Inside Winemaking - the art and science of growing grapes and crafting wine

In perhaps the most entertaining interview I've ever had in a vineyard, Jake Terrell from St Francis Winery and Vineyard, takes me through his experiences throughout California's prime vineyards.  This interview has it all: earthquakes, historic vineyards, old-vine Zinfandel, Cabernet from Russian River Valley in Sonoma, strategies for reducing vineyard irrigation, and an epic Cannibas plantation.

I was particularly interested in having Jake share his expertise in caring for old vines, something he defines as planted before 1950.  He did not disappoint and in our conversation he gives multiple tips on how to work with old vines with the goal of delivering the highest quality grapes, something for which Jake is focused at all points of the growing season.  Beyond old vines we discuss how timing is critical for all high-end grapegrowing and he names the two most critically time-sensitive vineyard practices.

As a farmer who drinks a wide variety of wines, and has a keen fascination with the Old World, Jake paints a vivid picture in detailing the style for which the St Francis wines are known.  The conversation finishes with an invitation to visit St Francis, which is in the Kenwood area of Sonoma.  Need more reasons to visit?  The winery's restaurant was rated number 1 restaurant in 2014 by Open Table, they are certified sustainable, and the North Bay Business Journal listed St Francis as one of the best places to work in the North Bay of San Francisco.

Direct download: Jake_Terrell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:00am EDT

Having never set foot in a vineyard before packing her Subaru with orchids and all other possessions Ashley Anderson set out across US for Napa and didn't look back.

Now, 16 years later Ashley is the vineyard manager at Cain Vineyard and Winery  up 1,700 feet on Spring Mountain in the Napa Valley.  She knows intimately the 87 acres that she farms for the Cain wines, especially Cain Five.

During this episode of the podcast Ashley tells how she is adjusting her farming for the current drought conditions, explains how "tolerance" is a major aspect of organic farming (Cain is about to finish their organic certification),  she talks about the results after five years of trials with biodynamics, and most profoundly, Ashley describes why her and her colleagues at Cain are invested for the long term.  All 16 of Ashley's harvests have been with Cain.

Direct download: Ashley_Anderson_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:52am EDT