It was such a pleasure to geek out with Martha Stoumen about making wine for this epidsode. This conversation gets highly technical, and even more highly helpful for anyone, at any level, who is making wine or thinking about it. If you want to take your wine making to the next level, listen closely. I have learned multiple new things from Martha every time I’ve re-listened.
The ostensible subject of this episode is How to make Natural Wine, but of course there isn’t one way to make natural wine. Instead, Martha offers the principles and perspectives and biology and chemistry that can help you approach wine making holistically, with the goal of helping this living being – the grapevine – achieve what seems to be its ultimate destiny. And we do a case study of one of her wines, to give an intimate and detailed view of the practical application of her approach.
The one impression that I hope you’ll get, if nothing else, is just how thoughtful Martha is about every aspect of this process. She thinks carefully about everything from the macro to the micro, and asks great questions about how to use human efforts to facilitate all of the non-human elements that work for us to create, and refine, and protect a beautiful wine. We could not have asked for a better teacher.
Martha makes wine in Sebastapol, California and you can buy her wines at marthastoumen.com. And I highly recommend you do try them. We talk about how well adapted Italian varieties of grapes are to making natural wine in California, and she has several examples that show just how deliciously true that is.