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

As winemaker for Silver Oak, Nate Weis is the steward for one of the most prominent and recognized brands of Cabernet in the US.  In this episode of the Inside Winemaking Podcast Nate shares how what may be considered an old-guard brand of California winemaking, Silver Oak, is actually on the cutting edge of innovation and is now the first wine producer to have taken an oak barrel cooperage in-house.  After rebuilding the Napa winery due to a fire in 2006, Silver Oak has drawn from its experience in winery  design and is now building its Alexander Valley facility with the goal of being LEED Platinum certified by its debut in 2017.  Part of Nate's role is to oversee winemaking for the Twomey brand, which was created to produce Merlot, but now has a full range of wines including Pinot noir from Willamette Valley in Oregon.  

Those interested in working a harvest vintage in New Zealand are encouraged to apply to the Doug Wisor Memorial Scholarship, which provides funding and a job placement at Craggy Range Winery.  After working for Doug when he was in New Zealand, Nate now helps aspiring winemakers discover this opportunity to honor a man who was one of his own mentors.  

Direct download: Nate_Weis_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58am EDT

Four winemaker friends came together and created The Living Wines Collective.  This conversation begins with Shaunt Oungoulian, in whose parents' basement is the winery where all wines are produced, and then Sam Baron joins us midway to hear help explain the Reverse Rose.  Shaunt, Sam, and their other partners met at UCDavis while studying viticulture and enology, went off to work at some impressive estates across the globe, and then returned to California and launched the Populis, Les Lunes, and Ama Cellars that now encompass the natural winemaking efforts that bind their efforts and aspirations.  

"What can I not do?"  Asking this question throughout all of the winemaking, Shaunt describes their definition and practical applications of natural winemaking.  We take time to wade through the methods employed to hold true to those intentions and the thoughtful ways they use SO2.   This young team is making wines from organically farmed, select vineyards, treating the wines as naturally as possible in the cellar, and releasing them to the the world at affordable prices, an uncommon formula which pits them with the perception of something less serious.   It is precisely the combination of these tenets that sets their wines apart and that hustle is very serious.  

Direct download: Shaunt_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:54am EDT