Tag Archives: California

The Vincast Episode 119 – Greg Lambrecht from Coravin

Greg Lambrecht discovered an interest in wine while growing up in California, but his passion for discovery began when he studied in Boston and met the woman who would become his wife. Through family and friends he was able to taste and learn while he developed an incredible career in medical technology. During his wife’s pregnancy he wanted to enjoy a glass of wine but it seemed a waste to open a bottle as she wasn’t drinking. Thus he conceived of a device that could allow someone to drink from a bottle without opening it, and the Coravin is now changing the wine industry around the world.

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Greg Lambrecht

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The Vincast Episode 101 – Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

Growing up in Southern California presented an incredible opportunity to Sierra Reed Milne when she was scouted for a modelling career at a young age, which in turn gave her the chance to travel and experience other cultures. After gaining a following on the 18th season of Survivor, she dreamed of becoming a television travel program host, but couldn’t have imagined that it would be realised in New Zealand. It was here that she began her wine journey after working closely with the Family of Twelve, a journey that has led to her marrying an Australian, and making her own wine based in Victoria. Check out my Let’s Taste video of one of her wines here!

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To win one of these gorgeous Wines and Makers Yarra Valley Maps, simply leave a review on the iTunes page, letting me know which was your favourite episode of the podcast. Make sure to email me to let me know which is your review! The first ten reviews will receive this lovely map (only in Australia please).

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Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

Sierra Reed Milne from Reed Wines

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The Vincast Episode 079 – Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus was “born in a barrel”, as wine is in his family in the Burgundy region of France. After working for many years in different roles he took a trip to the furthest place he could think of, Australia. It was here that he was not only introduced to the “new world” of wine, but also his partner. Gaining experience in South and North America, he pursued further projects in France and Italy before he was lured back to Australia and became the winemaker at Sutton Grange just outside Melbourne. During his tenure he introduced many elements to the brand, and also launched a vermouth to a thirsty Melbourne bar scene.

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Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

Gilles Lapalus from Maidenii

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The Vincast Episode 078 – Daniel Fischl from Linnaea Vineyards

Daniel Fischl didn’t find working in laboratories particularly appealing, and whilst completing a PhD in Plant Molecular Genetics at UC Davis (California) he was introduced to viticulture and was seduced with what lay outside. It also helped that the viticulture and winemaking students seemed to have more fun. Fast forward many years of experience consulting as a viticulturist and agricultural scientist, he and his winemaker wife Michelle started the Linnaea Vineyards project with a Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. As he got work consulting in vineyards around the world he and Michelle discovered more terroirs and made more wines, across a number of continents and expressions.

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Daniel Fiscal from Linnaea Vineyards

Daniel Fiscal from Linnaea Vineyards

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The Vincast Episode 059 – Gary Mills from Jamsheed Wines

Gary Mills didn’t learn how to make wine from any studies or books, he learned by doing. After falling into the wine industry in his home state of Western Australia, he got an opportunity to work in California for one of the most fabled vintners in the state, and his fate was sealed. He eventually returned to Australia and settled in Victoria, where he has become one of the most sought after single-vineyard winemakers in the country.

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Gary Mills from Jamsheed Wines, photo courtesy of Hawk Waka Waka Wine Reviews

Gary Mills from Jamsheed Wines, photo courtesy of Hawk Waka Waka Wine Reviews

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The Vincast Episode 038 – Alder Yarrow from Vinography

Alder Yarrow started his wine blog Vinography back in 2004 when the concept of a blog, let alone a wine blog, was still very unfamiliar. In spite of the fact that he quickly became the biggest wine blogger in the U.S.A. and remains so to this day, he still does it for passion and not as his primary source of income. Based in San Francisco, Alder not only receives samples of wines from all over the world but has had the opportunity to travel as well. In 2014 he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to launch his book The Essence of Wine, which breaks down various characters of wine through a combination of words and images. He joins me on this episode of The Vincast to talk about his journey and passions.

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Alder Yarrow

Alder Yarrow

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Bentleigh Tasting Group – Napa Valley Tasting

In my recent exploits attempting to gain employment back home in Melbourne I trialled at the now 18-year-old Punch Lane Wine Bar & Restaurant. The venue is a staple in the city centre, having been an early proponent of the now famous lane way culture here. Whilst here I met with James Dossan, a certified sommelier originally hailing from Sydney, who is managing this venue. James runs a monthly tasting group for friends who are in the industry, which includes sommeliers and wholesalers alike. Each of them has is or will study wine and thus the tastings are designed to improve everyone’s skills in analysis. A theme is chosen and each member brings a bottle to be tasted blind. Continue reading

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California – what I’ve learnt

Wines born of sunshine and heat are fruit driven and higher in alcohol. They tend to be richer and fuller in fruit, particularly the chardonnays and Bordeaux varieties. This does not mean they are simple wines, as in most cases they have a higher acidity to balance out the fruit and alcohol. Winemaking techniques are fairly universal. They don’t do anything different in the winery or out in the vineyards that distinguishes them in particular. What speaks volumes is the quality of the fruit and the expressions of terroir. The problem is when winemakers do too much to interfere with the fruit, attempting to exert their influence on the finished product.

Los Olivos market

Los Olivos market

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Alsace or Burgundy, you be the judge (Anderson Valley, California)

The Anderson Valley suffers somewhat from isolation, as every road into it is very windy and narrow (which makes for great driving, actually). There isn’t a large population living there either, so drawing people in is very important. Luckily they are blessed with some of the best fruit in California, both wine grapes and table fruit like apples. Post-Prohibition this region was established until the early ’70s and so they are younger than most regions in the state. The key varieties here are pinot noir (the best in California in my opinion), and gewürztraminer.

Tasting at Goldeneye Winery

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Honesty is the best policy (Mendocino & Lake Counties, California)

First of all, Mendocino and Lake Counties are both beautiful. Secondly, some of the best wines I have tried came from fruit grown in Mendocino County. The major problem with Mendocino and Lake compared to other regions, is its remoteness (2.5 hours from San Francisco instead of 1 hour for Napa and Sonoma), and it’s size. These aren’t problems that I have personally, it was actually nice to be visiting wineries where I was the only one there. They are problems with wine tourism though, and the area needs to draw more people up from the Bay area to have them try to buy the wines. So if you ever come to California, I highly recommend making the trip up North, beautiful scenery, people and wines.

Saracina vineyards

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