From Champagne to Napa Valley: Wine Stories with Tilar Mazzeo

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Tilar Mazzeo, author and proprietor and winemaker at Parsell Vineyard. Her book The Widow Clicquot, a biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the founder of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot became a bestseller on the New York Times, and a film adaptation of the book is in the works. Tilar gives us the story behind the Champagne and the woman who built not only this prestigious luxury brand but was instrumental in the development of the industry as we know it. She also shares her inspiration and insights […]

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Gripping Wine Stories with San Francisco Chronicle Wine Columnist Esther Mobley

Introduction In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Esther Mobley, on the gripping stories that catapulted her to become the columnist for one of the most prestigious wine columns in North America, the San Francisco Chronicle, at just 24 years of age. Enjoy!   Highlights How did Esther’s college admissions essay end up in the New York Times? Why did Esther decide to spend her gap year working at a vineyard? What experiences from the vineyard in Napa piqued Esther’s interest in the wine world? Should wine writers all experience winemaking? What came next for […]

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Discovering the Jewel Grape of Austrian Wine

By Alex and Priya, A Vine Romance Austria. The first thing that comes to mind when most people hear this country is The Sound of Music and Julie Andrews singing My Favorite Things! However, this little European country is known for something else that will likely become one of your favourite things, Gruner Veltliner. Read on as Alex sheds light on this versatile grape as well as other wines that are made in Austria. Priya: I don’t even think I knew Austria made wine! Why do you think it’s such a little-known region to non-sommeliers? Alex: For one thing, Austrian […]

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Austrian Wine is more than Gruner: Embrace the Unique

By Mymi Myriam Mozart, the Alps, Baroque architecture and Schnitzels are some of the things that spring to mind when thinking of Austria. This alpine country is sadly not often first associated with wine, but when it is, the perception is that it produces mainly sweet wines. That’s quite odd for a country that has been making wine for over four centuries, whose value of recent exports has grown by an impressive € 6 million, amounting to an outstanding sales record of € 145 million (according to the 2014 Austrian Wine Statistics report). Austria ranks at #19 as a wine producing […]

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Fontanafredda Makes a Barolo for Every Palate

Fontanafredda Vineyard Priya & Alex, A Vine Romance It was a whirlwind visit for Danilo Drocco, winemaker at Fontanafredda in Barolo, Italy. He swept into Toronto for a lunch and dinner, only to rush back to the vineyard the following morning as they are deep into harvest season and as he said, “My job is to talk about Nebbiolo, but more importantly, to make Nebbiolo.” Alex was especially thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Danilo as the 1974 Barolo was the first ‘big’ (read “expensive”) bottle of wine he had ever purchased as a gift for his father. […]

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Organic Wine: What is it? Toast Earth Day with Wine, Naturally

 Last night, we had two spectacular, on-fire conversations with Canadian rock-star winemaker Thomas Bachelder. Click the arrow above to watch part one before the internet gods cut us off ;) Part two is below. It was a wide-ranging conversation sprinkled with limestone and lyrical story-telling. You’ll find his wines under his own Bachelder label as well as Domaine Quelyus. You’ll find previous and upcoming Live Video Wine Tastings here.   Want to get the heads up on Facebook when we go live next Sunday? Take 3 seconds right now and click on these 2 grey buttons under the wine bottle image: […]

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Miguel Torres Chilean Wines Focus on Sustainability

By Melissa Pulvermacher During i4C (International Cool Climate Chardonnay Celebration), I had the opportunity to meet with producers from all around the world. My meeting with Miguel Torres of Chile’s General Manager, Jaime Valderrama was a real treat. In our market, we recognize Torres Chile as the producer of easy-drinking, incredibly affordable wines, but after speaking with Jaime, I now recognize their sustainable initiatives as a major part of who they are. We spoke of the “sustainability strategy”. In our current market, green and health products are in high demand. This does not transcend wine and in fact, the demand […]

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A Tasteful Wine Journey from Provence to Paris

Town centre of Beaune By David Skinner Provence stands as Southern France’s glorious gateway to the viticultural and gastronomic treasures awaiting discovery along the Rhône River Valley. A river cruise from Provence to Burgundy is likely one of the best ways to experience these famous wine regions and cruising is the most leisurely and convenient way to uncover abundant appellations and epicurean adventures. Of course, one of the attractions of seeing the countryside by boat is that you only unpack once and this simply eliminates the worry of transportation and lodging, granting more time to create memories of fabulous food, […]

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How to Find the Best Organic Wines: Buying Tips

By Natalie MacLean Who makes organic wine? The number of wineries making organic wines is increasing steadily, with the result that they’re available in a far greater range of styles than ever before. Formerly, they were only the domain of small producers, but now large companies are taking an interest as a way to diversify their offerings and to improve their environmental images. Some of the producers implement some organic principles and not others, some grow organic grapes but don’t make organic wine and still others make both organic and non-organic wines. So check the labels carefully. Why don’t more […]

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Organic Wine v Biodynamic Wine v Sustainable Farming: Differences?

By Natalie MacLean Why farm organically? Many winemakers consider the approach as part of their overall commitment to quality. Organic farming requires a much deeper understanding of the vineyard and a greater vigilance over it. Problems must be detected early because organic fixes take longer. Another benefit is the social responsibility for winery workers’ health and not exposing them to toxic chemicals. What are the environmental benefits? Many wineries have locked horns with environmentalists and local residents over the issue of deforesting the land in order to plant vineyards. Hillsides are a flash point. Winemakers know that vineyards on slopes […]

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