Category Archives: Podcasts

Winecast 16: Bill Nelson of Wine America

Bill Nelson is not just the former president of Wine America, the trade group that represents the United States’ wineries, but a long-time wine industry professional who was making wine in Oregon long before the state was known as a top producer.

As such, he probably knows as much as anyone about what’s going on with the wine business, regional wine, and the increasing popularity of wine. We talked about those subjects, as well as direct shipping and the infamous HR 5034, the proposed legislation to limit the federal government’s role in regulating wine distribution. Nelson’s views on the latter are well worth listening to.

The podcast is about 15 minutes and 14 megabytes. Click here to download or stream the podcast.

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Winecast 15: Anna Katharine Mansfield, Cornell University

One of the most exciting things going on in regional wine is the research and development of new grape species, and especially the work being done with cold hardy grapes. Vitis vinifera, the European wine grape species that includes chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, doesn't like cold weather.

Hence the effort to propagate cold hardy grapes that can be made into quality wine. Anna Katharine Mansfield, a Cornell University enologist, has been a key researcher in the development of several of these grapes. One of them is frontenac, which produces a fruity red wine that has been successfully grown in regions as far north as Minnesota.

In the podcast, we talk about developing new grape varieties, how and why it's done, and why it's so important. This is not my best recording — we were in a large building where we judged the International Eastern Wine Competition. There were a lot of echoes, and you'll need to keep the sound turned up. The podcast is 7.4 megabytes and lasts about 8 minutes. You can download or stream it here.

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Winecast 14: John Concannon, Concannon Vineyards

John Concannon is the fourth generation of his family to work for the family business, which is saying something in California. And though Concannon is today owned by The Wine Group (which also controls Big House and Glen Ellen, among many others), John and his father, Jim, are still involved in the day-to-day operations of the 127-year-old winery.

Concannon is known for several things, not the least of which is petite sirah. It pioneered the grape in California, and still makes some of the most interesting petite sirahs in the U.S. John and I talked about the state of the wine business, what consumers are looking for in terms of value, and the history of petite sirah at Concannon.

To download or stream the podcast, click here. It's about 9.9 megabytes and 11 minutes long.

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