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

After an education that spanned the Canary Islands, Barcelona, and Bordeaux, Anthony Weytjens has set roots in Napa as the Winemaker and Estate Manager at Edge Hill Estate.  It wasn't until Anthony left Tenerife, the main island of the Canaries, and went to law school in Spain that he found an interest in vineyards and winemaking.  In the podcast Anthony weaves through the trials that were a part of his viticulture and enology education at the University of Bordeaux, including his having to learn French from scratch.  After interning at some of the top Chateaux within the Christian Moueix group in Bordeaux, Anthony took the opportunity to work in Dominus Estate in Napa and thus began his career in California.  Now at Edge Hill Estate in the St Helena district of Napa Valley, Anthony oversees the grapes and rebuilding of one of the valley's most history wineries.  We recorded our podcast in the old distillery that was initially built in 1869 and was painstakingly re-constructed o that every stone was set in its original orientation.  We discuss the efforts Anthony is heading at Edge Hill to convert the vineyard to dry farming and  biodynamics.  

And the podcast would not be complete without some insight into the vineyards  and wines of the Canary Islands.  Although he has yet to make any wine on the Canaries, Anthony describes some of the cool aspects of growing grapes in volcanoes, cliffs, and wind-swept slopes.  There are spots with vines that are 200 years old, others that drape off of cliffs such that people have to wear harnesses to pick the grapes and use donkeys to pack them out.  Fortunately, some of these wines are being exported, so don't miss Anthony's recommendations.

Direct download: Anthony_Weytjens_Complete_Episode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:46am EDT

This episode is all about the use of whole berry fermentation in red winemaking.  I used this opportunity to make a solo podcast and go over what whole berry fermentation is, the reasons a winemaker would want to employ this technique in a winery, and also the multitude of challenges that it presents.  For each of the challenges, I address the methods I have adopted in order to overcome potential issues.  

Direct download: Whole_Berry_Fermentation_Complete_mixdown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19am EDT

After an extensive string of internships spanning New Zealand, Napa, and Australia, Laura Barrett made a list of her top ten women winemakers that she hoped to work with and landed herself a job with a superstar, Mia Klein.  After working with Mia at Fisher Vineyards, Laura was the winemaker at Casey Flat Ranch before taking on her current winemaking post at Clif Family Winery.  Based in Napa, Clif Family gained notoriety for their line of snack bars popular with endurance athletics before branching out into the wine business.  Under Laura's stewardship, Clif Family is producing a stellar line-up of wines, including Bordeaux varieties from their organically-farmed estate on Howell Mountain.  

Laura showed up prepared for this episode of the podcast, notes and all.  Don't miss her trials with Grenache-based rose, and the unpopular belief she employs in the winery.  

Direct download: Laura_Barrett_Complete.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50am EDT