DiscoverGRAPE: Unfined/Unfiltered
GRAPE: Unfined/Unfiltered
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GRAPE: Unfined/Unfiltered

Author: John Griffin and Jeff Miller

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We've been importing and distributing wine in the United States since 1975, with a focus on independent, classic producers. This podcast was started as a way to connect you to our winemakers and colleagues in the field, and we hope it gives you some extra insight on the grapex wines in your cellar or shelves.
31 Episodes
James Ontiveros represents the ninth generation of his Santa Maria family farm and with Justin Willett he is turning out some of the most dynamic examples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay you'll find in the region. Our own Cameron Russell (Director of Sales, Southern California) has been close friends with James going back to his somm days, and they connect in this episode to give you all the scoop on all things Ranchos de Ontiveros
We are thrilled to represent Domaine du Pegau in California and Oregon. John connects with Dan Kravitz of Hand Picked Selections to dive into the history of this iconic family Domaine.
As of this Monday we are now proudly representing Hand Picked Selections in the State of California! Dan connects with John again to give us the dish on more things Languedoc, including his collaborations with Jeff Carrel.
Dan Kravitz founded Hand Picked Selections in 1985, and few national importers bring such an incredible range of balanced and characterful wines from France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina.  We work with Dan's team in both the traditional Grape Expectations distribution side, at our affiliated Vino! and Oddlots stores, and via Premier, our compressed-margin logistics platform.This is the first half of our conversation with Dan, where we learn about his company's roots and about his passion for Languedoc wine, a region in which he has purchased his own operation - Domaine Cabirau, in the small village of Maury (Roussillon).
Simon Back is carrying the family torch high and bright at Backsberg Estate in South Africa. He connects with John to tell us about the strange prohibition of alcohol sales in South Africa during COVID, and dishes details on the delicious  “Tread Lightly” wines that just landed in our warehouses.
John Griffin connects with Jean-Claude Mas and they quickly cover a variety of topics in this short interview episode.Born into a long line of Languedoc grape growers, Jean-Claude Mas became the first in his family to emerge as a formally-trained winemaker. His initial memory of wine came when he was three-years-old, defiantly escaping his Mother’s watch to run two miles into the countryside to meet his grandfather in the vineyard (!!!) during harvest.From that point forward it was game on.As a young man, Jean-Claude went about creating Domaine Paul Mas in 2000 using the family’s existing 86 acres of holdings. In short time he began to purchase underpriced but strategically situated Domaines throughout the region, in the process turning their vineyards and cellars into well-known regional standouts.Fast forward twenty years and Jean-Claude is operating 15 separate chateaux and domaines – A diverse collection of terroirs spanning the kaleidoscope of topographies that makes Languedoc-Roussillon one of Europe’s most dynamic regional appellations: From mountainside terraces in Limoux used for some of the best sparkling wines you’ll find in France outside of Champagne, to salty coastal plots of Picpoul destined for local shellfish consumption, to vineyards set atop clay plateaux producing pale Grenache-driven examples of rosé and vin gris, to moonscape settings near the Spanish border responsible for intense examples of both dry and fortified Carignan.
We've been enjoying the stunning wines of Colterenzio for some years now and were able to catch up with Letizia Pasini. We hope you finish this episode with a deeper understanding of Alto Adige as a region, while getting a closer look at one of the world's most progressive cooperative wineries.
Today we check in with Veronique Bonnet (Domaine La Bastide Saint Dominique), Marco Porello (Ca' Gialla), Walter Anselma (Schiavenza), and Manfred Felsner (Weingut Felsner).
Today we check in with Harry Bosmans (Rhone Valley), Derek Mossman (Garage Wine Co), Alexia Roberts (Thomas Goss/The Chook), Riu Ribiero (Symington Family Estates), Damien Yvon (Clos Henri), Isabelle Roux (Domaine Notre Dame des Pallieres), and Cedric Jacopin (Champagne De Saint-Gall).
We know you are receiving plenty of negative news out there every day from the media, and we thought we’d do something different with our podcast platform this month. We set up a virtual record button through an app called SpeakPipe and asked our producers to chime in with a quick update for all of you…advising what quarantine life looks like in their corners of the world, and more importantly, that they elaborate on some of the unexpected POSITIVE twists that have come out of this challenging and bizarre period in history.Many interesting recordings have come out of this experiment, and this is the first episode in a series of three. Today we check in with Natalie Oliveros and Francois Colas of La Fiorita in Montalcino, Christian Seely of Quinta da Romaneira in the Douro, Jerrod Englefield of Misty Cove Wines in Marlborough, Charlotte Serve from Vignerons de Florensac in the Languedoc, and James Lindner of Langmeil Winery in Barossa.
Yesterday we called Brendan and Laura Carter of Unico Zelo to get their take on the tragic bushfires that have ravaged much of Australia’s wine country. Brendan provides a brief breakdown of the situation for Unico Zelo, their neighbors, and the South Australian wine sector as a whole.
Our own Stephen Buffington drove to Wenatchee last week to sit down with Seth Cohen, the founder of Archibald James Ciderworks. They touch on a variety of topics including the importance of the cider industry in preserving Washington State's heirloom apple varietals, and the interesting process of building a artisanal cidery from scratch in the year 2019.
Tasting through Domaine Bastide Saint Dominique's Chateauneuf-du-Pape lineup with the lovely brother/sister duo that is Eric and Veronique Bonnet. We hope this gets you excited for the pallets we have arriving Feb 1 via air freight.
Quick rip from the wine route - Here is the scoop on Abouriou and the Cotes du Marmandais.
National Portfolio: Brad Roberts hooked us up with Misty Cove Wines of Marlborough, New Zealand earlier this year and the wines have arrived stateside. Misty Cove was founded by former cricket star Andrew Bailey, and Andrew's longtime friend and former teammate Jerrod Englefield handles all things sales and marketing related there. We’ve never come across this level of quality of Kiwi Sauvignon Blanc for the price, and were happy to host Jerrod in Seattle for a quick visit.
National Portfolio: Veronique and Caroline Maret recently flew in for a quick visit, and in this episode you can be a fly on the wall as they taste our California team on the full Domaine de la Charbonnière lineup and brief everyone on the amazing history of their property and also on what is in store there for the future.
National Portfolio: Steve and Laurent talk about their new "Dovecote" wines with John.
National Portfolio: Steve Lawrence has been a close friend to all of us at Grape for decades now. He is a wine polymath of sorts, having started in this business making Bordeaux during the 1982 vintage. Steve was one of the central figures in the Chalone Group's meteoric rise during the late eighties, brought us Lockwood shortly thereafter, is the man who invented Stag's Leap "Artemis," and most memorably to us he was the fellow responsible for setting us up as the Pacific Northwest's Clicquot distributor during the 90's and 00's. If you read Esther Mobley's excellent piece on Steve and his wife Diane in the San Francisco Chronicle last month, you know the sweet love story that is Chateau La Corne. Steve is all settled in now at his new home in Bordeaux, and we get the quick scoop on his new rural life there!
West Coast Distribution: John and Brendan catch up where they left off for part two!
West Coast Distribution: John sits down with Brendan Carter during Brendan's recent trip to Seattle. They talk Aussie soil, Unico Zelo's history, and about a new model for wine cooperatives in the 21st century.
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