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- Low-calorie wines see growth while the rest of the industry shrinks, glass bottles are getting slimmer and cleaner, dozens of new Criolla grape varieties are discovered centuries after their ancestors arrived in South America, and Chardonnay, the low-rise jeans of the wine world, is hot once again, to the tune of $400 million. These are the stories we're following this week.
- We’ve got big news: we’re back with a new format! Join us as we break down the four biggest wine news stories of the week and add our own takes. Global wine production has fallen to a 62 year low. Israel's vineyards report on a war torn harvest. California producers may have dodged carcinogen warnings on their labels, but not for the reason you might think. And Napa wineries claim that wine tasting is a human right?
- Here it is, folks; our episode about Roundup…but it’s so much more than that. In Ep. 126. we dive into regenerative agriculture, climate action, and the fight over how to grow grapes on a rapidly changing planet.Rounding out our expertise this week are Dr. Jamie Goode, an award-winning wine journalist, plant biologist, and the author of I Taste Red: The Science of Tasting Wine; and Anna Brittain, the founder and executive director of Napa Green and Napa RISE.
- From The Court of Master Sommeliers to vineyards around the world, diversity has become a buzzword, but what does it mean in practice? In Ep. 125 (recorded live at Napa RISE), our guests help us understand how to unravel the wine industry and rework it as an inclusive, inviting space. On the stage with us for this live recording are Philana Bouvier, the president of Demeine Estates and a San Francisco Business Times “Most Influential Women in Business” honoree; and Dr. Akilah Cadet, a Forbes “Next 1000” honoree and the founder and CEO of Change Cadet.
- Viticulture is monoculture… but it doesn’t have to be. In Ep. 124, our guests discuss permaculture and natural farming, and so much more. In their quest to capture the past in order to change the future of winegrowing, they will go so far as to introduce genetic diversity from vine to vine.Behind the mics this week are Nate Ready, a former Master Sommelier, and the owner and farmer behind Hiyu Wine Farm; and Randall Grahm, A.K.A. the Rhône Ranger, the founder and vintner of Bonny Doon Vineyard.
- Sustainability is a hot topic in wine, but we’re still addicted to carbon-intensive glass bottles. Our guests this week are trying to change that. We’re diving into canned wine, lightweight packaging, and how to wean ourselves off the evil that is styrofoam. Joining us for Ep. 123 are Kristin Olszewski, founder and CEO of Nomadica Wine; and Nicolas Quillé, Chief Winemaking and Operations Officer at Crimson Wine Group and co-author of Understanding Wine Technology, 4th edition.
- Historic droughts followed by colossal atmospheric rivers? There’s a term for that: weather whiplash. As wine regions experience the highest highs and lowest lows back-to-back, vineyards are looking for ways to adapt. Our guests on Ep. 122 discuss the future of water use in winegrowing, from gray water to dry farming. Our aqua-experts are Dr. Peter Gleick, a leading water and climate scientist and the co-founder of the Pacific Institute; and Miguel García, PhD., the Sustainable Agriculture Program Manager at the Napa County Resource Conservation District.
- Imagine losing out on $120,000 of energy savings just by forgetting to fill out one form. Do we have your attention? Then tune in as our guests share ways for wineries to save, from the simple (LED light bulbs) to the innovative (water batteries?). Increasing efficiency with us on Ep. 121 are Peter Yeung, a wine business consultant and the co-host of the XChateau Wine Podcast; and Will Drayton, the Director of Technical Viticulture and Research Winemaking at Treasury Wine Estates (TWE).
- Hello Wine World; we’re back! We kick off The Four Top’s sustainability season with Anna Brittain, executive director of Napa Green and Napa RISE. Anna lays out “the six pillars of sustainability,” sharing anecdotes—we call them “Anna-dotes”—to illustrate each one. Prepare to be surprised by Ep. 120.
- Did the ghost of Georges Duboeuf haunt filmmaker Jason Wise this Christmas? Will NBA star-turned TV commentator Channing Frye ever be invited back to Napa? In our final episode of this wine season, we toast the new year with hot takes from two of wine’s wittiest pundits, and add a couple of our own crackpot ideas.Making their opinions known on Ep. 119 are Channing Frye, an NBA Champion and the founder of Chosen Family Wines; and Jason Wise, the filmmaker behind the SOMM documentary series and the streaming platform SOMM TV.
- With “cuffing season” upon us, Martin and Katherine talk through their experiences and observations about personal relationships in the wine industry. Is it best to pair up with someone else who understands the wine life, or choose a life partner who hasn’t drunk the (fermented) Kool-Aid?
- With unionization in the news (we see you, Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks), we learn about vinetenders who have recently organized, and revisit the long battle farmworkers have waged since being excluded from the National Labor Relations Act in 1935. Why isn’t unionization more prevalent in the wine industry? We discuss in Ep. 117.Our guests this week are Jahdé Marley, a sommelier and the founder of By the Hand; and Miguel Lopez, the co-founder of AHIVOY and the owner of Red Dirt Vineyard Management and Winemaking.
- Pearl clutchers be warned: In this special “Two Top” episode, Katherine and Martin gaze at The Four Top’s navel and discuss some contentious questions. Such as: What does The Four Top aim to achieve, and in what ways do we break the rules?
- The Four Top is a “Three Top” this week as Martin and Katherine chat with a crypto-curious, VR-visionary wine personality. In Ep. 115, we ask what Web 3.0 is, exactly, and why wine businesses should be planning for it now.Our seer this week is Dan Petroski, a digital futurist and the founder of Massican Winery.
- In the first of three holiday bonus episodes, our Four Top becomes a Two Top as Martin and Katherine discuss their desire to find common ground between luxury wine collectors and commodity wine consumers. Whether your bubbles are Krug or Barefoot Moscato, don’t miss this case for kinship.
- Is wine writing going the way of coal mining? Writers and critics are struggling to make a living as technology renders traditional journalism increasingly irrelevant. In Ep. 113, we seek advice on how to survive (or even thrive) as a wine writer in an increasingly challenging new-media environment.With us for Ep. 113 are Julia Coney, the renowned wine writer, wine educator, and the founder of Black Wine Professionals; and Karen MacNeil, the James Beard Award-winning author of the bestselling wine compendium The Wine Bible.
- When we hear the term “white supremacy,” we think of despicable scumbags in pointed white hoods. But white supremacist culture is lurking right under our noses in the wine world, insidious and omnipresent. In Ep. 112, we explore the subtleties of coded language and implicit bias, and our guests help us move toward making change.Behind the mic for Ep. 112 are Tiquette Bramlett, the president of Compris Vineyard and the founder of Our Legacy Harvested; and Tahiirah Habibi, the founder of the Hue Society and the co-founder of the Roots Fund Initiative.
- Dancing, pranks, cooking hacks, and…wine? The oenosphere is discovering the power of TikTok, or “WineTok.” In Ep. 111, we pick up our phones and get scrolling to learn more about what TikTok has to offer the wine world, and vice versa.With us this week are Isis Daniel (@themillennialsomm), a popular TikTok wine educator and Wine Enthusiast 40 Under 40 Tastemaker; and Amanda McCrossin (@sommvivant), an award-winning sommelier and fellow TikTok wine educator.
- We’re joined by two of the most powerful people in wine for Ep. 110, in which we visualize the wine power elite as a pyramid. Also: why you should NEVER throw out those bell bottom jeans, and a hot tip on a zombie wine.Giving us power this week are Annette Alvarez-Peters, the former AVP/GMM of Beverage Alcohol for Costco Wholesale, and a board member of Crimson Wine Group and Wine Unify; and Erica Duecy, the Chief Content Officer at Pix Wine, the former Editor in Chief and Chief Content Officer at VinePair, and the former Vice President and Founding Editor […]
- Why do we use a carbon-intensive, 4,000-year-old technology to package wine? Heavy, fragile, and toxic, glass is ready for a rethink. In Ep. 109 we dig into packaging, supply chains, and the daunting task of reinventing both. Smashing glass with us this week are Melissa Saunders, a Master of Wine, a sustainable wine packaging consultant, the founder of Communal Brands, and the wine director at The Good Goods, a reusable wine bottle startup; and Diana Snowden Seysses, the enologist at Domaine Dujac, a consultant at Domaine de Triennes, and a member of Porto Protocol’s global steering committee.