Welcome to the first episode of the second season of the Looking Into Wine Podcast, is so good to be back - Mattia Today’s guest is the Associate Specialist in Cooperative Extension in Enology for the University of California UC Davis Anita Oberholster. Today she is here to spotlight the incredibly growing concern that is Smoke taint. In recent years she has focused her attention on Smoke Taint leading field and laboratory research on the topic and working with international researchers to fight this catching problem. In 2020 alone a series of wildfires ravaged parts of Northern California, blanketing much of the West Coast with smoke. This came on the heels of major fire events during the previous three years that burned nearly 3.8 million acres in California alone. Meanwhile, Australia suffered devastating fires in 2019 and 2020 that affected Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. And this year 2021 fires are sprawling around the world from California to France and parts of southern Europe. As the wine world acclimates to changes in weather patterns, the term “fire season” has become akin to hail in Burgundy and bone-chilling winters in Germany. Like harvests ruined by cold, wet, and disease, harvests in fire riddled regions face unique challenges Smoke Taint – what it is and how it affects grapes and wine. Smoke taint is one such adulteration. When wildfires strike, the residue of the smoke can settle on grapevines, leaving a film of volatile phenolic compounds. Where many wines flavours are derived from grapes’ phenolics, these compounds are unwelcome intruders. And they infiltrate the grape skin, forming bonds with the sugars just inside the skins. These resulting molecules are called glycosides. The compounds in smoke primarily responsible for the taint are the free volatile phenols that are produced when the wood is burnt. These can be absorbed directly by grapes and can bind to grape sugars to give glycosides that have no smoky aroma. Often these glycosides are described as smoke taint precursors. During fermentation (and also over time in barrel or bottle) these glycosides can break apart, releasing the volatile phenols into the must or wine, and allowing the smoky flavour to be perceived. These glycosides can also release the volatile phenols in the mouth during the drinking of wine, which may contribute to the perception of smoke taint. As promised the here are the links to further readings: California UC Davis https://wineserver.ucdavis.edu/industry-info/viticulture-resources/wildfire-impact-ca-grapes Australia Wine Institute https://www.awri.com.au/industry_support/winemaking_resources/smoke-taint/ Remember to hit the follow the podcast and as always if you have found listening to this podcast valuable, leave a review! We would love you hear from you! Reach us on: Instagram lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com
18-09-2021
34 mins
Insights on wine barrels, wood origins and technicalities with Mel Knox barrel broker
Wine Barrels made from oak are among the oldest technologies used to produce wines. But where all the wood to produce all those barrels, what oak is good for Barrels, what do we do next? With my gest Mel Knox, an international semiretired wine barrel broker with over 40 years of experience in trading and researching wine barrels for winemaking sourcing some of the most esteemed tonnellerie/barrel-maker from France, we explore the ins and outs of this fascinating part of winemaking. There are hundreds of species of oak, all of which can be broadly separated into two categories, red and white. The red oaks are porous and cannot, therefore, be relied upon for watertight cooperage. For wine three sorts of white oak are most important, one American and two European Quercus sessiliflora and Quercus robur, Mel Says, Oak can be divided into two types, red oak--it leaks-- and white oak, which is used for barrels. White oak is found 1/in the area roughly defined by east of the great plains, south of Canada, north of Mexico and Florida, and the Atlantic Ocean. There is also a bit of Oregon oak found...mostly in western Oregon and Washington, Also, he adds’ You have different barrel approaches for different varieties. With Pinot, you are trying to beef up the wine whereas with cabernet you are trying to tame the wine. What is done after the right oak plant to make a barrel is chosen? What can affect the resulting style of wine? What are the risks? I went maybe ten years without selling anything but 60 gallon and smaller sized barrels. Now larger barrels and tanks are more popular. But it's still a small part of the business. He also adds on the show how he was working with Robert Mondavi and how he asked to untoasted barrels and used vapour instead that was the first winery to ever do that. Did you know that oak also contains TCA or Cork Taint? Mel uses high traceability systems to ensure that everything is monitored from source to client. We also hear about Mel story of sourcing some of the wines for the famous Judgement of Paris and he pays tribute to the late Steven Spurriel Some other useful links on the topic http://www.knoxbarrels.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCrkmyQtQIM&t=1s The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
09-07-2021
37 mins
Santa Cruz Mountains AVA wines spotlight with viticulturist Prudy Foxx
Recognized as an AVA in 1981, Santa Cruz Mountains was the first California appellation to be defined by its mountain topography. As the name suggests, Santa Cruz Mountains is a mountainous AVA that sits between Monterey Bay and San Francisco. The rugged terroir in the mountains can be extremely difficult for vignerons, but those who persevere are rewarded with some of California's most celebrated wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon. The winegrowing community comprises nearly 300 small growers and wineries, the region is planted to approximately 1300 acres of wine grapes, divided evenly among Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and “Other Varietals” (most notably Merlot and Zinfandel). Small vineyard surrounded by Redwood trees and native chaparral, growing atop an ancient seabed overlooking the Pacific Ocean. These growing conditions give the wines a distinct regional identity, characterized by fresh flavours and bright fruit. Individual and site-specific mesoclimate is an important part of the terroir here. Vineyards planted on western slopes feel the cooling effects of strong winds from the Pacific Ocean. Further inland, vineyards planted on east-facing slopes get some protection from the ocean and are therefore much warmer. With today’s guest Prudy Foxx, the leading viticulturist of Santa Cruz Mountain, how has been working in the region for the last 25 years we discussed this region in details, what decisions are important to consider when planning vines on the Mountains, what are the exciting new developments, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are taking the heart of Prudy in the vineyards of the south of SCM and we talked how in the recent years more investments are coming on the mountains from producers from all over California. Some other useful links on the topic https://winesofthesantacruzmountains.com/ https://santacruzmountains.com/wineries/ https://foxxviticulture.com/ https://wineinstitute.org/ The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza We Love hearing from you, get in touch on: Instagram Mattia.lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com
25-06-2021
32 mins
Beyond fortified, exploring the dry wines of Portugal with author Richard Mayson
A transformation has been taking place in the vineyards and wineries of Portugal during the last twenty years, bringing hundreds of new wines onto the international market. Indigenous grape varieties that were once obscure are now becoming mainstream. Thought of as a country that produced mainly red wine, Portugal is now proving that it has producers capable of making world-class white wines while tapping into its long history for the production of wines. With my guest, Richard Mayson, author of The Wines of Portugal, we spotlighted where and how those changes are taking place, most important change for many regions has been moving from Co-operative based production to private ownership of wineries as Richard explains. He expertly divided the country into four broad areas: Atlantic Wines, Mountain Wines, Wines of the Plains and Wines of the Island. Portugal's temperate, predominantly maritime climate has a great deal to offer winemakers. And there is significant variation nonetheless between its mountains, river valleys, sandy littoral plains and limestone-rich coastal hills. We explored those areas and what are the key changes that are taking places and what it is that one should know about them. We also explored the ancient Vinho de Talha and what are the category Encruzado and Garrafeira and more. Remember to hit the follow the podcast and as always if you have found listening to this podcast valuable, leave a review! The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! The wines of Portugal, By Richard Mayson - https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1999619315/ref=as_li_qf_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=mattiascarpaz-21&creative=6738&linkCode=as2&creativeASIN=1999619315&linkId=599cebffa5d909969186e44fa987133f Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza We would love you hear from you! Reach us on: Instagram Mattia_lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com
11-06-2021
30 mins
Spotlight on Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene with Sarah Abbott MW
The historical area between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in Veneto, has been promoted to Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene to DOCG in 2010. After a decade on the making, Valdobbiadene is setting itself apart from the wider Prosecco Doc produced in Both Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia. The Conegliano Valdobbiadene has many factors that are unique to the region for one there is increasing interest in the Valdobbiadene terroir and landscape, awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2019. In this episode with Sarah Abbot Master of Wine, we define what they are, with a great interest on the soils and hills. In another innovation, for Conegliano Valdobbiadene Prosecco DOCG, changes to the regulations in 2019 now allow for a new style of extra brut Also, we talked about the innovations, such as Classic Method and Prosecco col Fondo and the ban of Glyphosate pesticide usage in the region and Sarah thoroughly explains the rather convoluted labelling system - Lastly, I asked to Sarah what else is she seeing happening in the region? Some other useful links on the topic https://www.valdobbiadene.com/?lang=en https://www.decanter.com/wine-news/prosecco-consorzio-launches-superiore-afternoon-campaign-411420/ https://www.wine-searcher.com/regions-conegliano+valdobbiadene+prosecco Swirl Wine Group: https://swirlwinegroup.com/ The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza Reach us on – Instagram Mattia.lookingintowine Twitter Mattia Scarpazza Mail Info@mattiascarpazza.com
28-05-2021
35 mins
Producer profile: Zorah wines in Armenia with founder Zorik Gharibian
At the foothills of Biblical Mount Ararat, at altitudes between 1400 and 1600 meters above sea level and just a stone through from the world’s oldest winemaking facility Areni 1 cave. The vineyards of ZORAH can be found in the rural village of Rind in the heart of Vayots Dzor, Armenia’s classic winemaking region. Zorah aims to re-establish the long history of Armenia for wines and to bring the nation to the global market. It's not an easy task but thanks to some very clever choices the success is coming to their way. Armenia much like other countries has a few hundred varieties that are believed to the of local origin and Yeraz Gharibian, knew that working with those varieties would have been essential to the success of his wines. With today’s guests Yeraz Gharibian. we talked about why he decided to open his winery in Armenia, what are the difficulties that he encountered along the way. We spotlighted the wines Yeraz Wines produced at Zorah, Yeraz (dream in Armenian) is the dream for the revival of ancient wine culture and the rediscovery of forgotten places and lost native grapes. It is the dream for a passionate wine future and the creation of great wines from Armenia which will tell the story of this age-old land and it is the dream to trust in the potential of this incredible terroir with a sense of responsibility for future generations. High altitude viticulture the grapes for Yeraz come from ultra-centennial semi-abandoned bush vineyards ‘older than time’ at altitudes of 1600 meters (5250 feet) above sea level. Raw and remote, pure and authentic, these vines reflect the difficult history that has defined this land and the spirit of its people; resilient yet with great inner tenacity, they have somehow survived against all odds Karas the ageing vessel of choice, the local Armenian Amphorae that typically are ¾ buried compared to those found in other countries, Zorik, explains why in the interview. Also explore the unique region of Vayots Dzor with its high altitude, and the Karas the Armenian Amphorae used for ageing and how he uses them. We also spotlighted, what other regions are producing wines in Armenia. Some other useful links on the topic https://www.zorahwines.com/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_wine The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza Make sure to connect with us on: Instagram Mattia.lookingintowine Twitter/LinkedinMattia Scarpazza
14-05-2021
31 mins
Exploring the Friuli wines and the Adriatic Sea with author Paul Balke
The Adriatic Sea, is a body of water separating the Italian Peninsula from the Balkans. The Adriatic is the northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea, extending from the Strait of Otranto to the northwest and the Po Valley. The sea affects many wine regions in Europe but is in the northernmost part where it’s most visible, winds coming from the south channels through the whole sea into Friuli, Slovenia and Istria. For Paul Balke author of the Book North Adriatic, those regions are now separate only politically but are connected by their climate and could be considered are a wide over different states wine region. We centred our attention on Friuli Venezia Giulia as it represents well the climatic condition of the North Adriatic and the incredible diversity of grape varieties. We have talked about the interesting story of how producers after the 2nd World had vineyards in both Italy and Slovenia and were the only ones allowed to cross the border on daily basis. We talked about the historical importance of those regions both locally and internationally, we discussed why in Friuli we should not consider the plains are A and B sites, what grapes are grown in those regions. Use the code to receive a 10% discount on North Adriatic Book on Paul Website https://paulbalke.com/north-adriatic/ If you are enjoying the podcast consider leaving a review! Some other useful links on the topic https://italianwine.guide/regions-en-gb/friuli-venezia-giulia-en-GB/ https://www.shelvedwine.com/all-about-wines-of-friuli-venezia-giulia/ The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
30-04-2021
31 mins
Spotlight on Furmint, Hungarian noble variety with Caroline Gilby MW
In this episode, we explore Furmint a noble grape of Hungary, with Caroline Gilby Master of Wine. Furmint is undoubtedly one of Hungary most valuable white grape variety. Is unique, distinctive with a flavour profile quite unlike any other grape variety I have ever tasted. With Caroline Gilby MW, who has been visiting Hungary since the 90s, we discussed one of favourite variety. Gouais Blanc is the parent of Furmint, making it half-sibling to Chardonnay and Riesling and it is no surprise when one start to look at the styles that are produced today one can see the similitudes with those varieties. Until relatively recently, the traditional style of Hungarian Furmint has been sweet, more often than not blended with Hárslevelű, most notably in the blend for tokay. Furmint ripens late, is prone to botrytis, retains high acidity and builds lots of sugars – everything that one needs to produce sweet wines. But around the turn of this century, dry, varietal Furmints started appearing and gaining traction, the hot and dry 2003 vintage is the pivotal vintage for dry wines says Caroline in the podcast. Producers quickly saw the potential. Caroline explains what styles are can be found today, Furmint is a grape that not only makes a high-quality wine at all sweetness levels but can be used to make good sparkling wine too. It responds to Chardonnay-like winemaking techniques such as lees ageing, bâtonnage, malolactic conversion and ageing in barrel. We also talked about viticulture used to train Furmint and where in-country is grown successfully aside Tokaji. I commented how Furmint is one of the few grape varieties in the world that can produce such an array of style, a tasting idea is to have a journey through the styles produced by Furmint. I’ll definitely try it at some point soon. Since the dry styles of Furmint are becoming more common among producers, so is the growing interest in the grape around the world and is definitely now a good time to learn everything that you need to know about it Furmint! I would like to thank Wines of Hungary UK for helping to organise this episode. Some other useful links on the topic https://winehungary.co.uk/ https://www.thewinesociety.com/explore-furmint-wine-grape-hungary What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
16-04-2021
26 mins
Producer Profile: Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon and Popelouchum California
Randall Grahm, one of California's most innovative vintners, founder of Bonny Doon Vineyard and Popelouchum is the guest of Looking Into wine. We started by talking about his early days. After three years studying philosophy at Santa Cruz University, and completing a winemaking degree at UC Davis, Grahm acquired a vineyard site at Bonny Doon in the Santa Cruz mountains. His first dream was to make Pinot Noir, but he soon realised that it was too warm on the mountain. He then moved to Syrah with a great deal of success. Grahm recalls how it was to work with the grape in the 70s, and how difficult it was to find good cuttings. Continuing with Rhône varieties Grahm started to grow Grenache and Mourvedre. ‘I thought that if I blended those grapes maybe something good would be produced’, his beliefs were well-founded. In 1984 he produced the first vintage of the wine with which he will forever be associated, Le Cigare Volant (the story of the name features in the interview). Cigare, a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre (Since 2017 changed to Cinsault), Syrah, and other classic Châteauneuf grapes. During his high time, Randall produced more than 30 wines on any given vintage. I ask which wine he was most proud of and impressed by the quality. His writings constantly return to the concept that has dominated his life: the search for a true vin de terroir, not a vin d’effort. Randall's accolades are as numerous as the risks that he took over the years, including producing one of the first dry roses of California in the 90s, staging the "funeral" of Mr Bouchon aka Cork, using Demijohns (all the reasons are discussed in the interview) and he even managed to be interviewed by Oprah. We then discussed his latest project Popelouchum (Poh-puh-loo-shoom), a "New World grand cru" experimental vineyard in which Grahm hopes to breed 10,000 new grape varieties. He explains how he's using natural cross-breeding to find a variety that is 100% suited to the growing condition of the site. The project will take generations and so the restless experimentation continues. We will have to wait a long time to see the results of the San Juan Bautista project but whatever sort of wine it produces it will be nothing less than interesting. And Grahm will be that much closer to his goal of creating a true vin de terroir. Randall Grahm is truly a maverick winemaker that has inspired many others in California.
02-04-2021
33 mins
How the Rhone Ranges influenced American wines with author Patrick Comiskey
The Rhône Rangers began as an informal band of like-minded renegades who were convinced that the grapes traditional to France’s Rhône Valley would thrive in the Mediterranean climate of California. As recently as the late 1980s, there were only a few dozen such producers on the entire West Coast. The ideas of those pioneers caught on rapidly in the 1990s and 2000s, and the 31 wineries that gathered for the Rhône Rangers’ first grand tasting, held in 1998 in San Francisco, grew to 90 by 2000. During the organization’s nearly two-decade history, more than 450 wineries have counted themselves as members, and tens of thousands of Rhône-loving tradespeople and consumers have attended Rhône Rangers tastings in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Washington, D.C., thus changing deeply the way of American drinkers. Over the years the Rhone Movement has lost its influences but is still very much there, it’s evolving and moving to other varieties and there still passioned producers. In this episode, I spoke to author Journalist Patrick Comiskey. He, however, never lost his passion for either the true Rhone wines produced in the Rhone Valley in the south of France or the American Rhones being made primarily in California and Washington. Comiskey, a writer and critic for Wine & Spirits magazine, has penned the definitive work on the Rhone movement, "American Rhone, How Maverick Winemakers Changed the Way Americans Drink." Comiskey, a gifted writer and storyteller, spent the better part of six years by his estimation researching the topic, conducting interviews, tasting the wines and eventually writing the book. We have also talked about the difference between Syrah and Petite Syrah and the new styles that contemporary Rhone Ranges are exploring. Randal Grahm and the white horse – https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/357543657887272599/ The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! AMERICAN RHONE, HOW MAVERICK WINEMAKERS CHANGED THE WAY AMERICANS DRINK https://amzn.to/3r4X0mJ What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
19-03-2021
36 mins
Biodynamic Viticulture practises and principles with Douglas Wregg Les Caves de Pyrene
In 1924, Rudolf Steiner presented his Agriculture Course to a group of 111, farmers in Poland. Steiner spoke of agriculture to ‘heal the earth’ and he laid the philosophical and practical foundations for such differentiated agriculture. Biodynamic agriculture is now practised internationally as a specialist form of organic agriculture. Steiner’s Agriculture Course comprised just eight lectures presented over a ten-day period. The path from proposal to experimentation, to formalization, to implementation and promulgation played out over a decade and a half following the Course. It needs to be understood that in the 1920s chemicals usage in agriculture was growing exponentially and concern started to grow in the agriculture circles. Biodynamic agriculture is now practised in 47 countries (Demeter, 2011) and, while it is nested within the broader organic agriculture movement, it has been at the forefront of organic farming developments, including, for example, the participation in founding the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) (Paull, 2010), and taking one of the earliest stances against synthetic nanomaterials by excluding them from Demeter’s biodynamic food and agriculture standards (Paull, 2011a). In this episode, I spoke with Douglas Wregg director of Les Caves de Pyrene, on what are the principles of Biodynamic farming and how are the famous composts are created and what’s their indented usage, How important it is Demeter and why? Lastly, I asked where some producers may use Bio for a second reason as for Marketing. A deep dive into the topic of how and what are the practices Some other useful links on the topic http://lescaves.co.uk/lescaves-home https://www.biodynamic.org.uk/the-spray-preparations/ https://vinepair.com/articles/biodynamic-wine-explained/ The following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! If you are Looking to Lear more about the procedures used in Biodynamic I would suggest Biodynamic Wine by Monty Waldin - https://amzn.to/3qeZXQT What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
05-03-2021
38 mins
Jane Lopes on the good and the ugly sides of the wine industry
In this episode, I spoke to Jane Lopes. Jane is the author of Vignette, in her book jane opens up about many great moments of her life and she put a great deal of effort in explain how stress and anxiety have dictated many part of her life. And outside the book, she has been recently been part of an expose article about sexual harassment from senior members of the then heads of the Court of Sommelier. It transpires while talking to Jane that the problem extends to other parts of the business. (find the link for the expose below). This episode differs from others that have been released so far, in that it is focused on the life story of the author in and out of the book but nonetheless, I wanted to shine a light on it and I invite everyone to listen to this inspiring story. I believe that in her book, many people can relate to her stories, and while Jane tells her story she connects that specific moment in time to a style of wine and explains it. In the first part, I spoke with Jane live, about some of the events and emotions that she had gone through. From the beginning, when she first became interested in wine, through to the stress of her examinations to become one of the few Master Sommeliers in the world, only to see it taken away. She shows amazing resilience and devotion and through her story, there is something that many people can relate to. In the second part, we spoke about the recent sexual harassment exposé article in The New York Times, that Jane and other 20 women were part of, regarding the malpractice of senior members of The Court of Sommeliers in the USA. Jane shares with me how the long-planned and researched article came together, how she had felt about it all and what she hopes for the future. I can only thank her for sharing her story here. Expose article from Julia Moskin of The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/29/dining/drinks/court-of-master-sommeliers-sexual-harassment-wine.html These following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! Vignette: Stories of Life and Wine in 100 Bottles https://amzn.to/37pZMMl What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording at studio-level quality:SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
19-02-2021
42 mins
Insights on postmodern winemaking with author Clark Smith
Modern and traditional are words that many wine aficionados, students or professionals have heard off but what about postmodernism? In this podcast, Clark Smith the author of Postmodern Winemaking touches upon how modern winemaking changed the wine industry. For modern winemaking is generally referred to as wines that have developed after the second world war when electricity had become widely available in every winery in the world. We have talked about how winemaking is becoming a dogma, and it is believed that winemakers do nothing, but as the saying goes it’s hard to do nothing. Clark has a deep knowledge of winemaking and its Science. His book explores what modern techniques can add to the tools of a winemaker and how to best utilise them, and Clark explains that most of those tools need mastering and may or may not be utilised. Who are postmodern winemakers? For Clark, postmodern winemakers are those who make wine in their own vision and he is not a single filed line but is goes in many directions. We talk about the changes in modern wines in particular for white wine production, the influence of oxygen winemaking and the principles of micro-oxygenation. Clark challenges consumers to speak to winemaker and get to know them. On a personal level I know there are many winemaking techniques and instruments that may be used in winemaking, regardless of their controversy, that are worth exploring and understanding as they play a part in the final product that we much enjoy. Also for those who are pursuing higher levels of wine-education winemaking covers a big part of the examinations. Read More about this topic here: https://whoisclarksmith.com/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/ These following are affiliate links, it costs you nothing to use them but I get a small percentage when you buy something, so thanks! Postmodern Winemaking https://amzn.to/2ZkpfCk What I use to make the podcast: Audio Interface: Zoom H6 https://amzn.to/3qnz7Ht Microphone: Shure SM58 https://amzn.to/3bcfbAC Boom Arm Mic Stand with Pop Filter: ShureSM7B https://amzn.to/3tWlMYR Online Recording on studio-level: SquadCast https://squadcast.fm/?ref=mattiascarpazza
05-02-2021
31 mins
Producer Profile: Domaine Jones, with Katie Jones in Fitou AOC France
Welcome to the second producer profile this time we are in southern France, Languedoc specifically in Fitou with Owner/Winemaker, Katie Jones of Domaine Jones. Katie moved to southern France from England to work for the local Co-operative, as the years passed she decided to open her own winery in 2008, starting off with a mere two hectares of old vine Carignan, something unheard of in her village of Touchon. Katie looks for vineyards no-one else wants would only be a slight exaggeration. Most other growers in the area wouldn’t be interested in her modest twelve hectares of vines spread across vineyards in Maury and Tuchan.. she looks for low yields with high quality, and the rather poor, sloping ground that the very old, traditional vines cling to gives her just that. Katie's tell us how she managed to acquire those many micro old vines vineyards in her villages it was a bit of luck that they weren’t uprooted in the early 2000s when the local regulatory body ripped up many hectares of vineyards. Katies has now a collection of rare varieties that she uses for her wines. Wine cooperatives in France started in the late 1800s, mostly out of economic necessity, and continue to flourish today particularly in southern France, and that’s why it is more difficult to find independent grower, winemakers in the region. We also talked about why the Fitou viticultural area is, unusually, got split into two separate zones for historical reason. They are both finger-like enclaves stretching northwards into the larger Corbieres viticultural area. Each measure around 13 kilometres (8 miles) from north to south and less than half that from east to west. The two areas have a combined vineyard area of around 2650 hectares (6500 acres). The inland 'finger' is known unofficially as Fitou Montagneux ('mountainous Fitou'). This area is relatively hilly – vineyards here lie anywhere between 100m and 400m (330ft to 1310ft). The low-yielding vines here can produce fruits of great quality. In recent years this is being more reliably achieved. Its coastal counterpart, Fitou Maritime, is situated on slightly flatter land at the transition point between the Pyrenean foothills and the coastal plain. Vineyards here rarely sit above 150m in altitude. To read more about D Jones and Fitou: https://domainejones.com/ https://www.languedoc-wines.com/en
29-01-2021
30 mins

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