The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast

Forrest Kelly

The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is a weekly podcast by Forrest Kelly exploring wineries around the world. We take 5 minutes and give you wine conversation starters and travel destinations. In addition, you'll hear candid interviews from those shaping the wine field. Join us as we become inspired by their search for extraordinary wine and wineries. WELP Magazine recognized the podcast as one of the best Travel Podcasts of 2021.

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Breaking news.......Think about this, if you had the first bottle of wine ever commercially produced in America. Like, what would that bottle be worth? That bottle would be in the (Smithsonian)? Here it is the very first bottle ever produced in America or in France or in Australia or wherever. That's the first bottle that would be important. We missed the mark by hundreds of years in most countries, but I'm doing that. I'm going to make the first bottle, so I want to. The very first thing that we're going to do is make one barrel, which will be the first barrel, and then we're going to bottle those wines in a special bottle and kind of sell those to collectors who want to have a piece of the first barrel ever produced in a country of wine, which I think is kind of cool. First of all, I want to thank you for that breaking news. I think that's a great idea to plan that out, and it just might be,6%20Shipwrecked%201907%20Heidsieck%20%E2%80%93%20%24275%2C000.%20More%20items (lucrative for you) as well, because looking at some of the most expensive wines sold. You've got charity cases, sometimes half a million dollars French wine, a bottle, a single bottle, three hundred thousand plus. Do you have any idea who might be interested in buying the first case or the first wine from the country of Bhutan? I would guess it would be places like, you know, the (Wine Museum and Adelaide Australia). You know, people who the collectors like the Koch brothers, I don't know if they would be interested or not, but you know, the Koch brothers have historically bought interesting bottles of wine like, you know, (the famous fake Thomas Jefferson bottles) and so on and so forth. So I think it would be one of those wines that you would not open, right? You would say. But obviously, the very first bottle we would probably give to the first few bottles in the series would probably go to the country itself for them to save and posterity sake and their museums. I wanted to ask you about the highest elevation, where some countries and vineyards profess that they have the highest. Reminds me of a question from Alice of Muskogee, Oklahoma, who's a listener to the podcast, and she asked, I'm interested in knowing how different grapes and different grow based on different climates and different altitudes, and how that affects the different quality of wine produced. That's a good question. So what is your take on focusing on the elevation, not focusing on the elevation? So there's a huge debate about that. The Argentineans would say they've got the tallest. There's one in Tibet. It's about 11,000 feet. They would say that they've got the tallest. There's a lot of arguments about it. I could definitely have the tallest vineyard, the highest altitude vineyard in the world if I want it very easily. To me, I think that's sort of like a gimmick. And my goal is to not do gimmicky stuff. My goal is to try to capture the beauty of Bhutan in a wine bottle and share it with the world. And if that happens to align with the perfect plot at 13,000 feet, I would plant it in a heartbeat. But I don't. I don't think that it will. We've got the tallest. Yeah, like, we'll leave that to the people who want to do that sort of gimmicky marketing stuff. But hey, you know, we're still dialing things in and figuring out what works well where. So we may find that there's an awesome ice wine vineyard that we can plant Vidal at 13,000 feet and makes this glorious (ice wine). And if so, then yeah, I'll do it, but not because it's high. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of (The Best Five Minute Wine...

Nov 1

5 min 16 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly, from the seed to the glass wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We're speaking with a man responsible for bringing vineyards to the country of Bhutan, the Kingdom of Bhutan. How big a country is it? It's actually not that big a country. It's about the size of (Switzerland). So it's probably, I don't know, 300 miles North to South and 500 miles East to est. Anywhere that you are you can sort of look in every direction and see mountains. But like Everest is behind those. And so you can't necessarily see Everest from most places. There's just one cool pass of (Dochula Pass). It's about 14,0000 thousand feet. It's between the capital city of (Thimphu), where we have a couple of vineyards, and the Valley, where we have a couple of vineyards. And so I drive over that pass quite a bit. And when you're at the top, there's this outlook that you can see like 17 different Himalayan peaks that are all in the low twenties and it's really freaking cool. And when you're flying into (Paro), you can see average when you fly in, which is kind of neat too. So tell me about some of the advantages of the country. I mean, the obvious one is just the water that is coming off of the glaciers and the snow runoff of the Himalayas. I imagine there are others as well. So the soil is super, super vibrant. And so, you know, if you sort of believe in some of this, you know, biodynamic philosophy where you sort of getting this balance with the local ecosystems and the biomes and the soil and the local wildlife, that's certainly part of it. They're on track to be the first 100 percent organic country, so they're really sort of against interventionist agriculture. It's more about trying to find how things will work in those climates. The water is entirely (microplastic-free) because it's just pure runoff from the Himalayan glaciers. So you have this really good water and the climate. There's a lot of different microclimates there that sort of stretch from jungle at the bottom of the country, at the south side, all the way up to glacier. So you have all these different climate zones within the country that they are they figured out over the years like, Oh hey, you know, Mandarin oranges grow really, really well down here, where red rice grows really, really well at 7,500 feet. And my hope is that that's what we're going to find with our grapes is that Merlot grows really, really well at 3000 feet and Riesling grows really, really well at 7,500 feet. So my guess is that that's where it will evolve over time, as it's done with some of their other crops. But that's, you know, that's a 50-year plan, not a 5-year plan, unfortunately. With a business plan like that, you've done your homework and it sounds very encouraging down the line. Can you tell me a little bit about the potential markets? One of the leading roses in India right now is Mateus. I don't know if you're familiar with (Mateus, it's a Portuguese rosé), which sells for about $5.00 bucks a bottle here in the U.S., and in India, it sells for $29.00 a bottle. There's a pretty significant margin opportunity if you can capture that market share without paying, those import taxes and tariffs. So there's it's one thing to go after a unique area like Bhutan and say, Hey, I want to grow a Bhutanese cabernet here, and I want to try to capture the essence of Bhutan, and we're going to export this to London, and we're going to sell for $250.00 bucks a bottle. That is very, very cool and interesting to kind of the wine geeks of the world. But there's...

Oct 25

5 min 4 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike, let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is we continue our conversation with Michael Juergens and his wine adventure in the Himalayan hills of Bhutan. When all is said and done, what kind of wine are you looking to produce? We want to make wines that are going to be poured at the world's finest restaurant and cost $150 bucks and up. So $150 and above. I was reading where you said that you're not going to make plonk? I had to look up the term (plonk). Would you consider that a derogatory term? No. I don't think plonk is necessarily derogatory. It's more that it's know kind of inexpensive wine. I think it's pretty much a British and Australian term. But you know, if you were going to drink, you know, have a nice glass of plonk, you know, I just want an easy drink in, you know, $4 glass of red as opposed to something that's super complex. It requires a lot of attention. So in your quest to become a (Master of Wine), there are only four hundred and nineteen worldwide in 30 different countries. Has anybody else done what you've done and gone to a country and started a wine industry from scratch? No, not to my knowledge. No matter of fact, I don't think that there are very many countries left on the planet where you could conceivably start a wine industry from scratch. Most places already have been around having for hundreds or thousands of years. One of the things that really appealed to me about this project, you know, the Himalayas is not convenient to Los Angeles, which is where I live, but the opportunity to really be given this palate, this beautiful landscape, this wonderful terroir with nothing and say here, decide what this should look like. You know, should we do ice wine? Should we do big reds? Should we do sparkling? Should we do hybrids? You know, what do you think is going to be the perfect wines for Bhutan that will express a sense of place, and that's a really cool opportunity to get to do. I don't. Not too many people have gotten to do that. Oh, absolutely. What a great opportunity. So in the time frame, when you first went over there to run the marathon and you talked with them and you started this serious discussion, what are we looking at down the road from basically seed to vine? It took about two years from the very first serious discussions that we had. I had kind of broached the topic a couple of years before that, and it took a couple of years for the country to get to the point where they're like, Yeah, this seems legit. Let's get serious about trying to do this. And then once they had made that decision, it took about two years before we got the first six vineyards planted. And to your point, no, I absolutely was out there in the fields with not necessarily carabiners, but like digging holes and, you know, carrying plants up and down the hills. And, yeah, very excited. As you mentioned earlier, as you might expect, the Himalayas, very mountainous. I imagine there's a lot of prework that you had to do, you know, building terraces on the sides of mountains and things and prepping everything. But where are you in the stage as far as the vine progress? Six of our vineyards are in the fourth leaf and two of our vineyards are in the second leaf. So we actually had grapes last year, but the pandemic was going on and the borders were closed. We had grapes again this year, but there's still a lot of pandemic issues, particularly with India. You know, India has had quite the outbreak the last few months. And so Bhutan, because it shares a border with India, has been really strategic about what they let in and out of the country right now. So we'll have our first...

Oct 18

5 min 27 sec

Welcome, to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is. Hello. This is your captain speaking. Welcome to Juergen's airlines, we hope you enjoy your flight to the ( Kingdom of Bhutan) in the Himalayas, Bhutan is sandwiched between two countries India and China on our flight this evening is Michael Juergens, Michael has helped plant vineyards at nine thousand feet to start the first winery in the Kingdom of Bhutan. So sit back, relax and enjoy your flight. Remember, if we have a bumpy landing, it's not the captain's fault. It's not the co-pilot's fault. It's the asphalt. Hi, this is Mike Juergens. I'm the author of ( Drinking and Knowing Things) and a number of other Wine Books. I also founded the wine industry in the Kingdom of Bhutan in the Himalayas, and I'm a Master of Wine candidate. Ok, Michael, we'll get into each of those credentials, but first just doing a little bit of research on the Kingdom of Bhutan. They have 5,400 species of plants, compared to 17,000 here in the United States. They were one of the first countries to ban tobacco use. Archery is the number one sport. Health care is free. Where was the inspiration? What did the inspiration come from to start producing wine in Bhutan? Well, I had traveled all around the world visiting all the other global wine regions as part of trying to pursue my (Master of Wine qualification). And when I went to Bhutan to run a marathon, it just looked like the kind of place that should have vineyards. You just had these magnificent terraced slopes with these beautiful crops. Everything I ate was the best. Whatever I've eaten, the best cucumber, the best carrot, like everything was just spectacularly good. And so that to me led me to believe that they had a vineyard somewhere. So I asked everybody, where are the vineyards? And turned out they didn't have any. And so I kind of said, you guys need to do this like starting now. And they listened. They listened to you. So you must have been very persuasive and shown them the potential of what could be right. Because Bhutan is, you know, looking at a map is and imagining the Himalayas. This isn't going to be the main thoroughfare for trade. Bhutan is pretty isolated in the Himalayas and so it remained pretty much on its own until, like the 1970s. You know, they just didn't have any Western influence. You know, the (Silk Road) never went through there, and so Vitis vinifera never got planted there. You know, the Roman Army never reached that far on the (Silk Road) didn't go through it. So I don't think it was a function of there wasn't, you know, a desire to to have it or to avoid it. I think it just never got there. And even today, you know, the country monitors who can go into the country. They don't want to overburden it with tourism. There just hasn't been a lot of Western influence in there, and it just took some stupid guy like me asking dumb questions like where the vineyards? And they sort of said, Huh, we hadn't thought about that, you know? So it wasn't that that this had never been broached before. It just was. I think I happen to be the right place at the right time where the country was a little bit more open to trying to make this work. How about the residents and the culture? Do they drink wine? There's a really big wine culture there, but it's all around rice wine. And so each family makes their special recipe, you know, secretly guarded family recipe for their rice wine, which they make in their kitchens, and it's considered to be very traditional. You show up in a...

Oct 11

5 min 6 sec

We close out our conversation with Barry Hus of Lakeridge Winery and Vineyards, Florida's largest winery. I can imagine that staffing can be a bit of a challenge. I went to New York and recruited a vineyard manager that was highly experienced, and he's done wonders for our vineyards. I went to Sarasota. I recruited this top mechanic that had been in the industry for 45 years can fix any kind of bottling line equipment or anything that you have. And he's been the same thing. He's just he's helped us fix so much and saved us so much money with his expertise. So it's that kind of thing, that kind of recruitment that lends itself to providing a successful business, no matter what you're doing, you know, people make the difference. Having a winery the size of Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards, you've got a vast selection of wines. What are some that stand out that are your biggest sellers? Our most popular wines are our southern red and southern white. We also cross-label those as vintners, red, and vintners white at our other location. They're the exact same wines. That's 60 percent of our business. Those two are the main Muscadine wines that we produce one white, one red. After that, we make a bold blush. It's called Sunblush, and it's also Muscadine. And then we make a Chablis. We make a Chablis out of our white grapes. That's the driest of the Muscadine wines. They're both good sellers, the Chablis is great for cooking the sunblush. We call it the Goldilocks wine. It's a little red. It's a little wide, it's a little sweet, it's a little dry. You know, it's you don't know what to take to a party that's a great wine to take with you. And then becoming more and more popular are the specialty wines, and we're just getting to where we're having to ramp up our production of our sparkling. We do our own (sparkling wine). We do two of them a white and pink. And we do. We still do them in the old champagne method. So we're doing the double fermentation on those. We make a port that's 100 percent Musk, nine, with a wonderful port. So those specialty wines are great. We also produce a Sherry. The (Sherry is about 25 percent Muscadine). It doesn't lend itself to a great sherry. The white grape doesn't. So we're bringing that in and then blending it in with about 25 percent of the Muscadine. And then it produces a great, great Sherry after that. And then we have some kind of blends we do at what we call a (proprietor's reserve). It's kind of a dessert-style wine. Again, it's a sweet wine. It's got a higher alcohol level than our standard table wine does. But it's not quite a port. It's gone over very well. Again, it's one of those sweet wines served chilled. Those are the main ones. Those are what we produce. Our main focus is on our Muscadine wines and our southern reds, southern wine by far our top sellers. It's been a pleasure talking with you and learning so much about Florida wine. If our podcast listeners are in the area or planning a Florida trip, what's the best place to go to get all the information we need? The best place to go to start is at our website, which is ( And from there, you can get our hours and information about the weekends at the winery. Who's what bands are playing, what foods are being served, all that kind of stuff. If you want to call in, you can certainly do that. We have an 800 number. It's 800.768.9463. Be happy to answer any of the questions that you might have. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM. If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

Oct 4

5 min 40 sec

COO Barry Hus, explains the adventure of a tour at Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards. So in our typical guided tour, when I say that they stay within the building, our main building is fairly large. It has a second floor, they go up into the theater. It's a church pew style. They sit and watch the film. It's about 10 minutes. It goes through the history of wine and winemaking in Florida and how we got involved in it. Then there are walkways that go across our production area and from the walkways. They can see our bottling line and our tanks and the processes and the pumps and everything and the workers down below. The guide would explain to them what's going on. We have cold stabilization going on or we've got bottling, going on, or whatever might be happening at the time. They then walk outside. We have an outdoor balcony on the back of the building that overlooks our crushed deck and the vineyard so they can see the vineyards from there. They can see the crushed deck and the equipment, the presses, pumps, and all that kind of stuff. And depending on the time of year, like right now, we just finished pressing the last of our grapes yesterday. So from August and early September, they can see the (grapes being crushed). The rest of the time, they will see the vineyards in full bloom or dormant, you know, depending on the time of the year, and the guide will talk to them about that. They don't go out into the vineyard. And then from there, they come across another walkway mezzanine. Generally, Monday through Thursday, we're bottling. They can see the bottling line in action and then from there they go into the main part of the retail shop where our tasting counter is. Customers can get up close to the vines out in our festival area. They can walk right up to the vineyard and see the vines and the grapes and things like that. Pre-covid, in 2019, I see where (Florida had over 130,000,000 million visitors, tourists). So out of those people, when they visit the winery, are you seeing some kind of commonality between the novice and the expert in your visitorship? Yeah, there's a commonality and they do run that full gamut, you know, from people who are very curious and have never seen it to people who have seen hundreds of them, you know, have been all over the world and seen them. I think the commonality is the surprise that something like this exists in Florida. Nobody thinks Florida is having any kind of wine industry at all, let alone something that's of this size. And then the flavor of the wine is so uniquely different from anything else that they're going to taste, and even people who generally are dry drinkers are surprised at it. It's a sweet wine, but it's more of a fruit-forward, kind of a sweetness and not like a sugary sweetness to it. We serve it chilled. It's very refreshing. It's something that goes well with the (Florida climate).

Sep 27

5 min 25 sec

COO Barry Hus of Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards explains the impressive details of Florida's largest winery. Whether it's food, cars, or houses, we're always looking for that wow factor. I still remember seeing my wife the first time in her wedding dress. So when people come up to your winery, can you tell me your wow factor? It's a big property. I think people are very surprised, first of all, that it's hilly. And when they pull into the property, it's kind of a (Tuscan design), building, and layout of the property, and the vineyards surround the property on all sides. So when you drive up, you see a large open grass area and fencing that leads up to the large building that is the winery. People from all over the world come to visit us here because Central Florida is a very tourist-driven area. We hear a lot that it reminds them of Europe looking over the hillside, seeing the vineyards, seeing the style of building that we have. It's very reminiscent of things that you would see in Italy or (France) or things like that. So that's probably the biggest surprise that people are just shocked that something like this exists in this area and that is so large. We do have an outdoor area with large oak trees where we have music and a food court and an outdoor wine bar that goes on (every weekend from noon to four on Saturdays and Sundays). And so they can come out even during the week, they can come out and get a bottle of wine, cheese tray or something like that, go out and sit at our picnic tables and just kind of enjoy the view. So it's very open. We like people to take a look around and see what's going on here and just kind of enjoy themselves while they are here. So it's not just kind of a walk into a retail shop, it's kind of a full experience. 98LX4waVSSSCEMbvzbAK (Show Less)

Sep 20

5 min 51 sec (Florida )started in the wine industry back in the early days when the settlers came over here. They discovered that these Muscadine grapes were here in (Florida), so they tried to make wine out of them didn't particularly like the flavor of it. They went ahead and brought over their own varieties from Europe. At one time, there were thousands of acres of grapes here in Florida. But they discovered that in this climate, they wouldn't grow. There's actually a bacteria. It gets in the vines, and it leads to what's now called (Pierce Disease). And so, when all the vines died out after a couple of years, they eventually moved everything out to the West Coast. The wine industry kind of fell off here, of course, and it wasn't until, I don't know, the eighties early 80s when families like the Cox family started Lakeridge Winery they decided that they were going to reinvigorate the wine industry here, and they were going to make wine out of the native Muscadine grapes that grow here naturally. They failed at first, and then they kept trying and eventually got the formula right and the recipe right. And we're here today as (Florida's largest winery). Now when you say the largest winery, does that mean just visitors, or is that production? Yeah, we're Florida's largest by both visitorship and production. We are about one hundred and fifty hundred and sixty thousand case a year winery, which is by far the largest here in the state that's selling grape wines. There are a lot of other wineries here. There's only; I don't know, twenty to twenty-four wineries in the state. It's not a big industry here, and many of those are fruit wines, mostly blueberry wines because that's blueberries grow well here. There are a few like us that do grape wines, but we're by far the largest.

Sep 19

5 min 12 sec

We take another listener voice mail question. It's time, boys and girls for our listener voicemail. Hi all. This is Rochelle calling from (Nashville, Tennessee). My question to you is why? Why wine cost as much as it does. Nashville, Tennessee. I bet you're a big (Dolly Parton) fan. All right, Rochelle, let's tackle your question, it takes about 12 grapes to make a bottle of wine and table grapes are two dollars a pound. Exactly. You can't compare apples to oranges to grapes. There's multiple layers that add to the cost of wine. Let's start off with real estate. You need oceanfront property, per se, to grow a vineyard. Then you factor in the cost of wine equipment. Let's just say you want to use one (French oak barrel) that will cost you anywhere from eight hundred and fifty two thousand six hundred dollars for one barrel. And then once the wine leaves the winery, it's got to go to a distributor that adds to the markup. Then it goes to the retail store. All of those things factor into the cost of wine. But at the end of the day, when you got your feet up and you're sipping a glass, it's worth it. 98LX4waVSSSCEMbvzbAK

Aug 30

4 min 38 sec

Well, New Mexico food is sort of a blend between,Tomatoes%208%20Tomatillos%209%20Amaranth%2010%20Sweet%20potatoes (Native American food) and Mexican food is the best way I can describe it. Obviously, the red and green chili's are big, here and everyone's got their own recipe for that. So if you went to one restaurant, it's going to have different red and green in the spice level is going to be different than in the restaurant down the street. So our wine is definitely made for that sort of pairing. They're not really heavy either. So you know, some of the Napa cabs can run up 16 percent and ours are really right in between 12 and 13 percent. Just because they're lower in alcohol and because of the area, they're going to be a little bit higher in acid. So they're going to be very friendly like this. The kind of heat would go with slightly sweeter, would go great with that spicy food. So we've got actually recipes on our website. If you look under wine cider and food pairings, we'll have the hard cider, the ones that go to the hard, hard cider, the white wine, and the red wine. We've got 15. And it's working with that same chef that we use with our virtual tastings as well. So she participates in that. You're not cooking food on the property, right? We don't. But the chef that I've been talking about, she makes these makes (Merlot popsicles). So we have those in our freezer. And then we also have this crostini box. She makes these homemade crostini and then blends them in with the local feta cheese and pistachios actually look pistachios from out of the dessert and local honey. So it's a really nice pairing with one of our whites. So when they get the crostini box, they get a half glass of white wine of their choice. But then other than that, we do have snacks. I mean, we try to stay local and we get local beef jerky and chips. And, you know, just something to nosh on with your tasting, Since you have such a large variety of wine and cider selections, I know it's going to be tough, but could you narrow it down to some favorites? There are two palates that we see on a daily basis. The ones that like the sweeter of the ones like the dry ones, the most popular for the dry wines. People really like the (Montepulciano) because it's number one at the vineyard.

Aug 23

5 min 15 sec

Can you describe for me the New Mexico scenery as you drive up to the winery? So it is a gorgeous drive. I drive from (Santa Fe) and it's when I first moved out here, just like this is like a (Clint Eastwood film). It's so rustic. You know, you see the Mesa's as we're driving up. Then you get into the towards the Taos, you know, as you come into the Rio Grande Valley just north of Velarde, you really you're right next to the river. So you've got the (Rio Grande) on one side and then you have these huge mesas on the other side that are all littered with petroglyphs

Aug 16

6 min 1 sec

In this episode, we head to the largest hot air balloon festival in the world. The state has more cows than people. Seventy-five percent of the roads are unpaved. From the top of (Capulin Volcano), you can see five different states. The state has more PhDs per capita than any other. And nearly 50 wineries are located in New Mexico. Hi, this is Katherine Lautenbach, marketing director at Black Mesa Winery. (Black Mesa Winery) is in Velarde, New Mexico. So, just about 15 minutes north of Espanola. Or if you want to go from north to south? We're about forty-five minutes south of Taos, that (great ski valley) from Albuquerque. It would be a little over two hours. So if anybody wants to take the (Breaking Bad) tour, then after that, they can head north. Yeah, we do it. We close at six. But you could probably make it as long as you're efficient with that. Breaking Bad to for sure.

Aug 9

4 min 34 sec

What does it take to win (Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year)?  “The reason you become Pacific Northwest Winery is that you can't just have a one-off vintage has to be, you know, a long track record of (great wines) that have, in this case, crushed the competition, you know, year after year. And we've done that. And it's amazing for us to do that with these wines.” - Coco Umiker - Winemaker & Owner,  Clearwater Canyon Cellars (Pacific Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest) (Clearwater Canyon Cellars) Coco's Reserve, Rock n J Blend Please follow us: (Apple) (Spotify) (Google) (Stitcher)

Aug 2

5 min 26 sec

What wineries does Idaho's Winery of the Year look up to? (Walla Walla Vintners  ) (Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards) (Wine Press Northwest) Please follow us: (Apple) (Spotify) (Google) (Stitcher)

Jul 26

5 min 31 sec

Co-owner and winemaker Coco Umiker discusses what it's like not having money yet still running a successful winery.  What are the benefits of living in a trailer park for 250.00 dollars a month?  "We were just like the sandlot kids. We were good at what we did because we understood the science so well. We knew where we could cut corners and where we absolutely could not. And we made wine styles that we knew we could do well and didn't try to force (a square peg in a round hole)." - (Coco Umiker) (Clearwater Canyon Cellars) (The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast)

Jul 19

5 min 6 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We continue our conversation with Coco Umiker of Clearwater Canyon Cellars. The last episode you kind of touched on the topic of Brettanomyces. It's always hard for me to say it, let alone spell it. B, R, E, TT, A, N, O M Y C E S - I've never been good at spelling orally because it is so difficult to say. Iin the industry, a lot of times people refer to it as BRETT - B, R, E, TT, wine. In looking it up, it comes from the Greek term for British fungus. You could see when you tell people how the process works at a molecular level, you can kind of see their eyes glaze over. Oh, my gosh. Getting a chemical lesson here for you. That's where the joy is, right? Oh, my God. Yeah. I love I was thinking yesterday, actually, how just obsessed Karl. Both are with the continual learning and crafting of wine from the grape to the bottle. This has been a crazy summer and we may only have like a week to to carve off or maybe not even a full week. We might have like a weekend to carve off a somewhat of a vacation. And we're actually talking about going to a different wine area and checking it out. You would think when you make and grow wine every single day, you would want to go do something else on your vacation. But yeah, we're obsessed. And you know, that science of it to me is where the magic is. The most interesting manipulation is if you want to say that you can do in a wine as a winemaker to make different flavors, really pop to accentuate certain characteristics. Seemingly simple timing of adding oxygen timing on leaves and how you manipulate that leaves. So leaves is like all the yeast and little bits of skins and grapeseed that settle at the bottom of the barrel. You put that great must when you're done fermenting through primary fermentation, you put that grape mass in the press and you press it off and people either go to a tank or a barrel. I usually go to a barrel. You know, the press removes a majority of the skins and seeds, but not all of it. There's always little bits that get through the yeast. And a lot of times you continue fermenting in the barrel for a while through the fermentation and things like that. So when all is said and done, it settles to the bottom of the barrel in this delicious mud. It's kind of a red color usually because it takes on some of the wine color and yeast and bacteria and a little bit skins and seeds. And how you handle that leaves as a winemaker is a big deal Because we jump back for just a second in the time frame. Was there a point because you are so young and you're starting out with this ambitious goal, was there a point when you said, wow, what kind of an epiphany we can make this work? Yeah, it's funny. You know, nobody's really asked me that question before. My family's been here since 1916 and I'm the fourth generation. 1916? Yeah. OK, so we're in Idaho Century Farm. Sometimes people ask me why the farms lasted and I believe it's because we've all been long-lived. My great grandparents started it. Grandma Irene ended up having to run the farm on her own. Actually my great grandfather died, but my great grandmother Irene lived to be 93. She passed it on to my grandfather, who lived to be 96. And then he was the one that Carl and I discussed this next generation with him about like the next hundred years, Grandpa, like, what did it look like for us? And then we came to him and my mom, too. So my mom is still living and grandpa and my mom really kind of handed the baton to my my husband and I. But when we asked them if we could plant that quarter acre, you know, I think most of Lewison probably thought we were kind of crazy. I was twenty two. I was like barely legal to even...

Jul 12

6 min 34 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, GRAPE minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We head to my hometown. It's where I grew up and at 10 years of age, delivering the Lewiston Morning Tribune newspaper spent many of Saturday mornings canvassing the neighborhood looking for lawn mowing and car washing jobs so that I could head to Lewis-Clark State College play pinball all day long. I also learned to hunt and fish accumulated hundreds of miles in the Army Corps of Engineer levee system. I also began my radio career here as a senior in high school and started working full-time at KOZE FM and AM. We head to the panhandle of Idaho to the city of Lewiston. My name is Coco Umiker and I am a winemaker and co-owner of Clearwater Canyon Cellars.   Ok, Coco, you've really built Clearwater Canyon Cellars into something impressive and we'll get to that later. But where did this begin?   Well, it really started with my love of science and strangely, it stretches all the way back to when I was a little kid. But I was 11 years old. I had cancer. And that ended up, you know, I being in hospitals a lot and around medical people. And so when I took off for college, I'm much better now. I'm good. Got through it in good shape. But when I went off to college, I thought, you know what? I'm going to be a pediatric oncologist and the undergrad premed program at the University of Idaho. They encourage students to do a double major in microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. I got into it and I loved it. Wow. That's very ambitious, microbiology, OK? I could see how that could dovetail into winemaking is Louis Pasteur. You're kind of originated that and then molecular biology, seeing how the biological activity in and between cells and then biochemistry, the processes with living organisms, I could see where that would be kind of all-consuming with your time and your thoughts and your studies. But I'm guessing that's not the course that you ended up taking Partway through. I just realized that I wanted to do something more creative. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to be able to come back to my family farm in Lewiston and do something with that place. I never lived in Lewiston, I lived in Boise. I spent all my summers up in the Lewis and farm with my grandparents. And so I stayed in that degree and was just this hardcore science nerd. So University of Idaho and Washington State University are about eight miles apart in Washington State University is the leader in the northwest in terms of wine programs. And so it was very wonderful for me because I was able to actually cross some classes. And in the program over there, I was so sold. I mean, I just when I found and discovered fermentation and wine and all of that, I was like I knew that's what I wanted to do. I actually planted so my boyfriend at the time and I ended up becoming my husband he I second to last year of my undergrad. So I was two thousand three, asked my grandfather if we could plant a quarter acre of vines on the family farm down here, and he let us do it. And then in two thousand four, we started a winery in a garage. So in two thousand four, you start the winery with your boyfriend at the time, Karl, who turns out to be your husband later to start the winery, because you've got all of these angel investors lined up and you've got all this money and you think it's a great idea. Let's start a winery. Right?   We had three other partners in the beginning of Clearwater Canyon because we were young and we had no money. At that point, Karl had paid off his student loans. You got a sweet deal. He actually grew up in Arkansas and his dad was a professor at the University of Arkansas in the music department. So he got a really great education for a little...

Jul 5

5 min 21 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast; I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: we conclude our interview with Dean Andrews of Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards in Virginia. I think I would have you talk to Brooks because Brooks is actually an awesome story because he's one of the people I mentioned earlier. OK, let's bring Brooks into the conversation. Brooks, would you agree with that? Is it interesting? Interesting or long? That depends on the listener. I have definitely been here for pretty much the whole decade that we've been here. And I started in the kitchen. I then became a chef. So I worked on the code line helping prep, and worked weddings. And then I became a bartender, and then I became the senior bartender. And then I left to work with our winemaker. I came back, and then I became our vineyard manager. I operate more as our vineyard production manager now. So, Jack, of all trades, master of none, I guess. In doing all of those different jobs and things, where does education, where does college come into the mix?At the time, I wanted to add a degree, and I was going to get my degree and go back to grad school. So I went to the front of the house, and that's how I started studying chemistry, and that got me into one. So my degree was actually in psychology at the time. I was actually taking my degree and then go to grad school for, you know, potentially, you know, either like becoming a psychiatrist or a clinical counselor. But to get my brain back in school mode, I started taking chemistry. And that led to me thinking, well, fermentation science is pretty cool. I thought I was throwing around the idea of making beer, but I already worked at the winery at the time. So I was like, well, let's just see where this goes. And half a decade later, I'm running the production for an entire winery. You know, it's funny because I haven't actually gone to school for viticulture or winemaking. So if you can show it to me, you know, show me three times, you know, I'll try and get it right by their time. And especially when you're working in a vineyard, know you can read books about pruning techniques and how to deal with a vineyard. But until you actually do it, you know, it's a different story.At the time, we're recording this. Just looking at your temperatures, the highs are in the upper 70s to the mid-70s, and yet the overnight lows are dipping into the 30s. What are you doing at this time of year when you see that kind of temperature? We're still technically in what I call frost watch season. Frost can come and kill your entire crop. I've been basically on call for all of April. I consider myself on call until the end of May. So there's only really a couple of things you can do. One is just hope and pray that it doesn't get below 32 degrees. But we're looking for that freezing point, 32 degrees. And we're looking at the wind speeds because it's breezy, like about five miles per hour, six, seven, eight miles per hour. The wind isn't going to settle, and the wind is carrying water vapor. And so you also have to look at the dew point. If the dew point is getting close to the actual temperature. That means that the water droplets are going to settle, and they're going to crystallize and freeze. And that's going to necrotize your blood tissue, the blood tissue, necrotizing; then you're not going to get a flower to pollinate. So we have these wind machines that we can turn on, and they're amazing machines. And essentially, it's a helicopter blade fan that's attached to a tower, and it rotates like your normal house fan would. But in a 360-degree radius above us, there's this pocket of warm air about 100, 150 feet up. And the spinning of that fan creates a vortex that holds that warm air down and spreads

May 31

5 min 12 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: OK, in this episode, and I'm just going to give you some random questions, Dean. I can imagine having a farm and vineyard located in Virginia. It's very scenic. So what do we see when we come into the parking lot of Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards? You're looking out over the valley, OK It is up on the high side of the valley facing west, and that there are four mountain ranges. When you come out of the valley, it ends up being where the Blue Ridge Mountains are. So you got four beautiful mountain ranges sort of float in your view and the future and you think they will never be developed close in because John Grisham, the author, owns a big chunk of the ones right in front of us. And the rest of it is part of our Bondurant farm, which is a conservation easement ownership group. So it is all rural. We won't have any homes or anything built in our viewshed. And you're looking out over our six acres of vines, down across a wildflower meadow, and over to some closer woods where we've been able to go in and pull out all the invasive species. And there is a program this last year that was granted to plant native trees. So we were able to go in and replace it with some native oaks and other trees. So it's just a very pristine rural view, very calm.Well, your wife, Lynn, has an exceptional design and event expertise and founded EASTON Events, so merging those two worlds together into the creation of Capitol Hill Farm and vineyards. Was that a difficult transition? After I left, Orient-Express Lynn's business on the Easton Events side was just taking off. She had been doing events just here in Virginia but was beginning to do more nationally. And one of the points she mentioned to me was that she had a lot of clients who really wanted to come to this particularly beautiful part of rural Virginia and to host an outdoor wedding. But there really weren't enough places to do it. And that was when the lights sort of went off my mind. I thought I always sort of love the winery and the vineyard business from having been involved with it in Italy primarily, and so wanting to do it. And it provided us a means of both collaborating and working together. And without Lynn, we wouldn't have been able to get those the initial clients to come in to help underwrite the overall investment. So doing weddings and private events helps underwrite the broader picture of the wine business. So that was kind of what our collaboration was. And her office is still here with us out here. And she also has an office in Charleston, South Carolina as well. So it's been it's been a great partnership because not only are we partners in life, it's now seven grandchildren. But we also have been able to work successfully together with Lynn taking lead on some of the design side and some of the concept development side and my kind of make it happen on a day-to-day basis. We both wanted this important point. We both wanted to create a winery which had a very experiential focus if you will. And what I mean by that is we have, in addition to just doing wine tastings and focusing on just the wine as a singular aspect of it. We do cooking classes, we do horticultural gardening classes, we do some classes. Which are your traditional Sunni view of what we're doing with our wines? Of course. And then seasonally, we do each fall harvest full moon dinner where we bring our primarily our wine club members out and we take over the lawn and we are doing outdoor tables and you're able to go down and actually see some grapes being harvested and go down the garden and you pull up some of beets out of the ground and become part of the dinner. And then the chef is out there with...

May 24

5 min 3 sec

Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards - North Garden, VA Pt. 3Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast; I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery: we continue our conversation with Dean Andrews' of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. The wine industry has a five billion dollar economic impact on the state of Virginia, and Virginia ranks in the top 10 of most wineries per state. So I imagine, Dean, that you are always looking to improve and enhance the experience of when people come to visit your property. We also have been looking at what we can do when people get here. We have a garden map. So if they want to take some time to get to know the property a bit more, you can do a self-guided tour of the vineyards and understand what is planted, where you can go down the garden and see the seasonal variation is bed by bed. You can go and play with the chickens for a while and come up for your table. So it again is delivering on that full farm experience.Ok, let's suppose that I'm in the area, and I'm going to Washington, D.C., visiting the Smithsonian Institute and checking out the Struggle for Justice exhibit. And I want to visit Pépin Hill Farm and Vineyards. Tell me what happens after that. You're in Washington. You want to come down here on Sunday and have the two-hour wine experience and the food and wine experience and garden tours and all that. You can go on our website, and you can pick the date in the time size of your party. You click on it, you have a confirmed table for that time, and then we're able to communicate with you in advance to set expectations, answer any questions. And so we know that you will actually be showing up at that time. And it's great because ninety-five percent of the people are book show up. Soon after I do the two-hour wine tasting experience, I'm getting hungry, so I want to get some food. What is that step like? When you come here to the tasting room, every single dish we serve along with our wines is part of our wine pairings. We don't do the traditional thing where you come in and just do wine tasting and wine pairings. We have it set up with food, so every dish has one or maybe two wines that are specifically designed to be paired with that dish, to come to sort of like small plates, to come in with small plate cuisine experience. And we have the equivalent of a chef's table, which we call the vintner's table. You know, anywhere from eight people, up to 12 people. That can be four-course, five-course that are paired with our wines. So it really presents a real-world example of how the cuisine in the wines parallels each other. "This place inspires me to come to work every day and look at this view is magical, and being able to pick things fresh from our chef's garden gives me even more respect for my ingredients and the environment." That's a direct quote from your chef. Ian Rynecki is one of the top catering chefs in New York. In Manhattan, he and his wife planned to leave Manhattan, will come down and settle into a quieter, smaller town for the next chapter in their lives. So I have a strong culinary team. Diane has three people working for her on the viticulture side, and we have a full garden. In the last two years, we've added on chickens, and we've got our bees. So we make our own honey, we've got chickens, and we've got gardens. So really, it's a complete story. Whenever I go on vacation, and I visit someplace memorable, I love to bring back a little souvenir, a little reminder of the great time I had. And you've come upon a great idea.We put together these terrific small glass bottles for people can custom select put wines they want to taste. We give them tasting notes and a card. And because they have these files, they can actually go, and they can self-determine how...

May 17

5 min 18 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We continue our conversation with Dean Andrews' of Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards through your networking and connections. I love the story where you tell me about how you incorporated your winemaker into Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards. Well, yeah, actually, interesting points. When I took over and we bought the 21 Club in New York from the original family. And so we came in and spent money converting their former apartments in the private dining board rooms. And we revamped the whole thing and we did the whole original prohibition area. Wine cellar is part of that. I put together a marketing program for we would bring in winemakers from every region in the world where we own the property. So we brought in winemakers from South Africa. We were brought in winemakers from France, Italy, and because we owned Keswick Hall here in Charlottesville and the Virginia wine industry, and Monticello Wine trail was just getting going back then. Back then, we're probably only like three or four vineyards at all within wineries. And we were the 10th to join but before that. So I was doing bringing in winemakers into the twenty-one club to do private lunches primarily for the press and influencers. And so I came across Michael Shaps, who is our winemaker here. He was just getting his business going, making wines. He's classically trained in Bordeaux. So he was here trying to make it work in Virginia. So I hooked up with him. He is our winemaker. So we now own a portion of his custom crush business as well. As custom crush is more popular in California than it is elsewhere. But we have about a dozen clients and we are the anchor or the largest one, and we're the anchor on it. But he has other smaller private labeling and custom blending that we are doing for other members as well. So Michael Schatz's are our winemaker and he is someone that I met. Probably almost 10 years before we opened here. So Michael and I have known each other and worked together for about 20 years. Now you've got your winemaker, but your hiring is not finished there. So we started off with a viticulturist and then we were able to hire the horticulturalists. Diane was the lead horticulturist at Monticello, Jefferson's home here. So she had huge experience. We bought some railroad ties and they did about eight or ten raised beds, primarily to grow herbs for the garden.  I'm guessing here. But just looking at how organized everything is around your website and everything is done for a reason, then what's your growing and cooking is in harmony with the wine.When you come here to our tasting room, every single dish we serve along with our lines is their wine pairings. We don't do the traditional thing where you come in and just do wine tasting and wine pairings. We have it set up with food, so every dish has one or maybe two lines that are specifically designed to be paired with that dish, to come to sort of like small plates, so you come in with a small plate cuisine experience. And we have the equivalent of a chef's table, which we call the vintner's table, you know, anywhere from eight people, up to twelve people. That can be four-course, five-course that are paired with our wines. So it really presents a real-world example of how the cuisine in the wines parallels each other.Looking back at 2020, and even into this year, what have you taken out of the pandemic and modified perhaps to make the winery and the farm better?In order to both control, the people coming in from the tastings for just overall safety and sanitary cleanliness? We changed the spacing and we went to a pure reservations model. So now and it's continued, even though we're coming back out, hopefully on the other side, of...

May 10

5 min 27 sec

We visit the state of Virginia, home to our latest winery. Hi, this is Dean Andrews from Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards outside Charlottesville, Virginia. There are over two hundred fifty registered vineyards and wineries in the state of Virginia. (Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards) is located in the (Monticello American viticulture area). It's a member of the (Virginia Winery Association) in the Monticello Wine Trail. As we will learn in the upcoming episodes, Pippin Hill Farm and Vineyards has got everything your imagination could want in a farm and winery. And Dean, what inspired all of this? I was interested in building up my own small boutique hotel winery ownership and management company because, for a number of years, I was the senior operating officer of Orient-Express Hotels. I joined them in nineteen ninety-five when I sold our Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina; as part of building up Orient Express on the North American side, we owned a number of fantastic luxury businesses, including the 21 Club in New York. So the (21 Club), which has one of the largest and most renowned wine cellars in the U.S., was also a good experience for me to learn. And I was able to get the import license to bring the Capannelle wines into the U.S. So I think I sort of understood the winery business from a very pragmatic, entrepreneurial. How do you build up a winery? So it's not about going in and planting grapes and then kind of figuring out what happens down the road. So it is a much more strategic investment. And after having left the Orient Express, my wife, Lynn, and I, we're settled here in Charlottesville, and we're taking a look at what we can do together as a partnership on the business side. Lynn has (Eastern events), which is one of the premier destinations, wedding planning, and design. I'm proud of her. She's been named by publications like (Vogue) and (Harper's Bazaar), and (Town and Country )Weddings is one of the top planners and designers for her industry literally in the world. So we put our heads together, and we looked at what she's probably 20 different properties and kept coming back to this one particular location. And then we brought in viticulture, listen, to determine what the soil was like and the wells and everything. And that's how we decided to go ahead and build up and launch Pippin Hill. So after doing your due diligence, seeing that the area and the soil can sustain a winery, how did you decide what type of winery you would create? Because not only have you got to financial responsibility, but this part of Virginia has got a huge history of deep, rich American history. And you want to do all of that proud. We set out to build a very different business model for the winery. We wanted it to be a culinary winery, which had a really strong connection to our immediate grounds. So when we put together the initial business plan on it, we hired a viticulturist, obviously, to help us get the vines in and sort out the soil conditions in the varietals. And we expanded the starting from six acres to where we now have 40 acres. So it's growing a lot when we start the first year, only doing fifteen hundred, eighteen hundred cases, and we're up to about ten, twelve thousand cases now. So it was very much a planned growth. And we also have taken a look at how do you keep a business fresh every year? In part two of our interview with Dean Andrews' of Phippen Hill Farm and Vineyards, Dean will answer that very question. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM. If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe; until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

May 5

4 min 51 sec

Grape experimentation, paint night its part of our concluding conversation with Patrick Zimmerer of Table Mountain Winery in Huntley, Wyoming.

Apr 13

5 min 54 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure and wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We continue our conversation with Patrick, owner of Table Mountain Vineyard in Wyoming. I think, Patrick, you offer a flair that not many wineries in the entire world can't offer, you've got other crops that you're working on simultaneously while producing wine? Well, we still do the traditional farming as well to try and keep the farm going. The winery has turned into 10 acres. Could really be a full time job. And we do it as good as we can. But, yeah, we do need you know, when they tell you to diversify in any industry, they don't. So you need 10 or 20 more people to handle that extra little extra hats that you wear. So on top of that, you've been hosting we have the winery. You know, we're grateful and we've kind of become a community hub. We hosted wedding showers and baby showers and weddings and the classes on the weekend. So we really do have four or five different very active parts of the winery all in play. But they do come out to make a be successful venture that the thing itself and allows us to stay on the farm and keep enjoying what we enjoy. How much has the vineyard grown since you first started? In terms of the vineyard. When we started in 04, we probably had about five acres total of grapes. We kind of keep planting every year. We never did everything on one big block. We started our very first year with three hundred minding our own wine and then progressively planted one two acres every year. So right now in 2021, we're about ten acres, which we we do about a thousand vines per acre. Our capacity in terms of the winery ebbs and flows based on the weather. We'll have a bumper crop and then the next year will have a very, very small harvest. So our our capacity, we're pretty variable, three to six thousand gallons in terms of wine, which we measure in gallons, which tells you how small we are. But again, we're just a pretty small mom and pop and son shop. And we do harvest anywhere in terms of grapes. We do have some other growers who grow for it. We go anywhere from 15 to 30 times a grapes a year. Obviously, last year, 20, 20 was a change for all of us. But how have you adapted to the new retail climate? Yeah, I'd say most people really hit the ground running with online sales and where we self distribute, we really slowed our retailing or our wholesale down just because we needed to. Our retail sales just here at the tasting probably made up 60 percent this year, which is about 40 percent wholesale. In other years we've been flipflop that way, 60 40 the other way. So we do have an Internet presence. We don't ship as much as we probably or more to that avenue as much as you do. We kind of just stick more to our base and through the tasting room and then through retail stores that we do have. How many different kinds of varieties of grapes are you growing? We have about 14 different varieties that we're growing up grapes and a few of them weather related, soil related, don't always show up at the same time. So we have a few that we'll get a harvest off of maybe every two to three years. We have some other growers who kind of ebb and flow the same way. So at any given time, we can have about 10 to 11, 11 different wines. Right now we're at a pretty constant seven with the variety that we have that continually produce your labels. Looks like you have a lot of fun. Did you do the labels on all of your wine? We do. It's kind of a collective family and friends effort. But we will you know, we're modeling here in the vineyard. We we try and come up with names and and different labels. And a lot of the labels are inspired or this artwork of pictures we take around the farm and then again, some retro kind of...

Apr 10

5 min 30 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is in part two of our conversation with Table Mountain Winery in Huntley, Wyoming. Patrick explains what a lawyer is doing running a winery. Focused on agricultural law, natural resource law in Wyoming. We're pretty arid, so water laws a very important aspect to anybody in agriculture in Wyoming. Just once the entire west, just water rights protecting what we have. And I mean, that's the basic one. We have a lot of endangered species in Wyoming that producers have to work around and the ins and outs of trying to keep agriculture going and the regulations that come out of the industry that producers have to face and how to deal with those. Yeah, you are facing some different obstacles. I see where there are twenty four species in Wyoming that are endangered, including the black footed ferrets, the Canadian lynx, yellow billed cuckoo, some very familiar with what I see early on in the farm before wine became a crop, you had sugar beets, beans, alfalfa, corn. Throughout the decades, our farm is always in a diversified farm and we kind of change with the way the industry goes. And in the 2000s, the sugar beet industry was leaving our county and leaving our area. It wasn't you have to be pretty big scale this thing. And so, again, my thesis was just looking at ways to take small acreages, keep them in agriculture and maybe be able to do something different with them. And, you know, growing grapes is the most value added ag products you can get from, you know, from berried bottle and from the ground up. You're in control the grapes. And if you choose to go the winery route, it truly is a 100 percent value added ag product, which was something that our state was a little behind on. And we had some microbreweries, but we just didn't have an industry that really focused on that at the time. So you've got this plan put together and then what happened in 2004 kind of threw you curve. All these grapes on the ground. I think by 2004 we had five or six acres producing. We found a winery in a nearby town, Cheyenne, Wyoming, and they were producing wines with grapes from Colorado. And they said, we'll buy anything you grow. But we weren't too worried about the winery part because we had a market. And that spring when we were going to start to kind of have our first harvest, we called them and checked in on them and they said, oh, we're closing, we're disbanding of the company and we're no longer going to be a winery. So our kick start with our business plan that we had created really went into play immediately in the 10000 that we won, disappeared very quickly by the time we had our old farmhouse that we converted quickly and changed a few things around and were able to have a makeshift winery, probably home brewers had a better set up than we did when we first became a winery. But we we were able to get it done and and we had no idea of what would happen with harvest. We started kind of home winemaking on the side, but we we sure learned a lot just by the grapes coming in and having to figure out how to go from there, Having the experience of being a farmer with the sugar beets and alfalfa and the corn, etc. I'm sure that helped a little bit. But there had to be a learning curve in growing grapes. Grapes are very drought tolerant, if you will. I mean, we planted our grapes in the midst of one of the worst droughts that we ever had. We kind of joke for about three or four years. They haven't seen much water at all. We went to a few workshops and they said, you have to make the vines struggle. You can't over water, then hibernate in the winter. And this was all based on the Eastern Nebraska University, Nebraska. And we went to a few...

Apr 6

5 min 18 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure and wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is. In this episode, we head to the state that is the 10th largest state in the area, it's the least populated, it's home to Old Faithful. In Yellowstone, almost half the state is owned by the federal government through national forests grasslands. An Air Force base, Rocky IV was filmed here, Ivan Drago not on the frozen landscape of Russia, but the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming. Hello, this is Patrick Zimmerer of Table Mountain Vineyards and Winery in Wyoming. Owner, winemaker, and we are Table Mountain Vineyards and winery. We're actually growing grapes and making 100 percent Wyoming wines. So before Table Mountain Winery, there was the family farm. And what year was that established? In 1926. So kind of the establishment of our family farm, which is still in our family today, my great grandfather homestead in World War One veteran and I came to this area from Nebraska to Homestead and make a farm, Keeping your farm going as a full-time business. So I mentioned it to starting the winery was probably inspired by you. I was a senior at the University of Wyoming. My major was AG Economics. We had to do a thesis project. I came home one winter. There was a meeting. We live right next to Nebraska from the University of Nebraska about growing grapes and the possibility of starting a new industry, the wild area basically throughout my thesis paper, and thought it was interesting enough to write a whole paper on it. And after that was said and done, my dad said, you did all this work. We've got a few acres here and there with plant grapes, and that's really how we got into it. No plan was kind of a vision of trying to grow something outside of the realm of normal agriculture in Wyoming and being able to keep the same amount of land and start a new venture off of this. So this is two thousand one. We've already landed a man on the moon, and yet wine and grapes hadn't been grown in Wyoming, in Nebraska, in the area before that successfully. They had not been not successful. I mean, there were a lot of homesteaders and immigrants throughout the generations that brought grapes with them. There's some history to find that there would be some Italians here and there who would just bring truckloads of wine or grapes in from California or wherever. But nobody was actually trying to essentially do a vineyard. But at the time, there weren't any spots truly in Wyoming climate-wise that the traditional vinifera would grow there. So it took 20 years in the making from the University of Minnesota and other great leaders in the Midwest that we're able to develop these cold, hardy hybrids that can survive our very, very cold winters. Yeah, I would say Wyoming is extreme weather climate is drier and windier in comparison to most of the United States with greater temperature extremes. The average high temperature during November, December, and January is a robust thirty-four degrees. In part two of our interview with Patrick of Table Mountain Winery in Wyoming, we'll find out how getting a law degree helps in the winemaking business. What's going to happen at this time? Boys and girls for our listener voicemail. Hi, this is Devin from San Antonio. I was wondering if you could grow grapes in any climate. What's the coldest climate the grapes grow in? And do all fifty states produce grapes within reason? Yes, you can grow grapes. In any climate, many European international grape varieties could survive temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, Minnesota's most popular cold climate hybrid varieties have been studied to survive temperatures as low as minus thirty-five. Wind production is undertaken in all 50 states. In fact,...

Mar 30

4 min 58 sec

Welcome. to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We finish our interview with Wollersheim Winery. Phillip, you're just not a winery, are you? I started the Distilling Side in 2010, and then my son and Celine's husband, Tom Leonard is the distiller is managing that side of the business. I do all the tasting with them. We have about maybe twelve hundred barrels of aging right now of bourbon, brandy, rye, apple. And I love tasting, so I'm always involved in the tasting. I can't run it all. My son is running the bistro. So Roman went to. So you did UW Madison in Food Science and then you went to France and he did. Bocuse Culinary School is one of the greatest culinary school of the world. So Roman studied at that school. And so now we can do we have not we're not calling it a restaurant. We have a bistro. So we're not opening in the evening for supper and fancy stuff like that. A sandwich, that bread. It looks fancy looking at the website and the menu. It looks Fancy. Yeah, it is fancy without the price tag. I'd like to find out where the passion lies. And I think asking what you're most proud of. We'll answer that. Proud of showcasing Wisconsin that it is not all Bordeaux and California, that we are a profitable and valuable, vibrant, beautiful business, that we are supporting 40 families. Yeah, we have 35 Full-Time Employee, 50 Part-Time. And we spread the wealth. You know, we have four weeks of paid vacation after ten years plus one week of sick days. We've done it a little bit the French way. So that's the pride of showcasing Wisconsin. And yes, it can be done successfully. You said at the winery, small was small and it's had gone through some changes and things. But looking at the website, it looks massive. How big is the property? It used to be small. I mean, the winery we used to make whining about where the eight foot ceiling and that bone is no longer there. So in nineteen ninety three we built a fermentation room and then we expanded our scenes just to give you a quick scale. And I will answer your question on the property. We we were doing eight thousand gallons in 1984. We doing two hundred sixty thousand gallons today. Wow. From the barn to just 260000 gallons now.So the property itself is about eighty acres and is 20 acres of vineyard on this property. And then we lease another 10 acres miles down the road. Yeah. Because you've got you've got three businesses kind of all packaged on to the property, you've got the winery, the distillery and then the bistro. Yeah. And it's looking, you know, just looking at the website, it's it's you know, very Wisconsin built a tough room for the elements. It's beautiful. Yeah, exactly. And, you know, it's interesting because, you know, in 1993 when we did our first expansion, we rented a car because we we didn't to have a car that could take us all the way around Lake Michigan. We rented a car and we drove all the way around Lake Michigan and we stopped at many wineries. Schottel, Grand Traverse, Leelanau Peninsula, all the way down to San Julian. And it for us, it was pointless to go to California to visit winery because we're dealing with two feet of snow and inches of ice and it's winter from December 1st to March 1st. So, yeah, it has to we have to think of where do we put the snow? Where do. You know, the truck insulation, so the pipes don't freeze and also everything is inside. Everything is insulated. So from the outside, you don't realize how big it is inside with. We have 40 tanks that are fifty eight hundred gallons, you know. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest calling this episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by I his if you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time or the one...

Mar 27

5 min 45 sec

Welcome, to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is as we continue our conversation with Philippe Coquard of (Wollersheim Winery in Wisconsin). But looking at your website, I see you've got a wine called Domaine Reserve. If we're going by just price. This is the most expensive wine you have. However, there's a reason for that. Explain that to me a little bit. (Domain Reserve) is made out of 100 percent Marshall for a French American hybrid. The vines are 48 years old. It is on our steeper slope. It's picked last. It's made as traditionally as it gets. It is age wine, you and Custom-made Barrel of Wisconsin, oak and French oak. We were the first winery in the nation to request 50 50, exactly the same number of Stav of French Oak and Wisconsin Oak. We've been doing that for 25 years. And that wine is you can put down that wine next to a cow going call a coolness. It's it has its own. Talulah It is one field. Nobody else in the world is making a wine like this Domain Reserve. And that to me is is the pride and the difference. It doesn't have to be Cab from Bordeaux or from California. It's we can do it here as well. Well, being the owner and the winemaker and having your experience that you've got, you can basically do everything at the entire winery. However, what is your favorite part? Oh, man. Oh, I love to. Well, I'm going to do I'm going to make myself a teacher someday. All I want to do is grow grapes. I want to do is make wine because you know, the business side of it. You know, the air travel side to finance or. Yeah, it's all part of business. But man, I'd rather be next to a barrel and taste a wine out of the barrel with my daughter. One of my passion is to pass the same passion to my daughter, (Céline) who will be the next winemaker after me. My she is thirty three. Thirty two, thirty three years old. She is our war in enologist and she is in my footsteps tasting wine with me. So I love tasting wine. I love to be in the vineyard. I am a grape farmer winemaker. So she got a little higher degree than you. I see she's a master of wine science from Cornell. Absolutely. And I so welcome it. I got everybody. She is a lot smarter than me so she can run the lab. She talks sexy like you though? No, I'm the only one stuck with a French accent. Gotcha. OK, OK. I'd like to ask this question. What is it that you would consider a big obstacle that you had to overcome to be successful? Being in Wisconsin, being in Wisconsin? Because you have to you always have to defend and prove the point. And just a quick story. And you I'm sure you will love that my father in law and I used to go to tasting (Milwaukee) and (Chicago) and so on trade show, and we would say, oh, would you like to taste a Wisconsin white, people would literally pull the glass out of the way and oh, no, no, it's all sweet. It's all fruit wine. I'm not interested. I knew the wine was the future of the winery. I knew that wine was the winner and one of the best wine around. And so you get hurt, you get slapped in the face. And then so we totally changed our approach. And for about five years, we never even said Wisconsin wine or would you like to taste this wine? Wow, it's so good. We're good friends. Then slowly we were able to educate the people that they are all the regions that can make wine, not only (France) and (Italy) and (California), and that as being an obstacle that

Mar 17

6 min 8 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure and wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: In Part One of our conversation with Philippe of Wollersheim Winery. We learned the winery had been purchased in 1972 and had been struggling until Philippe and his father-in-law came upon an idea. In 1988, I created a wine called Prairie Fume, which is made of Seyval Blanc, custom-grown in New York, a French American hybrid from New York State. We used to grow Sebald here in Wisconsin, but we made a different style of wine with it. So we bought grapes from New York State and came up with a totally different wine, a Pinot Grigio style 30 years ahead of the fashionable Pinot Grigio. We stopped fermentation. That was the first time we did that way back in 87, 88. So natural sweetness, no sugar, light, crisp, 10 percent of alcohol, high acid. And the first year we released that wine, it got four gold medals and it hit the news. When you first tasted it, did you know that? Hey, I've got something here. Yeah. And, you know, it's interesting because it was intentionally made. It wasn't like, oh, man, by accident. That tastes great. And that the intention was, you know, and I can I can picture myself in 1988 right next to the tank. And my goal was to capture the aromatics of fermentation in a bottle. So was OK, how do I do that? How can I freeze that fragrance? Because put up to this point your whole background and your whole family had let it do its thing and complete the fermentation process. But you want to stop it? Exactly. Absolutely. Yeah, I'm used to you know, I'm used to a dry red Beaujolais, fresh, fruity, light, but bold and dry. And here talking this white Seyval Blanc, it was I mean, it was perfume. It was aromatic. It was citrus. It was orange. It was it was so awesome. And so I wanted to capture that. That was my ultimate goal. So with crushin with cold temperature, knocking the yeast out and sulfite killing the yeast, then it was a stable white wine, a German style, let's call it that way, without the thickness of a German white. This one was more Italian Pinot Grigio, crisp, like fresh, fruity and it just it was a big hit. So when you were at that moment when you were tasting it, was there anybody else around or did you just run off and say, you've got to taste this, you got to check it out? My father-in-Law. I mean, we were working closely together. We developed that concept together. But, you know, I mean, just it was I knew it was, you know, deep down we had that secret excitement. It's one competition, a gold medal, second competition, another gold medal. And we never had we never had a successful wine like this ever. You know, I mean, the word got around in Michigan, the word go around in Illinois. The word got around in New York State. The Dallas Morning News wrote a nice article about it because we had gotten a gold medal in California as we as awarded a lot of gold medal to that line. So it it created its own own little interest. And and now this wine is 40,0000 bottles and we run out of it every year. Wow. And your wife probably looked at you and said, finally, I've got something I can market! Exactly. And I said, you know, it's an interesting development in life because without that wine, we really wondered if we were going to go bankrupt. You know, it was, you know, financially, it could not really support two families and and kids. And we were just wondering. And then suddenly I was just like a breath of fresh air. I just like, wow. Oh, that's the story gave me goosebumps. It's Prairie Fume. If you me and what are you doing Philippe? It's only ten dollars a bottle. I don't know. And, you know, it's funny because I was just running yesterday, we had a meeting with an apple orchard. They were...

Mar 13

6 min 5 sec

Welcome, to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is in this episode. We head to the state where the first ever ice cream sundae was served in 1881. It's home to my favorite architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Nearly all of the ginseng grown in the United States and about 10 percent of the world's supply comes from this state. At one time, Steve Miller called the state home. My name is Philippe Coquard. I'm the owner with my wife, Judy, the winemaker and the president of Watershed Winery Inc. And I've been in America for 38 years. And you still have the accent there heavily. And I don't even hear the Wisconsin accent. No, not quite. But you know what? All the ladies tell me it's super sexy. So you still listen to the ladies? Oh, yeah. We're in France. You originate from. So I grew up in Beaujolais. I am a third generation winemaker, both side of my family. I mean, growing grapes and making wine and somewhere around sixteen hundred. Well, that's a pretty good backgrounds. That's solid. Yeah, it's, it's in my blood. Sometimes I joke around that I have more wine than blood running through my veins, so. And that would make sense. Says that wine growing region into France. Beaujolais has over 4000 vineyards growing up in Beaujolais. Both of my uncles had wineries. My grandfather worked with them. My father was a vineyard consultant his entire life, so I was in the vineyard since I can remember going to the winery, tasting wine, putting bottle on the bottling line when I was eight years old, picking weeds, picking brush, picking grapes, driving the tractor with my uncles. I took a liking to that. I went to school for wine making, wine marketing, Bachelor of Science from Mackle Winemaking School in South Burgundy and then a fresh out of school. My childhood dream was to come to America, so I applied to many different ways and I ended up coming with A Future Farmers of America in 1984, and my father in law picked up my name on the list of intern wanting to come to the US and that's how I ended up in Wisconsin. So then that gets you to America. And then that was eighty four. So the winery had already been established? Yes, the winery was, let's call it a small place. We were doing eight thousand gallons. Thirty seven thousand bottles. Some were, some was good, some was okay. Financially difficult, struggling lack of cash flow. In the meantime as a good Frenchman I fell in love with the owners daughter. Got to Judy. My wife was still in college in marketing and business at UW Madison, and then she joined the family business. We were raising a couple of kids, so it was financially it was very difficult. Ok, so in 1972, your in-laws bought the winery. Tell me a little bit about that, Bob and Jillian Wollersheim, both native of Wisconsin. My father in law was an electrical engineer. He put himself through college electrical motor rewinding. My mother and I worked at different banks while my father in law was studying and ended up teaching electrical engineering at UW Madison. I ended up to work for the Science Center tire of the high tech world. He was an avid home winemaker, backyard grape grower, knew of this historic winery and got interested in purchasing the place. And he put a business plan together. Talk to the local bank with whom we still bank bought the property in 1972. The property had been a winery since 1866, closed down after Prohibition became a Wisconsin farm and then nineteen seventy two. My in-laws Bob the place restarted everything from scratch without a dime in their pocket. In part two of our interview with Philippe, owner and winemaker of Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. We learned of a very important discovery in 1988. I created a wine called...

Mar 9

5 min 28 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly.  From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is Ok, Alex. Let's get down to it at Fullarton Wines. Which wine is your most popular? So our Three Otters label is what we make the most of and three quarters Pinot Noir, which is a blend of vineyards from throughout the Willamette Valley. Again, that's our most popular wine. I guess if you look at production and that is something special about us too, is we don't make all the wines the same. We like to optimize each vineyard and we do a lot of different production techniques. We like to experiment. Sometimes the experiments work out and then we move that direction. Sometimes we don't like it as much and move away from that direction. And Three Otters really gets a huge diversity of different things while still maintaining what it is to be a lot of our work, which is a little bit lighter, easy, approachable, but still with lots of flavor, some space and the earthiness and then red tones sometimes leading into a little bit of darkness, but generally a redder aspect to the fruit profile. And that really is what we're going for obviously now. Ok, that's a little different name for wine, even by Oregon standards. So explain that to origin for me. Three Otters that does come from our family crest portion is my last name of Scottish origin, not Scandinavian. And on the old 13th century Scottish family crest for Fullerton and our three little otter heads. So our Three Otters label is named in honor of our family. Your other line is Five Faces. So Five Faces is an acronym for my family. There's five of us and our initial spell F.A.C.E.S. That's my big little brother and was six foot 10. Filip So it's spelled with an F the Scandinavian spelling. And then I'm Alex. My little sister Caroline luckily spelled non Scandinavian, otherwise we would be the F.A.K.E.S. And then Eric and Suzanne, my parents. Are your parents still active in the winery? Yes, we so we started in 2012 and they are the hardest working, hard working people that I know there. Without them, we do not have a thriving wine company. My goal is to give them more free time. As we close out our conversation. Alex, tell me about your tasting rooms and then looking at your website, I see you've been quite active with virtual tasting rooms. Our tasting rooms are all outdoors right now. So we we actually bought gazebos and we are allowed to have three of the parking spots outside of our tasting room, which I should clarify is in downtown Portland. So we're an urban tasting room setting. We do have a little dressing room set up in the winery in Corvallis. If you come to is there, it'll be me or one of my two assistants in the winery.The winery is in Corvallis and that's our old tasting room. That's where I am right now, our our vineyard and our world headquarters. So we've been doing a lot of virtual tastings, which we have. Two main options now is curate yourself, but two options for tastings that will send it out to people and then they can join on as you can go. You have actually quite a lot of success with those people are interactive. I even enjoy hosting them. Well, we're using Google. It's actually let's make sure that we get all of your contact information on the Web and phone numbers. So If you want to reach out, you can email me at or And if you want a call you can call 503.544.1378 Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest calling. This episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by I guess if you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time for the line and ponder your next adventure.

Feb 16

5 min 1 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We continue our conversation with Alex Fullerton of Fullerton Wines in Oregon. What life changing decision happened in 2011? In 2011, we decided to make a garage wine. So unknowingly we were kind of joining a small movement, made a little bit of wine in my dad's one of my dad's best friend's garages/ crawlspaces. My dad and I were kind of gung ho on starting to produce a little bit of wine. So we convinced my mom to start a little wine company in 2011, started producing about 250 cases in 2011, and within a few years, we're producing 5000 cases a year now. Wow, that was a nice start, making wine in a garage/crawl space. And then what happened? The next year, 2012, we started in a co-op winery in Portland where several different winemakers all ran a little sliver of space in this winery. And since then, we've we moved to one winery for one harvest. And after that, we've been sharing an old defunct winery space with another producer. So it's two of us under one roof in a much more harmonized facility with a lot of bells and whistles. Now, the Willamette Valley in Oregon is not just home to 70 percent of the population. So if you picture it, it runs north and south in Oregon and it's 150 miles long, obviously, because of location, the climate is cooler than California. And how does that affect you? Yeah, the growing season is quite a bit shorter. And then I guess I should just say the growing degree days are a lot shorter as well. And that's a measure of accumulation of heat units that the plant can use to grow. The types of grapes that we can consistently ripen in the Willamette Valley are quite different from Napa Valley. We do have quite a diversity of temperatures within the valley, different temperatures and different places as we have for for example, it's really hot here and it's too hot for the really warm sites to express themselves in their best possible way. Then maybe some of our cooler sites will be really, really nice. And then in the cooler years, it can be nice to have some warmer sides to ripen earlier. So you're not putting all your eggs in one basket and having having too cooler year for one vineyard. So that's actually one reason why we really love working with a wide variety of vineyards throughout the Valley. Well, is it true I was reading somewhere that the Willamette Valley is home to some of the best and most expensive Pinot Noir in the world? Yeah, we do. I mean, there are producers now that are that are selling $300 hundred dollar bottles of Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, which is definitely a statement, I will say, about just the climate in the Willamette Valley. It's beautiful for growing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and those many places, many pockets of California that I love and super interesting Canadian Pinot Noir. And I'm very biased when I say this, but my favorite Pinot Noir growing region in North America is the Willamette Valley. Well, I guess this next question would be kind of twofold at Fullarton Wines. How do you feel your wine is unique and what do you believe to be unique about the Willamette Valley? really Well, we always have told people and what you what you can come to our tasting room and experience is the whole Willamette Valley, not just one place within the Willamette Valley, which is very fun to do, tasting one vineyard at one place. We love working with a wide variety of vineyards and then working to showcase what we like about that vineyard will hopefully taste a huge variety within our wines, even though for the most part it's a lot of pinot noir. There are some other varietals growing within the small geographic distance of each other. There's a huge diversity in...

Feb 11

5 min 12 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past hour at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast, we look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike.Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is, oh, you've heard the expression, and the grass is always greener. Well, the grass is always greener in Willamette Valley. It grows more turf and forage grasses than anywhere else in the world. Eric Asimov of The New York Times calls Willamette Valley the country's most exciting wine area. It's a favored destination for whitewater rafting and home to; this is Alex Fullerton of Fullerton wine. I am the co-owner and winemaker. All right, Alex, give us a little history on how Fullerton wine came about. So my dad, his best friend, inherited his grandpa's wine cellar. So he grew up driving down to Burgundy and Bordeaux with old bottles and but mainly his best friend, my godfather, ended up starting a wine importation company in Denmark. I was born in Denmark. My mom is Swedish. My dad was born in California to an American dad and a Danish mom. Long story; my dad kind of got me into wine. So when I was graduating high school, he ended up taking me on a trip to Burgundy Champagne and Cognac. And we picked up one of my best friends from Denmark, him and his dad. We picked them up at the airport drive to Burgundy. I just fell in love with how different the wines were. And all lot of story short, I stood too close to this guy. He had the contagious wine bug. And I caught that since he's a big fan of wine, he kind of shocked me with some more affordable stuff throughout college. So I'm kind of started home brewing, had a little bit of a bootlegging operation going. My roommates and I got into fermentation that way. I was graduating with an Econ degree, was tasting at Penner-Ash and got a job in the wine industry, and just fell in love with everything about the industry.Ok, since you are the winemaker at Fullerton Wines, let's get your degree background. I originally got an economics degree from the University of Oregon.But then I ended up getting a job at Penner-Ash, fell in love with the industry, worked in New Zealand for a bit, worked at Bergström Wines, then ended up deciding to go back to school at Oregon State with a bitter rival. So I'm a rare platypus, which is a beaver and a duck. Then I'm going back to school for viticulture and technology, which is grape growing and winemaking. You've got a huge selection of wines at Fullarton Wines, but which one is your most popular? So are three. Five FACES Pinot Noir, Lux Chardonnay, and The three Otter's Pinot Noir, are a blend of vineyards from throughout the Winery Valley. And that's our most popular wine. I guess if you look at production and that is something special about us too, is we don't make all the wines the same. So we like to optimize each vineyard, and we do a lot of different production techniques with experiments. Sometimes the experiments work out, and then we move in that direction. Sometimes we don't like it as much to move away from that direction. The wines get a huge diversity of different things while still maintaining what it is to be a well, even if you are, which is a little bit lighter, easy, approachable, but still with lots of flavors, some spice, and earthiness, and then red tones sometimes leading into a little bit of darkness, but generally a redder aspect to the fruit profile. And that is what we're going for.Alright, Boys and girls, it’s our listener voicemail, Hi Forrest, this is Brad from North Carolina; my buddies and I are sitting around drinking a couple of boxes of wine. I don't know what the hell kind of unit you're running here. I just want to know why is wine stored on its side? That's a good question, Brad. No, it's not because the wine is tired. For the wine to last, the cork has got to stay moist. So putting it on its side keeps the cork moist. All...

Feb 9

5 min 2 sec

Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is as we conclude our interview with Ken Schultz of Hidden Legend Winery. We learn where that personality first started that would eventually make award winning Mead.I set out to see things in life a very, very early age. I blame my fifth grade teacher introducing us to National Geographic and I just could not stand it. I was like just fidgeting until I got out of high school and took off. I started as a merchant marine on the Great Lakes and then TWA started offering cheap tickets to Europe back in 69, 70, whenever that was. And I got one. And when I got there, I tore up the return trip and I was just gone four years. I'm not sure how many crowned heads I visited, but I got thirty three countries under my belt. Reading on your website, it says that you were across from Pioneer Log Homes in the Sheafman Plaza in Victor Montana. Tell me about your location. Well, it's a little tiny strip plaza. There's like five businesses in it on the corner. We're actually five miles south. We're right on the border between Victor and Hamilton, but we're five miles south of Main Street, Victor itself, pretty much in the middle of nowhere.  So you're not getting a lot of foot traffic. Well, being in a small plaza and having a beverage like a wine like beverage, it's not something that people come in and have three or four glasses of. I keep threatening to put in one of those banks of drawers that the Japanese used for their executive power naps. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So that, you know, after three or four glasses of Mead, I can just put you in there and set the timer. We don't have a lot of tasting room traffic. What we do have is wide distribution and Internet sales. We ship to thirty seven states in this pandemic world. It doubled it literally, literally from the middle of March on. If you would look at our warehouse room, our inventory, you would think all kind of Winery insists there's nothing. I'm making it. I'm not making it quite as fast as it's going out the door right now. We have a term for that. We call it full COVID. No, we don't have time to do much other than just try and keep up with the bottling and packaging. And we've recently been out of our two top sellers and just got those back online. And we've got other flavors that we're trying to get back online. We're I think we're down about four flavors right now. Seriously, that four o'clock glass of wine became more than just kicking back. Tell me about your Mead award winners. Well, we most of them have won top awards at one time or another since ninety since the 90s. And we've got some bottles on the top shelf of a display cabinet that pretty much you can't even see the bottles anymore. They're so laden with artwork. We pick on like the Finger Lakes in New York, Tasters Guild in Michigan, The Indie international at Purdue. Out here in Washington, we have the Tri Cities Wine Society and of course, the Mazer Cup International Mead Competition in Broomfield, Colorado. Every year we try and spread it out and get a good overview from reputable judges. It basically keeps me on track. And except for this year, there are usually a dozen shows that I like to go to, anything from Art shows to Highland Games to Renaissance festivals to Pirate festivals. And of course, I don't get to see much of the festivals I'm staying or serving Mead for eight hours a day. But it's fun to dress like a pirate and see everybody happy with my product. All right, Ken, thank you very much. And as we close out, go ahead and give us your Web address on how we can reach out to you. Well, we do have a Facebook presence. I was in Ireland and I was talking to a barman outside of Dublin...

Jan 8

5 min 21 sec

In a winery grapes come ripe in the fall. Of course, there's things to do all year, but that's called the crush. They harvest the grapes, they crush them, they press them, they get them in the tanks and they ferment. And then they sit in the tanks for a while. Then they look to finishing the wines and the whites come first and they're usually in the bottle before Christmas. And then the reds sit all winter and they're in the bottle by June. They really only make wine once a year. And that's during the fall. I make wine continuously. I buy honey twelve to thirty thousand pounds at a time and I am continually if I get an empty, empty tank, I fill the tank. That can be a couple of times a month. And so I don't have to once a year look up how I did it last year. What kind of honey are you dealing with in Montana? Oh yeah. We have basically two types here in Montana. We have a wildflower honey in western Montana, I should say, up and down the western side of the Great Divide. We have five valleys and there's probably five major producers up, say, a half a million pounds a year. Most of it is wildflower, which used to be before the state declared war on it. Most of it was spotted in. And then there's a fair amount of clover, honey, and we use both. And we have two very distinct styles of meat that we make from each. And the clover honey here is entirely different. I grew up on Clover Honey in Ohio and I thought it was a trap. I hear it's very exciting. The national blenders just take everything they can get their hands on. It poured into a big battle. Honey bears. Oh no, that's hard work. Yeah, that's very easy. You don't hear much out of beekeepers because they're always working. We've all had honey crystalize in the cupboard and then with Montana winters I imagine you get honey in all different varieties of stages and things. How do you deal with that? Montana is second in the nation in honey production. When we get it in the drums, it's rock solid, it is barely filtered. There's bee parts floating around in there and in raw honey in that sugar is very quickly so you can knock on it. It's like knocking on wood. So the first thing I have to do is put a strap a heater on the drum and raise it. And I do it over a four or five day period very slowly to about 100 degrees. Let it melt. Now, I really try to be careful with the natural properties of the honey. I want it to come through in the in the mid, whatever those properties may be, magical or medicinal. And both played a big part in historical meat make Out of the whole process. What is your favorite part? I'm going up to the mountain cabin and kicking back in front of the fireplace and having a horn of mead with friends.You say a horn of not Just a horn that fits into advanced meed enthusiasts. Yeah, we import horns from England Cups, mugs and natural horns, just like in the Thirteenth Warrior or Robin Hood or Game of Thrones. Yeah, two of my three sons are principals in the company and a sort of a half son, young fellow that we took in at an early age and raised along with our boys, so and my wife. So there's five of us principally. We say you have to be related to work here or somebody else. And it's time, boys and girls for our listener voicemail. Hi. I was wondering, did anyone besides the Vikings first make mead? At the risk of upsetting a Viking? I would have to say yes, only because Mead is the oldest known alcoholic beverage in world history. However, I would say that the Vikings did enjoy meed the most. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by I his. If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time or the wine and ponder your next adventure.

Dec 2020

4 min 37 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is so basically I opened the Hidden Legend Winery for at Harvard Business School would call the worst possible reason to open a business, and that's because the neighbors thought it was a good idea. In this episode, we head to the state that has the largest migratory bird in the nation, the only state with a triple divide allowing water to flow into the Pacific, Atlantic and Hudson Bay. We head to Victor, Montana. I'm Ken Shultz and I am the founder and winemaker at Hidden Legend Winery in Victor, Montana. Ok, Ken, let's go back to the beginning. Where did this spark come from? Well, when we were kids, I had an uncle that was a research chemist and a serious hobby winemaker, friends with the head of the technology department at Purdue and various vineyard owners.  And things of that nature in his basement had all the right glassware. It was like Frankenstein's laboratory. So I guess that was the spark. Oh, yeah, that was early. You know, under 13, I turned 21. I was going to school in Lausanne, Switzerland. I worked overseas for a number of years and I came back. I got married when I was twenty three and the very first time I owned a closet I made. Me personally, I've lived all over Montana and I just love the big sky.  But how about, you know, I was still in Ohio when I got married and we came out here, we got married in seventy five, came out to Montana, saw it, fell in love with the place in seventy six and finally moved here in seventy nine. Well my wife is Norwegian and she thought it looked like Norway and because I had worked there I thought it looked like northern Pakistan but no monkeys or water buffalo. There's something captivating about the Bitterroot Mountains. You can look off in the distance and see a whole train. Well, you know, at some point when hiking and fishing and vistas and all of you know, the alluring things of Montana kind of settle down to a little bit. I thought I'd make some wine and evidently I hadn't thought it through very well because there's no grapes. However, I had read The Hobbit and I knew what meat was. And so I came across a bucket of honey that somebody was just disposing of and I thought I'd make mead. I mentioned it to my peers in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and they were like, oh, my God, can no, don't make me. It's horrible. It's thick. Vikings drank it. You'll give winemakers a bad name. I thought, well, you snob's, I'll show you that I can make a mead every bit as complex as your wines. And so I made mead in the mid eighties. Let me just put it this way. I have a driveway that's a half a mile long, three switchbacks up a mountainside. And the guy that used to keep it clear for me in the wintertime would do it twice for a for a bottle. Ok, let's rewind just a little bit without getting technical, but getting technical just to fill everybody in and be especially neat is often referred to as honey wine, but that's not really accurate. You make the wine with honey water and yeast rather than fruit. So technically meat is kind of in its own category of an alcoholic beverage. Well, the word mead goes way back to the Sanskrit and the word Megu is honey in Sanskrit. And it's where the English word Medo comes from, which doesn't mean field of flowers. It means we're nectars gathered. And so Mead is actually a shortened meadow. Well, I imagine that the chemical process is very similar. You're dealing with sugars, but just different kinds of sugars. So are there some nuances to the whole process? The process is very similar, although we do have to create an environment for the yeast in honey because there's nothing in it but sugar and a grape contains just the right amount of nutrients and trace...

Oct 2020

4 min 58 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is we conclude our interview with Stephen Cipes, proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia. As we've learned in past episodes from Stephen, it's all about making wine to its purest form, and that includes serving local and organic food in their restaurants. And what exactly does local and organic mean, and why is that so important? It's the largest impact on global warming is the food production for the eight billion of us. This business of 30-mile-long, that's a death in the oceans. And the sprays that come over on the jet streams from Asia to North America and the amount of carbon footprint to move all these, you know, thousands of tons of food everywhere. It's got to stop. It's ruining the earth at an astounding rate. If we go back to local and organic, we're going to have a much bigger difference in our breathing the air and keeping the planet alive. One of the biggest things that impacted us is the tractor. By going up and down in the fields, all the topsoil disappeared, and now we have to put chemicals to top topsoil and these pesticides. Already, according to The New York Times, 90 percent of the insects on the planet are gone, including the bees and the butterflies. And these are our pollinators. You know, I can understand why people don't realize that every time they buy something that's not organic, they are contributing to pesticides that are killing our insect. And if we don't have our insects, we are in big trouble in our conversation. Stephen, I could tell that you're very progressive in that you're continually moving forward and trying to perfect whatever process you're in the middle of. But in the upcoming years, what kind of goals do you have? I would say my goal is to get other wineries to convert to organic and other food producers to convert to organic. And I've started a declaration which has a website, organic, Okanogan dot com, organic Okanogan dot com. And you can sign the declaration online. And it's even if you're from California or Brazil or wherever you're from. It shows that you know, we are anxious to be a model and make a model of being organic. So that would be my wish is that our properties with some real property are a model to the world of man and nature and the beautiful wines we produce and also then, you know, the healthy wines that we make. I see the correlation in France, the amount of cancer in children of people living near vineyards there, and their population is so much higher than ours. And I have the link on our website. It's pathetic to see all these children with their hair shaved off, and you see the coffins going down into the earth. Children, you know. For what? For chemical wine. It's ridiculous. I can't believe that one child's life, to me, is worth all the wine in the world. The world is the way it is. And I'm sure I can't change it all in one and one day. But I'm going to try. Well, that's good, because you're trying makes me try. And then collectively, we start to make an impact on this whole thing, start to improve the planet for everybody. All right. As we close it out, let's get all of your contact information, Stephen, and you can contact me, Steve. I'm the proprietor at 250. 764.8000 ext 199 or ext. 11. Our websites are, ( also have ( and ( That's the precious one that I'm working on with my Book, All One Era, which you can get on Twelve dollars and 21 cents. Wonderful. Bless your heart. Thank you for all you do. Thank you very well. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest...

Sep 2020

4 min 33 sec

 Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past. We look for adventures at wineries around the world. After all, grape minds think alike.  Our featured winery is we continue our conversation with Stephen Cipes, proprietor of Summerhill Pyramid Winery in British Columbia, Canada. Well, we started out of our little garage making wine in 1990, 91, and we introduced the same Strutt in December 91 to right in the beginning in 92 in New York City to great reviews there, as I mentioned. So official opening is 92, but we've been making wine since the late 80s. You know, we came here in 1986, my family and I from New York for 30 years now. We've just dedicated to the amazing growing conditions here and the lovely people here. I have to say that British Columbia is a treat to be here. Such a lovely, honest, and wonderful people all around us at all times. Our crew, our employees like family. It's beautiful. A lot of people join Summerhill because they want to. I even get comments like Steve we'd work here for if you didn't pay us. We love this place. There are so few things in this world that give us energy. Most things take energy. Yeah. So that's wonderful. Something we learned in a previous episode was that Steven built a pyramid on the property to incorporate that pyramid into the winemaking process. What I think it is, is sacred geometry is related to the electrical nature of life itself. And it brings out I would say it's not it does not make any liquid worse or better. It clarifies it. So if you put a wine in there, for instance, that has flaws in it, it will bring out the flaws and make wine like cooking wine. You can't drink it. And if it has good qualities, it'll bring out good qualities—the same with milk or orange juice or any other liquid. And we've proven that time and time again in the last over 30 years now. And it's very conclusive, and we're very thrilled with the experiments and plan to go on bigger and better and more experiments to prove the value of sacred geometry on liquids. The size of our pyramid would be the exact size of the capstone on the Great Pyramid. Ironically, we didn't plan it that way, but it just happened to come out to be exactly what the size of the capstone on the pyramid would have been—sixty feet square and four stories high.   Well, You are one of the most visited wineries in Canada. I imagine that you've got quite a few employees every year. We have about 170 employees in the season, and that drops down to about half of that in the shoulder seasons. But of course, with COVID, we're running way below that because most of the weddings have been canceled, not allowed to have more than 50 people and they have to be six feet apart. And the Chinese tourists that we get every day, busloads of tourists from China are not coming. We're not getting any tourists from the United States. Even our own in Canada are coming much less frequently. So we're way down in and visits this year because of COVID. And yet, interestingly, our sales have gone up incredibly because the Internet sales, the wonderful online sales have been fantastic. I think we had a fifteen hundred percent increase over the same months last year. So, yeah, people want to buy our wine. That's organic; it's the pyramid, this gold medal-winning, whatever. And they love the wine, so they don't come to see us anymore, whether it's ordering online and we deliver. And a portion of those employees that you just mentioned are working at the website. Your restaurant is just a wonderful restaurant.  Very proud of that. We have a 200 seat organic restaurant and catering. We usually do over 100 weddings a year. So we do a lot of food. We at one time were called by the suppliers, the biggest outlet in all of Kelowna, which is huge. That means all the hotels and all of the big restaurants and everything. We were the biggest one, Summerhill, because we do a lot of volume and...

Aug 2020

5 min 38 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is; we continue our conversation with (Stephen Cipes), proprietor of (Summerhill Pyramid Winery).  I'm not asking for the secret sauce here. What do you feel attributes to all of the awards that you get for your winemaking? Yes, it's a combination of things that we do. First of all, and most importantly, the grapes are grown organically and (biodynamic). And they are processed in a certified organic cellar as well. What does that mean by everything? What does that mean by biodynamic is a term we can use if you get a (Demeter certification) out of Germany, which is the highest way to get organic certification like it's the biggest test. And everything is done by (Rudolf Steiner), who is the founder of Demeter and Biodynamics, really. And he specifies when you can plant by the moon and when you harvest, and you put in making a tea from the right and grapes from last year. Everything is composted, compost, tea, there's a lot of the things that you need to do and be done with your plant is really at the end of the day, it's about nature and communication with man. It's a wonderful man and nature quencher. I call it. Going through those two processes sounds very complex in themselves, let alone having to do two of those. And yet you decided to add another element to try to raise wine to its highest form. And we took it to another process as well. And we built a sacred geometry chamber to put the wines in for the marriage period from dosaging to going on to the shelf. So when you make sparkling wine, as most people do know, you make a base wine like any other wine, and then you put that base one in a bottle that has a stick and can handle the pressure, and you add yeast and sugar and represent it in that bottle again, and it lays on the dead yeast cells. You sell the leaves for 18 months to 15 years. And each year, depending on what kind of grapes you have it made out of, produces more of the subtle flavors and nuances that you get out of fine sparkling wine. And then you wake up the bottle by riddling it and getting the dead yeast cells out of it. And then you dosage it with a sweet little reserve because the yeast has eaten all of the sugar. So its own dry and most people can handle it that way. And then the dosage period is what we call the marriage period. And in Europe, in Germany and Spain and France, many places where they make sparkling wine, they put the bottles in a sacred geometry chamber, which in those areas is almost always a Roman arch cellar. n Spain has, I think, 30 miles of Roman cellars to house their bottles after they've been discharged. And we built a precision pyramid after the Great Pyramid in Egypt to several trips that I was privileged to make with Egyptologists, then John Anthony West. So we did a precision pyramid, and we put all our wines now into that pyramid, which makes them again with a tiny winery, we're only 30,000 cases a year, and yet we win a huge amount of awards every year with our people. Love the flavors at the organic wine, and the pyramid adds a dimension to it as well. Well, listening to the details that you put into every single process of what you do, I can only imagine the painstaking details you went in to recreate the pyramid. We made it out of poured concrete, which has fiberglass rebar because we didn't want to use any ferrous metals and reorient the building back to the magnetic north. It's oriented to True North just as the Great Pyramid is. So we...

Aug 2020

5 min 21 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike, let's start the adventure. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is; in today's episode. We head to the land of hockey, maple syrup, brutally cold winters. Butter Tarts, Duncker Roos, of course. Drake, Tim Hortons. Canada's most visited and largest organic winery, Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Stephen Cipes with a PH and the proprietor and founder of Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna, British Columbia. Ok, enough of the kidding around. Let's get down to the wonderful story of Summerhill Pyramid Winery. Stephen, your accomplishments would fill a New York City phone book. But let's start back at the beginning. Where did all of this being in connection with the Earth of the land and begin?  It goes back to my childhood. I love growing things and being in the soil and being outdoors and climbing trees a little. As a little boy, I've always been an outdoor kid and I, you know, got involved in real estate developing in a way that would save the wetlands and the and the steep slopes and very involved in early in the 60s, 60s hippie, if you will, out there protesting the way people built things. I was one of the founders of why environmental rules are so strict today, why they can't just fill in wetlands and stuff like that was my original push in New York, which was a big suburb of Manhattan. Feel like I am part of the Earth, and I wanted to get closer and brought my little family of four little boys and my wife Wendy at the time. And we came up here and bought a little vineyard, and Kelowna had to take out almost all of the vines. There were grapevines that weren't really good for making wine. They were for table grapes and for hybrid grapes and things like that. And I went to France, bought some clones there that were making the finest sparkling wine in the world because I got an inspiration here that we had the ideal climate to make sparkling wine very exciting. You know, sparkling wine is made all over the world. But it's most famous, of course, in Champagne. Sparkling wine is the same thing as Champagne. It's just. Yeah, if it's not from Champagne, it can't be called Champagne. That's correct. Especially if you make it in the traditional way, which is to use the three grapes that you must use in Champagne in order for it to be called Champagne, which is Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, in any given amount, you can even have a two percent Monet doesn't matter as long as you have all three here. We don't call it Champagne because we're not allowed to in a strictly enforce that. But we actually won the most prestigious award in the world in France, the best sparkling wine in the world. They couldn't believe it from a little place in an unknown wine region like Kelowna, British Columbia. Who would have thunk it? Those are the vines that you when you went to France. Yes. One of the biggest reasons is that if you have intensely flavored grapes, they will hold their flavor through the second fermentation in the bottle. And we here in the Okanagan have a very dry climate. It's called a semi-desert. And this low rainfall as we growers keep the irrigation down off really, and we get these intensely flavored grapes that make the best wine that will hold the flavor through the second fermentation in the bottle. And that's just been winning awards all over the world. In fact, when we first introduced our Sipes brewed in New York, where I'm from, I got rave reviews in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal. And oh gosh, it was a hit, and it was all sold out here at home because we got such great notoriety in New York. And the awards just keep coming. I understand your home to the most awarded wine in Canada. Yes, we also have an abundance of Riesling, and the reasoning here is...

Aug 2020

5 min 29 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We wrap up our conversation with Bob Wickizer of (Pecan Creek Winery, Muskogee, Oklahoma.) OK, Bob, let's get down to the nitty-gritty. How many labels do you have? We actually have (20 labels). There are dry and sweet labels. And there are there's only two that are not from grapes or products that we get locally. We started. Everybody in the world wants cabernet sauvignon. Cab is hard to get, and frankly, it's hard to grow here. We do grow some, and we have a limited production right now. We did win bronze at (San Francisco Chronicle) for a couple of years ago. So I start getting nice source grapes from,_California (Lodi) originally and now from (Washington State). We make one line called (Purple Martin). That's grapes that are not local, but it's a pretty darn good wine. And we also buy some mead from a Missouri mediary, and we add about five percent of one of our white wines to it to give it a little more acid and balance it up. And those are the only two at either end of the spectrum that we don't source and make entirely locally. So hypothetically, Bob, if a vineyard from California ever said you couldn't compete with what we produce here in California, what would you say? I still do say that any idiot can make good wine from West Coast fruit. But if you want a real challenge, you want to come out here, try it. The UC Davis field book for all the pests and bugs and viruses and bacteria and molds that affect wine is about 30 pages long. And the Oklahoma State University field book is about 200 pages. We have more things to worry about here than a grape grower in California would ever even dream about in their worst nightmares. And then we have the weather. Of course, you know, it was our meteorological data of last freezes, supposedly April 15th tax date. But April twenty-sixth this year, we had twenty-five degrees for four hours. And our (Vitis vinifera) plants especially, we're pushing out shoots about two, three, four inches long and they just turned brown and fell off. It was like, oh my gosh. But, you know, you never worry about a freeze, especially. And after your butt out started pushing out chutes, that's unheard of in most grape-growing regions. So, you know, we have that, and we have ridiculously humid hot summers. So the difference between the day and nighttime temperature, it can be 30 or 40 degrees in California, nighttime. Sometimes it doesn't cool off below 80 degrees. It's hard for the vines to rest metabolically. That's one of the reasons why our sugar levels are not as high as they get in California, but our acid levels tend to be very good. I personally do not like high alcohol wines, anyway. I prefer 12 to 13, maybe 13, four percent above. Thankfully, we can't grow alcohol here, so we take what we can get. We're having fun, and we're kind of the contrarian's. My partner, Dr. Wilkinson, and our vineyard manager Gary Ketchum is just fabulous at managing the vineyard. And finally, Bob, because you take such great pride in your winery, you encourage people to test their local wineries, don't you? You know, if you believe in it and local business, then, you know, don't buy exclusive cheapo wine at the big, big-box and grocery stores come out to your local winery and enjoy something truly local. Ours is grown here. It's made here. It's as local as it gets. It cost a little more. But on the other hand, we tend...

Aug 2020

5 min 32 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is, we continue our conversation with Bob Wickizer owner-operator of Pecan Creek Winery in Muskogee, Oklahoma. How do we get to your place? Well, first of all, you come down, I think one of the bumpiest roads on the planet, outside of the roads in the rainforest in Costa Rica. Once you've managed to traverse three or four miles of you, first see the vineyard on my partner's ranch. And a lot of people want to turn in there. But there are signs that say wineries another mile. We have about two or three hundred grapevines, cab, and Tempranillo around the winery. But the big vineyards down the road, the winery is in a 5000 square foot converted garage. I proudly tell the story of the origin of the word and the wine industry, Garagistes, it's a French or Italian word literally means someone who works in a garage like a mechanic. Then the big wineries picked it up to disparage the up and coming young winemakers who were, you know, they couldn't afford the Chateau and Napa or wherever. So they get a car garage, start making wine in it. So the Garagistes was originally a derogatory term. And lo and behold, over the last 10 or 20 years, people are paying attention. These small, artisanal wineries are making some pretty darn good stuff. And it might be worth visiting the small guys next time you go to Paso Robles and then then the giant places. And we're one of those. So we're proudly one of the Garagistes. We make wine in a car garage. Gosh, it was six bays or a couple of brothers and a big body shop in the back. And so they kept their high-end race cars, and they actually had a John Deere antique tractor collection as well in the garage where a winery is. So you'll see it, a nondescript metal building with a red door for the tasting room. And eventually, we're going to get our name on the building. But there's a sign out front on the road. But that's where we are for now. I mean, if we're in a wildly successful days, we could move over to the farm next to the vineyard. And we've got some really cool space over there that would be great to expand into. But we just have to run the business conservatively and make it all work. So when you started the winery, were you at all hesitant about whether it would work in your climates and your soil? They say if it grows peaches, it'll grow grapes. And where our vineyard is part of a former six hundred acre ranch. Our consultant came out there that first day, and we said, well, meet us in the peach farm.  And he said, oh, you won't even need it to get soil samples. If you had peach trees here. You're good to go. We took soil samples anyway, but you'll see that like the Palisades in California, I think there are some vineyards in South Africa like that where you'll see vineyards and peach orchards next to each other. So there's something about that. I guess the conditions are comparable, were favorable for both. We have a great site for a vineyard, and we grow about 30 percent of our production is hybrids. It's time, boys and girls for our listener voicemail. Hi, this is Judy from North Carolina. How do you choose the right wine glass? Me personally, I don't even use a glass. I just drink straight from the bottle. But if you're going to be sophisticated, you want a wide glass for reds, narrow for whites, tall, narrow flute style for sparkling. Thank you for your question, Judy. I'll get your free T-shirt out to you as soon as possible. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best 5 Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHSYM. If you like the show, tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure. Please subscribe from your...

Aug 2020

4 min 39 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike, let's start the adventure—our featured winery in this episode. We head to Oklahoma City, where the average commute time is 17 minutes. Not bad considering mine is an hour and a half. The average household size is two. Median family income forty-seven thousand. Yes. Carrie Underwood was born here talking about Muskogee, Oklahoma, also home to: I'm Bob Wickizer. I am the winemaker and co-owner of (Pecan Creek Winery) in Muskogee, Oklahoma. Glad to be here. How did you get to this point where you started Pecan Winery? Well, wasn't that the Grateful Dead? Who's saying about what a long, strange trip it's been? My resumé and in brief ranges from being a physicist and medical imaging and starting and selling to companies, software companies, and Silicon Valley to firms. And that's where I learned winemaking and wine appreciation wine pairing that; after a number of years and three years of commuting to Asia for a semiconductor project, I went to seminary in Cambridge, Mass. Became an ordained Episcopal priest, was up and down the East Coast in Washington, D.C., at the National Cathedral for a year. And then I got tired of that and wanted to be under the radar. So I've been in Muskogee, Oklahoma, for about ten years. I would get frozen grapes and make wine as kind of a hobby. And a member of the community says, gosh, you got to do something with that. Well, we partnered up, and he's the farmer. I'm the winemaker with that background. Bob, I imagine that you get pretty adventurous sometimes in winemaking. I have made a little bit of wine from concentrates just to see what it's like in general. We do not use concentrate except in two parts of the production process. And by the way, those are completely legal in France and California. One is chaptalization, when in fermentation, and we may use the grape concentrate to boost our sugar level up one or two bricks just to get a desired final alcohol concentration. And we may also use grape concentrate in the final sweetening back sweetening of the wine to produce a sweeter wine outside of that. No, there's no concentrate in this process at all. In the wine business, your job can be varied. Is there such a thing as a typical day for you? I wouldn't know. Typical if it hit me between the eyes. But a lot of times, I'm still the rector of an Episcopal church. Now we have virtual services and all that stuff besides writing and producing services. Every week I have three or four other articles I write online. And we're the only Episcopal Church in Muskogee. But I'm right church stuff for three or four hours, between four-thirty each, starting about four, 30, or five in the morning. And then myself, crew, I'll get something to eat some coffee myself. Our crew gets in about 9:00 every Monday. They have one or two pages of a detailed list of what to do. And I go over every day for about 45 minutes or just to clarify and answer questions and occasionally do calculations. I get an aside, being a physicist, I'm astonished at the lack of math skills in the general population. So I'm doing all the dosing calculations and transfer calculations and filtering determination's stuff like that. So any problems need to get resolved. I may do them in the morning, or I'll go back to church or stay home, one of those three, and then the winemaking duties. Besides that, it also amounts to managing sales, managing finance, purchasing department. I thought the other day; I counted up 17 hats I wear. So it's a good thing, too, because I don't have any hair all its time—boys and Girls for our listener voicemail. Hi, this is Alex from Muskogee, Oklahoma. I'm interested in knowing how different great and different grow...

Jul 2020

5 min 32 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. We finished our last episode with Angela from Prairie Berry Winery talking about their wine club and it's one of the biggest wine clubs in the United States. How big is it? So we have one of the largest wine clubs in the country. We have about 5000 wine club members from across the United States. We ship our wines four times a year to our members and then they enjoy other benefits, such as events and discounts and shipping perks and our wine clubs called Gen five. So it's a play on Generation five, which, as I mentioned before, is the fifth generation winemaker. I've never seen anything like it. When our guests come in this summer and they try our wines, most often they live outside of the region. They want to continue that relationship with us in the Black Hills. And then you go to the wine club information and you can enroll right online or you can call any of our wine club concierge and I can walk you through the enrollment process. But it's pretty simple. You just tell us what kind of wine you want to get. We do a mix, so that would be a dry and sweet wine. Or you can choose all the sweet. And then we include a beautiful newsletter that includes recipes and information about wine and some fun stories and tidbits from the company. I must say, I'm very impressed to look at the statistics of visitorship to Mount Rushmore and the visitors that you get at Prairie Berry Winery. They're very close. So pretty much everybody who goes to the park is also stopping by to see what you have to offer. Right. Yeah, You can't have one without the other. Right. The marketing campaign for this summer is actually South Dakota, home of red ass rhubarb and Mount Rushmore, where you take the lead on our campaign this summer. So your winery is just not about Red Ass Rhubarb wine. It's not just to fruit wines. You have a very large variety. Most people are eager and excited. They've seen our billboards. They've seen, you know, our social media. And so they have an idea of what to expect. But I think lots of people are pleasantly surprised when they try. You know, a wine, native rhubarb, or a wine native blackcurrants. We have a pumpkin wine. So I think the eye-opening experience for some who will maybe never experienced a fruit wine. We do also make great lines. You know, your traditional European style cabernet is in and things of that nature. So we have something for everybody. We are definitely proud of the fruit wines we make. And I like to surprise people who maybe have a preconceived notion of what a fruit, fruit wine is like. You know, based on either their family tradition or other wine experiences they might have had. Our Anna Pesa line is made kind of as a nod to that heritage from Eastern Europe. So those are going to be a more traditional style wine. You know, your drier reds and whites and some common grapes that you might recognize, such as Marleau, for example. But some other more Eastern European grapes that maybe people aren't always quite familiar with, like blouse franc issues is a great dry red wine that we make for the and a line. It's just a delight. Okay. As we conclude part three of our adventure to Prarie Berry Winery in Hill City, South Dakota. Let's get all your contact info. Our Web site is And our phone number is 605.574.3898. And you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter if you follow Prairie Berry. Will, somebody answer that phone? Its time, boys, and girls for our listener voicemail. Hi, this is Janet from New Mexico. I am not much of a wine drinker, but some of my friends are. So what would be a good way to start with? Thank you for your question, Janet. Surely can't be serious. I have no idea your taste...

Jul 2020

4 min 48 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Our featured winery is, we continue our conversation with Angela of (Prairie Berry Winery in Hill City, South Dakota). So we’ve won over a thousand international awards for our wine. When I tell people that sometimes, you know, they look at our labels are very whimsical and attractive, people enjoy the artwork on our labels. Right. And so when I tell them about the awards that we won, for example, for our flagship wine (Red Ass Rhubarb), they’ll say, oh, it’s the name, but wine competitions are blind. So the judges don’t know what they’re tasting, speaks for itself. Okay. I would be remiss if I don’t ask about your most awarded wine and how you came about the name. Ralph, our winemaker’s dad was helping Sandy out of the winery one day with wine back then that we called it, Razzy Rhubarb wine. So the story goes that his face turned red. He felt like an ass for messing up the wine. And so the wine became red as rhubarb and then we added a donkey to the label. And it’s our most famous line now, our most award-winning wine. It’s a fine wine. It’s 90 percent rhubarb and 10 percent raspberry. It’s quite lovely. So (Hill City), where the winery is located, I see where the population is just under a thousand people. So doesn’t necessarily reflect on how many visitors you get your winery per year.  Doesn’t know our hill city communities are great and they support us very much. But being in the Black Hills of South Dakota, not too far from Mount Rushmore, it’s a very popular tourist destination. So our door count, the number of people and guests we welcome into our winery each year is generally around one hundred and fifty thousand people that come and visit us. We’re happy to welcome them when they’re out visiting Mt. Rushmore, touring Deadwood, and looking at the Web sites. Your complex just looks huge. So I imagine the two you’ve got guests when they come that they’re just not staying for wine tasting. They’re doing a multitude of things. We have not only very, very winery, but right next door. In 2013, we opened a miner brewing company. So a craft brewery, Sandy void, our winemakers, actually our brewmaster as well. She’s a woman of many talents. We also have an event center on-site where we host parties and weddings, reunions, things of that nature. And then we have a concert at normal times. Every summer we’d be hosting outdoor concerts. We have a basketball court, long games. So we really encourage our guests to join us for more than a wine tasting and spend an afternoon having lunch with us or enjoying some live music, having a pint of beer so you can really make a day of it. And I love it to the tune. Kind of a holistic approach at the winery because it’s just not about wine. You’re also helping with the community, with the farmer’s market. We do. We hosted a farmer’s market every Tuesday morning. It is a community’s farmer’s market and we just welcome them to our station and help promote it. And so that’s great for the community. The locals, as well as the tourists, have fresh produce once a week and in our area. Yeah. Yeah. Local farmers. Local growers. Yeah. You can pick up fresh meat at a farmer’s market in South Dakota. Nothing wrong with a big scoop of Midwestern charm. You sound very proud to work at Prairie Brewery. Have you been there long? Yeah, it’s been really amazing to see. I started as a tasting room associate. Just doing wine tastings in the summer is kind of a part-time job. And my husband and I first landed in the Black Hills and have been able to grow with the company myself and watch the company grow. And we’re all very, like I said,...

Jul 2020

4 min 44 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We venture to Hill City, South Dakota. The oldest existing city in Pennington County. A 15-minute mule ride from (Mount Rushmore). And about 70 miles from,_South_Dakota (Belle Fourche, South Dakota), which is the geographic center of the United States. Hi, this is Angela from (Prairie Berry Winery). I am the director of sales and marketing. Hello, Angela. I’ve heard of a (Rocky Mountain oyster), but what is a prairie berry? It came from our winemaker, Sandy Vojta as a family heritage, actually in the late eighteen hundreds, her family, who came making wine in (Europe), emigrated to the plains of South Dakota when they got here. There wasn’t much to make wine from. Obviously no grapes, things of that nature. So her great great grandmother. Her name was Anna Pesä. She started picking berries and (chokecherries) and (buffalo berries), anything that she could find on the prairie of South Dakota. And she would refer to them as prairie berries. That story has been passed down for five generations and the winemaking tradition. And so when Sandy and her father and husband decided to start this business, it was easy to decide on the name. Prairie Berry Winery. And Anna Pesä comes here from Europe. What time frame in American history are we talking about? 1876. That was about the time in South Dakota with Deadwood was coming up in Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. And they happened to immigrate to the northern north-central plains of South Dakota, near Mobridge. Today’s what some Mobridge, South Dakota, not far from there. So 1876, Was she doing this for commercial reasons or just doing it because of what they did in her heritage to do it for themselves? Certainly, it was the tradition the women in the family would make the wine, course in the cold plains of South Dakota. That’s probably something they wanted to do to continue. Her husband would go down to the banks of the Missouri River and cut down oak trees, actually, and make her wine barrels so that she could continue producing wine just for the family. So your winemakers Sandy is a fifth-generation winemaker and she picked it up from her father, Ralph. Tell me about that. So he was making wine in his basement in,_South_Dakota (Mobridge, South Dakota), long before the winery started. And she was a young girl learning, learning the ways. And it just became a passion for her and her and her husband, Matt, and Ralph. Her dad decided in the late 1990s it was time to make it real and start an wine actual business with it. We just celebrated our 20th anniversary as a winery. Last year, 1999 was our first vintage and so to speak, of wine. Now, 20 years later, we are one of the most award-winning wineries in the region. So we’ve won over a thousand international awards for our wine. That concludes part one of our interview with Angela from Prairie Brewery Winery. In our next episode, we’ll learn about how a mistake can accidentally turn into an award-winning product. Will, somebody answer that phone? Well, it’s time Boys and Girls for our listener voicemail. Hi, my name is Sarah and I’m calling from Coon Rapids, Minnesota. I am interested in wineries in the United States. And I am curious how many female-owned wineries are there? There’s a lot of different variables that go into that question. What is ownership, 51 percent or 50...

Jun 2020

4 min 33 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. We are speaking with Todd White, founder, and CEO of (Dry Farm Wines). So having strict guidelines for your wine, how did you come up with the wineries? How did you select them? Because you just can’t go to Google and find these wineries and in the (natural wine business). There are very specific subsections of the wine industry. It’s tiny, very, very small. And so everybody basically knows everyone else. There are (natural wine fairs), about 50 of them. There are three in the United States, but there is about 50 across Europe. And so we attend all of these (natural wine fairs). We’re not right now, but historically we have. Now, today, we’re the largest buyer and seller of natural wines in the world by multiple of probably 25 X, maybe more than that. So we’re internationally known, you know, as a buyer. Now, in the beginning, when I started the company, there were probably about 40 natural wine importers in the (United States), meaning that all they sell are natural wine. Like in (San Francisco). There are two natural wine bars I’m sorry, three now. They’re just activists. Right. Like, you just wouldn’t have a non-natural wine in there. It’s just not it’s a it’s a revolution. There are three, arguably only (three natural wine retailers in San Francisco). Right. And they’re very small stores. So in the beginning, you know, I started reaching out to natural wine importers. I discovered this importer in Paris and American his name’s (Josh Adler), who used to live in San Francisco and he moved to Paris and he started a national wine importing company into the United States. And he was the first one that discovered he owns a company called (Paris Wine Company). We’re probably his largest customer today, I would imagine. But we do a lot of business with them. But in the beginning, I contacted him to learn about sort of the natural wine world. I began to uncover and discover people and get referred to other importers who specialize in natural wines. Now, today, we’re the largest importer of natural wines in the world. So we still work with about 80 importers today. But we also import directly our own wines. And we do that. We have normally this time of year, we would have four to six people on the ground spread across (Europe) right now, buying wines that normally we would spend the first six months of the year in Europe buying wines. So you’ve got the sourcing figured out. So now comes the part on what to present to the customer, right? Well, we don’t sell wine by the bottle. We do custom curation for people. So. So every single box that our member gets is different and has different wines. And oh, no, we have wines that are requested. We also do customer fulfillment and specialize in fulfillment. And if somebody loves the bottle, they’ll, you know, write to us and want to potentially buy more or something similar to it. You know, Pinot Noir is probably our number one requested grape. But the interesting thing about us is because we deal with these small family farms and ancestral grape varietals around the world. Americans generally know the top eight with (Chardonnay),...

Jun 2020

5 min 26 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. We go on a different journey. We don’t drop into a specific winery. We are speaking with Todd White, founder, and CEO of (Dry Farm Wines). There are 76 additives approved by the (FDA) for use in winemaking. Four of them are quite (toxic). The most toxic is (Dimethyl dicarbonate) marketed under the brand name (Velcorin). And it’s used to treat (Brettanomyces), which is the most common bacterial fault and why it’s highly toxic. If you go to Dimethyl dicarbonate on Wikipedia, you’ll see how toxic it is. Okay, I did look it up on (Wikipedia) Dimethyl dicarbonate. It is classified as toxic. The first warning is harmful if swallowed. It’s also toxic by inhalation. It causes burns. Well, that’s not really something that you want to be ingesting, especially if you’re going to be drinking it over a lifetime. Now, the public doesn’t know about these additives some and in fairness some are natural. Many are not. The wine industry spends millions of dollars a year and lobby money to keep content labeling and nutritional information off of wine labels. So you don’t have any idea how much sugar is in the wine you’re drinking. To people who care about their health sugar is a very important thing they want to know about. So our job is education. The wine sells itself. Now, that brings up the question. because of these strict guidelines. Why don’t you carry any domestic wines? The reason being is that there are not really any U.S. wines that meet our criteria. And so you talk about U.S. wines. There are a number of difficult criteria for them to meet. And they’re in the order of dry farming. So almost all domestic vineyards are irrigated. Number two, alcohol. We don’t accept any alcohol over twelve and a half percent. And that’s lab tested by us. Alcohol stated on a wine bottle is not required by law to be accurate. So we did lab testing for alcohol. So there are virtually no U.S. wines made that are twelve and a half percent or lower in alcohol. Virtually none. And then the third most prevalent reason that a U.S. wine wouldn’t qualify for our program is cost. So all of our wines sell for exactly the same amount. They’re $22.00 a bottle. There are no U.S. wines that meet our criteria of organic or biodynamic dry farming and alcohol that cost anywhere close to $22.00. The primary driver on a domestic wine price is going to be the cost of the land. All of U. S. vineyard costs are just so much higher than the capital cost of land in Europe and places like (Beaujolais), where anywhere across Europe where most of these small family farms that produce natural wines that we buy wine from, most of them are multigenerational landowners, that they don’t have any capital costs. We’re constantly being told to hydrate, drink more water. That philosophy does not transfer to grapevines. There are a lot of reasons not to irrigate a grapevine. And in most of Europe, it’s against the law to irrigate grapevines. Europeans have been making wine for over 3000 years. Now what we know, the moment you irrigate a great vine, you fundamentally change the physiology of how the fruit ripens. It also makes for a lazy vine and the fruit is actually less healthy. So the (polyphenols), (flavonoids), native (flavonoids), and other...

May 2020

5 min 34 sec

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. We go on a different journey. We don’t drop into a specific winery. We are speaking with Todd White, founder, and CEO of (Dry Farm Wines). Yes. The only health-focused natural wine club in the world. We’ll get into the intricacies a little bit later. But first, let’s get where the inspiration came from. Well, (Dry Farm Wines) was not intended to be a business in the beginning. So I do remember a specific inspiration that was a specific wine like a Pinot Noir from (Mosel, Germany), that I was drinking at (Zuni Cafe in San Francisco). That led me to the exceptionally inspired by natural wines. So I wasn’t thinking of (Dry Farm Wines) as a business at that time. I was just had discovered quite by accident the remarkable taste and texture of (natural wines). And as a result, that kind of started me down the path of investigating natural wines and at a deeper level, which eventually led to the business. Okay. Before your mind gets too far down the road of traditional wine thinking. The first thought from Todd is we think of ourselves as a health food company, not as a wine club. This is a health food company first. So the second point is less than one-tenth of one percent of wines in the world are naturally grown and produced. Why do you let your mind marinate around those two thoughts? Todd continues to educate us on the philosophy of the company. Well, I mean, nobody. We created the category of healthy wines and sort of branded, as we think of ourselves as a health food company, not as a wine club. So we just happened to sell wine, have healthy food. So no one had really captured lab testing and quantifying wine around health quantifications. So we were the first to do it. Really were the only one to do it even today. As a result, when we started educating people on what’s really in commercial wines, not just (organic wines). So organic is a farming method. You can have organic wines, but they’re not natural. Natural wine is a very specific protocol and category. And it’s very rare. Less than one-tenth of one percent of wines in the world are naturally grown and produced. So natural wine is a very specific category that has a very clear and specific understanding around the world for people who are in the natural wine business. We just happen to be in the right place at the right time in trying to solve a problem from ourselves. I wanted to drink healthier, lower alcohol wines that were sugar-free and met other criteria that were of interest to me. It turns out that the same concept was of interest to a lot of other wine drinkers. And so it’s always been my feeling that regular wine drinkers, meaning that people who drink daily as I do, people who drink wine every evening, most of them think they probably drink too much. Right. And so offering them a lower alcohol alternative that’s also natural and sugar-free, which is of interest to our customers. There just wasn’t any offer out there in the marketplace that did so, combining that with a long (public speaking) television appearances. You know, Podcasts that have aired to millions of people and our business just grew very rapidly. And also, as people tasted the wines, you know, they taste better. And so that’s sort of what led to us becoming one of the fastest-growing private companies in the United States. That concludes Episode 1 of our conversation with CEO and...

May 2020

5 min 6 sec

Post WineryWelcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. We continue our conversation with (Tina Post of Post Winery) and,_Arkansas (Altus, Arkansas), as she explains the depths they go to ensure quality control. We take care of our vineyards and we harvest. We haul that. We bring it to the winery, which it’s just six miles away, which is really nice for the assurance of fruit quality. And then we process it. We package it. We develop the package. And we distribute to at four different levels. We know we work with brokers. We work in different states. We what we are our distributor. We also do retail. So we’re a business. And I think this is just wonderful. It makes it really interesting always to that take something from the ground to the table. And usually, that’s not the case. You’re one part of that, you know, in the process. But we literally do it from the ground to the table. You know, we built a distribution center that’s temperature controlled. We use the same refrigeration that we use for our (cold fermentation tanks) and our distribution centers. So everything is controlled. And, you know, with wine, that’s a big thing. You need sterile filtering. You need you know, we do (liquid nitrogen) drip on the line to everything to try and ensure the quality and the end being shelf-stable. You know, back in the (60s), it was very different. We had a bunch of wooden tanks and I hope over the years now we use wooden stays or wood chips for some of the things that, you know, everything’s (stainless steel cold fermentation). Do you either evolve or you won’t get shelf space anymore? There’s too much competition to not make a good shelf, stable wine. I can’t imagine that it’s an easy task. Running a winery, the size of yours, and the diversity that you have. So as a business, I’m sure you’re always looking to pivot to something new or changing, I think is the business. Any business you always have to be reinventing yourself because the markets changed. You know, a couple of years ago for us in Arkansas, we had small farm winery laws and now we it’s opened up to national brands. That competition got fierce. It’s you know before it was a little easier because only small farm wineries could sell in your convenience stores chain accounts. And now it’s opened that. And so the competition is really fierce. We’ll take a short break. And when we come back, Tina will tell us what Post Winery is working on for the future need to satisfy a hungry mind. Every week, (Your Brain on Facts) brings you science. Why does Mint feel cold? History. King Charles. The 2nd of Spain was so inbred his family didn’t bother educating him music. Many hit songs and even entire albums were written for revenge technology. The first videogame was made on an oscilloscope in 1958 and every other topic under the sun. Look for your brain on facts, on your favorite podcast app or at ( What have you got planned for the future?  One of the things we’re doing is coming out with a line. It’s kind of a new series we’re putting together and we’re going to be doing. It’s going to be unique to us. Wines with a  little higher price. We’re going to have smaller batches. It might be regional flavor, but it might be fruit from other areas. Like this year. We brought in fresh cabernet fruit from the (Yakima Valley in Washington...

May 2020

5 min 16 sec