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Interviews

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Interview with Veronique Sanders of Chateau Haut-Bailly

In a challenging vintage, chateaux with the most resources and the willingness to deploy them are able to make quality wine. That point was brought home to me in the tasting room of Chateau Haut-Bailly during En Primeur 2012. Unlike some other chateaux, the Haut-Bailly Grand Vin was very vibrant and well concentrated, with firm […]



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Accent on Virginia Winemakers

When I was in Burgundy recently I happened to be chatting with some guests at my hotel and discovered that the two couples were winemakers from Virginia. Eager to hear their stories, I engaged them in conversation. Andrew and Patricia Hodson are the owners of Veritas Winery, which they run with their daughter Emily who […]



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Visiting Burgundian Producers with Jeanne-Marie De Champs

  “I like a good farmer!” says Jeanne-Marie De Champs, owner of Domaines et Saveurs Collection in Burgundy. Jeanne-Marie represents over seventy producers and exports them to various countries, including the USA and my favorite wine stores. Jeanne-Marie is responding to my question about how she chooses the producers she represents. Each one I’ve met […]



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Lunch with Susan Krausz of Arkenstone Vineyards

  “Have you tasted their Sauvignon Blanc? It rocks!” To be clear, we are speaking of the 2007 Sauvignon Blanc from the Arkenstone Vineyards estate in Howell Mountain. And “rock” is the appropriate word, for even though this is a California Sauvignon Blanc, the minerality is incredible. “Limestone soil?” I ask owner Susan Krausz over […]



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Lunch with Shirley Roy of Roy Estate

It’s always fun when the Napa Vintners association comes to New York — the owners and winemakers take a break from pouring at consumer and press functions, and are able to relax a bit and talk about their wines. I first met Shirley Roy a few years ago at a trade event … and had […]



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Chatting With: Nicholas Miller of Bien Nacido

… So I just had a fabulous lunch at Avra in NYC with Nicholas Miller, whose family owns the Bien Nacido brand (Pinot Noir and Syrah) and Solomon Hills brand (Chardonnay) in Santa Maria, California. “Bien Nacido means ‘born with a silver spoon’ – or some such in Spanish,” says Nicholas. As the scion of […]



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Q/A with Dennis Cakebread of Cakebread Cellars

… it’s always fun to sit next to a winemaker / winery owner during a wine dinner at a top restaurant like Park Avenue Spring in New York City. It was the first time I would meet Dennis Cakebread, and it was a thrill to be able to taste the wines and pepper him with […]



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Brane-Cantenac: Speaking about 2009 Vintage with Henri Lurton

Henri Lurton I just returned from Bordeaux where I had attended En Primeur, a week long tasting for international fine wine journalists to taste the new 2009 vintage. I had the good fortune to catch up with Chateau Brane-Cantenac owner and oenologist Henri Lurton, whose grandfather bought the second-growth estate in 1925. All week long, […]



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Q/A with Kanonkop Winemaker Abrie Beeslaar on 2007 Pinotage

  Kanonkop Abrie Beeslaar One of the advantages of living in the new millennium – for wine students, at any rate, is the opportunity to compare tasting notes on the Internet and even connect with winemakers. Recently I tasted 2007 Kanonkop Pinotage with an eye on how I would know it was a 2007 South […]



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Interview with Burgundian Negociant Jean-Marie de Champs of Domaines et Saveurs Collection

  Jean Marie de Champs with her Rose Guy Charlemagne Champagne On a recent visit to Burgundy for the Hospice du Beaune I was so delighted to meet one of its top negociants, Jean-Marie de Champs of Domaines et Saveurs Collection. If you love fine wine – yet have never been to Burgundy – your […]



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Q & A about Burgundy with Peter Wasserman of Becky Wasserman Selections

Celebrations surround Hospice de Beaune in Burgundy, France, quite possibly the longest running wine auction in the history of the world. Funds raised are used to support the hospital (known as the Hôtel-Dieu) which received its first patient on 1st January 1452. In the last sixty years, however, the level of bidding is seen as an indicator of the prices growers and negociants can get for their wine.



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Behind the Scenes at …. A Wine Shop Sales Call

Phill D’Ancona of Columbus Circle Wines “I gave up selling to restaurants,” the wine representative tells me, lining up samples of wine on the cool granite counter of the upscale wine shop, Columbus Circle Wines. “Every time I’d walk in, there’s be a new wine director, even younger than the last, thinking he knew everything […]



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Interview with Eric Titus of Titus Vineyards

  Eric Titus   Tonight I had dinner with Eric Titus of Titus Vineyards in the Napa Valley and talked about his Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, and Sauvignon Blanc while tasting through several flights. The dinner was held at the illustrious Jean-George Vongerichten restaurant Perry Street, which is very hip and cool (think white on […]



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Tasting Henry’s Drive Wines from Australia

  Ah, the life of a vintner! Ten years ago, Ms. Kim Longbottom and her husband bought property in the Australian region of Padthaway, part of the Limestone Coast in the southeast of South Australia, and called their estate Henry’s Drive in honor of a long-ago postman from the area. Kim cleverly named the wines, […]



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Tasting Henry's Drive Wines from Australia

  Ah, the life of a vintner! Ten years ago, Ms. Kim Longbottom and her husband bought property in the Australian region of Padthaway, part of the Limestone Coast in the southeast of South Australia, and called their estate Henry’s Drive in honor of a long-ago postman from the area. Kim cleverly named the wines, […]



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Meeting Joel Peterson, Founder, Ravenswood

Joel Peterson, founder of Ravenswood Want to be a winemaker? It sounds like a lot of fun, and of course, it can be. And to hear the rags to riches (well, not quite rags) story of how Joel Peterson, founding winemaker ofRavenswood, created an internationally famous brand is mesmerizing. Joel was born in 1947 the […]



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Pairing Chateau du Campuget Prestige Viognier at Cafe Boulud

… So did you ever wonder how wine got on a restaurant’s wine list? For many upper end restaurants, the wine list is one of the primary reasons customers come to dine at their establishment. Some very high end restaurants…



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Interview with Franck-Lin Dalle of Chateau Du Campuget in Costieres de Nimes

Okay, so you read the book A Year in Provence and are very excited to become a winemaker in the south of France. Yes, by all appearances it is a glamorous life. Gorgeous sunny weather, long leisurely lunches by the…



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Tasting Ferrari Sparkling Wine

Think of a Ferrari and you think of a gorgeous sports car, right? A sleek, sexy icon of pleasure that personifies quality and luxury. So when I was first poured a glass of sparkling wine called Ferrari, I made the…



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Tasting La Tunella Wines

“My grandfather started the winery in 1960,” says the handsome and quite charming Massimo Zorzettig, co-owner and sales director for La Tunella, a winery located in the northeastern region of Friuli, Italy. I am sitting with Massimo, his translator, and…