Grape Minds

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Episode 58: Happy Earth Day from Grape Minds


While on Coronavirus lockdown, Gina and Julie have moved operations from the studio to the kitchen table- with a respectable six foot distance between- to talk wine. Today's theme is Earth Day- highlighting a natural wine from Westminster called Seeds and Skin. We also try an easy-peasey Chardonnay from Raeburn winery, and a second East Coast entry - a Malbec - from Biltmore Estate.

Episode 57: Matteo Lunelli of Ferrari Trento Talks Sparkling, Tradition, and Taste at the Naples Winter Wine Festival


There are few names that can turn heads like Ferrari- but don't let the car distract from the incredible wine of the same name!  Gina and Julie had the opportunity to talk with Matteo Lunelli whose mountain-grown sparkling wines; Ferrari Trento are among the top in the world- and we're not just talking about altitude. 

Episode 56: Celebrate President’s Day with Limoux


In honor of President's Day, we bring you a full-on geeked-out history deep dive on the wine that Thomas Jefferson loved; Limoux. Sure, this day is more about Washington and Lincoln, but being a wine podcast, we decided to talk about the wine in the cellars of Monticello, the drinking habits of Revolutionary times, and what Thomas Jefferson envisioned for the future of wine in the USA.


Episode 55: Brandon Allen of SLO Down Wines Talks Serious Wine and Not-So-Serious (and NSFW) Marketing


When a guy names his wine "Sexual Chocolate" after the band in Eddie Murphy's "Coming to America," you know you're in for a ride. In this episode of Grape Minds, Julie and Gina talk to Brandon Allen, the man behind the delicious San Luis Obispo, CA line-up, SLO Down Wines, famous for its irreverent marketing (Commando chaps in the cellar anyone?) and wines that any serious wine snob can appreciate.

Episode 54: The Araujo Family is Cultivating the Culture of Multi-Generational Wines in Napa


At this year's Naples Winter Wine Festival, records were shattered yet again with the charity fundraiser topping 20 million dollars for local children.  Wine royalty from around the world spent the weekend down the street from our studios, so we caught up with some of the luminaries of our favorite beverage.  First, we present here our conversation with the Araujo family; Bart and Daphne and their next generation, Jamie and Greg. We talk about sustainability not only of the land- but also the business- for future generations. It's a recurrent theme in Napa, where a familial culture of wine is taking root and bearing fruit like the Araujo's Ascendo Cellars.

Episode 53: The Family Steward of Historic Henriot Champagne, Gilles de Larouzière


As the Naples Winter Wine Festival kicks off with lavish auction lots and all the stars of the international wine industry, Gina and Julie get to sit down with the eighth generation owner of Maisons et Domains Henriot, Gilles de Larouzière. Through world wars and tariff wars, it's a small, family owned Champagne house that has held steady with one thing in mind: the culture and identity of what makes Henriot special.  

Episode 52: An Economist’s Take on the 100% Wine Tariff



This week we’re talking about the business side of wine - With the looming specter of a 100% tariff on French goods, including sparkling wine, several cheeses, and other disparate items- the US wine industry has been lobbying feverishly hoping to convince the United States Trade Representative not to put the threatened hike in place. Today is the last day for comments to be submitted, but Congress members are still hearing from industry leaders opposed to the tariffs. There is now a group of Republicans who have come out against the administrations’ tariffs- and the top domestic and European wine trade groups have signed a joint statement against them. 

An earlier, 25% tariff was already slapped onto all European wines back in October. There isn’t a firm deadline yet for this new one, but it can be implemented any time in the next few weeks. Although according to this article, the plan is to have a decision before DAVOS- which starts on the 21st. So this week, we’re talking with Professor of Finance Dr. Thomas Smythe about tariffs, the unique three- tier distribution system for alcohol in the US, and what competition from imports does for a market. We'll also talk about who really stands to lose when faced with a 100% mark-up.  


An Aside: There is something called a “Congressional Wine Caucus,” which I only just learned exists.

Episode 51: “Try” January with Unexpected Wines from Different Regions (Like Whites from Australia)


It would feel frivolous to talk about anything other than the wildfires devastating Australia right now. To support our wine making friends from the Land of Oz, we're trying a few varieties other than Shiraz to kick off "try" January.  If "dry" is more your thing- take some notes and plan your February breaking of the fast.

Episode 50: Bubbles for the Holidays


In this week's episode Julie and Gina taste bubbles from around the world to find some affordable sparklers to help you ring in the new year. 


Episode 49: Murder Ridge Winegrower Steve Alden Talks Bears, Soil, and Winemaking


In this week's grape minds Gina and Julie talk with Murder Ridge winegrower Steve Alden about the grape varieties preferred by wildlife along the Mendocino Ridge AVA.


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