Alice Feiring is without question one of the most passionate and controversial voices in wine today, having spent many years delving into her own love of authentic and natural wine. Through countless articles, blog and newsletter pieces, and several books, Alice has carved a path to not only find but also bring to light some of the rarest gems in the wine world. Whilst her opinions are far from universally welcomed, her integrity is hard to question. She joined me via Skype on this episode to talk about her path and her newest book, The Dirty Guide to Wine.
While visiting my new favourite local wine retailer Cult of the Vine, I picked up a bottle of Australian wine to try. The Manon wines are part of the exciting movement for very low intervention winemaking, many of which come from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. Let me know what you thought of my impressions, if you agreed with me or not, in the comments below.
One of the most authentic voices about great restaurants and natural wine comes from somewhere you may least expect; Hobart, Tasmania. This is where for many years Sue Dyson and Roger McShane have been based, travelling and writing about the best places to eat and drink not only on the Apple Isle, but also across Australia and France, for their website Food Tourist. It is also from here that they import some of the most delicious natural wine produced in France for their Living Wines business. We had a fantastic chat about a number of topics on this episode of The Vincast.
Emma Bentley is an English-born, Paris-based International Winery Consultant. During her varied career in the wine industry – mostly based in either France or the UK – she gradually began to find an affinity with natural wine producers, particularly those from Italy. She made the bold decision to offer her services to these wineries in helping them grow their business and educate trade and consumers in the intricacies of their terroir and traditions. She joined me on this episode of The Vincast to share her story.
With a PhD in plant biology Jamie Goode started one of the first wine blogs in the world. Based in London, over the years he took his part-time passion for wine writing and became one of the foremost independent communicators in the UK. His particular interest in wines from around the world that express a sense of place and a soft touch led him to co-writing the book Authentic Wine. He joined me via Skype from London to chat about his background and the current state of wine communication & criticism.
For those who listened to Episode 73 of The Vincast you would have heard about John Wurdeman, an American-born artist that fell in love with (and in) Georgia, and moved there many years ago. Since then he started being more involved with Georgian culture and history, helping preserve their traditional polyphonic singing, and making authentic wine under Pheasant’s Tears.
Last week John and his wife Ketevan tragically lost their family home, countless possessions (including some of John’s art), and priceless memories, to fire. Thankfully none of the family nor anyone else was in the blaze. They are however in serious need of assistance to rebuild their home, and as supporters of my blog and podcast, you would be doing myself, John and his entire family a great thing if you could make a small donation to their rebuilding fund.
You can find the link here, there has already been a huge outpouring of support and donations from the wine loving community around the world. If you haven’t listened to my chat with John on The Vincast I highly recommend it.
Anna Martens began her wine career just outside of her home town of Adelaide, working with one of Australia’s foremost authorities on winemaking, Brian Croser. After spending almost ten years at Petaluma, she wanted to spread her wine-wings. She spent some time in New Zealand studying for the Master of Wine, but soon ended up working at the prestigious Super-Tuscan estate of Ornellaia. This was where she met her eventual husband Eric Nairoo, and through his own business importing into the UK, she was introduced to natural wines. Eventually they decided to find somewhere she could produce her own wine, and they chose the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna, where she now produces Vino di Anna.
After discovering a CD of Georgian polyphonic singing in a second-hand record store in Richmond Virginia, John Wurdeman was amazed many years later to randomly enjoy a private performance of the group on the CD visiting Georgia. At the time he was studying art in Moscow, but after visiting Georgia he decided he would settle there and pursue the life of an artist. After many years preserving traditional Georgian polyphonic singing whilst based in the town of Tibaani, John was offered (bullied) into making some wine with the same ideals of preserving tradition. This was how Pheasant’s Tears was born, and since 2007 John has been involved with not only taking Georgian wine to the world, but also introducing visitors to Georgian life and culture.
Patrick Sullivan is one of the most exciting young winemakers in Victoria, and the type of wines he is producing are dramatically changing the discussion about what is wine, what is Australian wine, and what is quality Australian wine. He has recently bought land in West Gippsland and will eventually become the vigneron (both growing the grapes and making the wines) he has so long wanted to be. On this episode he chats about his experiences and philosophies, and why a winemaking degree didn’t really help him much.
Campbell Burton has a sincere love of and passion for wines of tradition and minimal intervention, and has the opportunity to introduce people to them in his role as the sommelier of the Builders Arms Hotel. On this episode of The Vincast he talks about his path of discovery, how he began importing some wines of his own, and why he decided to launch an event dedicated to sulphur-free wine called Soulfor Wine.
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