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

After a three week garage sale in Dallas, Texas, Jason sold everything thing he owned in order to move to Napa and tread his own path that involved learning how to make wine and creating Modus Operandi, the project that arose from this quest.  Jason recalls the efforts that were involved and the way he chose the mentorships over technical studies.  If you like stories of hustle, networking, and the passion to pursuit new ideas, this podcast with Jason will be a hit.  Make sure and catch the tale of how his wine, Antithesis, was conceived and then manifest in the winery.  


Direct download: Jason_Moore_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31am EDT

I sat down with Dave, explained what a podcast was, he took off his worn John Deere hat, I hit record, and 70 minutes later I left grinning with the anticipation of sharing this episode with the Inside Winemaking listeners.  

Dave recounts the experiences that brought him into winemaking and the early days of the Orin Swift wines, while working at Robert Mondavi and Whitehall Lane, including the lessons learned from the difficult 1998 vintage.  Our conversation leads from assessing vineyards to blending and the "perception of sweetness."  In 2010 Dave sold two of his brands; The Prisoner and Saldo, but continued to build the Orin Swift brand and went on to create Locations Wine after the idea struck while stuck at Charles de Gaulle airport.  Locations Wine is now producing individual wines from France, Italy, Spain, Argentina, California, Oregon, Washington, Corsica (great story of the label here), and soon to add Portugal.  

Not content just to oversee the winemaking, Dave is the creator of all of his wines' labels, a collection that has been inspired by world travel, simple observation, and a desire to give his fans something they can't find anywhere else.  The labels are too cool for me to do them justice - check out them out  Dave tells the stories behind the Machete, Abstract, and Mercury Head wines.  We finish out our conversation with his story of how the Orin Swift tasting room floor in St Helena came to be furnished with pages from "pamphlets of Maoist propaganda."  Don't miss Dave's answer to the question. "What do you believe that nobody else does?"  

Listeneners may recall that Amy Warnock, who was the guest in Episode 7 is the director of viticulture for, and Zeke Neeley from Episode 14 is now working with Dave Phinney at Orin Swift.  

Direct download: Dave_Phinney_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:18am EDT

Overlooking Howell Mountain and some of the greatest vineyards in Napa, Kent and DJ Nielsen operate a unique culinary experience for those interested in not just a great meal, but being a part of its creation.  Cooks, Books, and Corks is a dining experience that they operate out of their home, a home complete with a near-commercial kitchen.  In this episode of The Inside Winemaking Podcast Kent and DJ describe the fates that brought them to food, to cooking, to wine, and to their version of a cooking school and destination in wine country, all while their four German Shepherds circle us on their patio.  Though not winemakers, these two know wines very deeply and give some great suggestions for pairing a variety of wine styles with dinner options.  

This episode is not about technical winemaking, but it provided the opportunity to share the story of Cook, Books, and Corks, and to allow DJ to share the incredible story of her surprise run-in with the yellow smoke on the water and the British Navy.  


Direct download: DJ_Nielsen_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:26am EDT