Organic Wine Podcast
Andy Brennan - Uncultivated Apple Cider, Aaron Burr Cidery

Andy Brennan - Uncultivated Apple Cider, Aaron Burr Cidery

August 28, 2020

Andy Brennan is the owner of Aaron Burr Cidery in New York, and he's the author of Uncultivated - a book about making cider and a cider business from wild, foraged apples. 

Real apple cider is one of America's finest wines, and Andy is one of the finest cider makers in America. In this interview we explore his philosophies and strategies for navigating the modern world with an perspective that is inspired by the timeless cycles of the apple tree. 

Rudy Marchesi - Biodynamics, Demeter, & Montinore Estate

Rudy Marchesi - Biodynamics, Demeter, & Montinore Estate

August 28, 2020

Rudy Marchesi is the chairman of the board of directors for Demeter USA, the national Biodynamic certifying organization for all biodynamic agriculture. Rudy is also a managing partner for Montinore Estate. Montinore is based in the Willamette valley in Oregon, and is one of the largest biodynamic wineries in the nation, growing classic Oregon Pinot Noir, as well as some Italian varieties that are not common at all in Oregon.

In this interview, Rudy gives us a great overview of the history and benefits of practicing biodynamic vinticulture. Those benefits extend to the biology and economics of growing wine, but also to the taste of the resulting wine. He talks about practicing biodynamics at both a micro-vineyard, as well as at a large estate like Montinore. We also touch on what it means to have your vineyards vs your winery certified, how biodynamic certification compares to organic certification, and how Demeter incorporates new scientific knowledge into its regulations.

If you have heard about biodynamics or drank a biodynamic wine, and wondered what it entails, or if you think you know about it and have your doubts, this interview may be just the thing for you. A big thanks to Rudy for taking the time to layout an articulate and well-argued case for biodynamics. And thank you for listening… enjoy!

Mimi Casteel - Regenerative Viticulture & The Future of Agriculture

Mimi Casteel - Regenerative Viticulture & The Future of Agriculture

August 28, 2020

Mimi Casteel is Imbibe Magazine’s 2020 Wine Person of the Year. She’s the vigneron for Hope Well, a certified organic vineyard and a winery in Oregon that she farms regeneratively with animals and birds and all kinds of flora and fauna with no tilling and no fences. Please do yourself a favor and find Mimi’s YouTube video about glyphosate. It’s a master class on soil and vine microbiology, and the devastating effect RoundUp has had on our food and wine. You can find it in a blog post I did.

Also, check out any article or interview you can find online about Mimi. She’s one of the truly brilliant scientific minds working at the cutting edge of regenerative viticulture and agriculture in general. She thinks deeply about so many of the issues facing the wine industry, agriculture, and society at large, and Everything she talks about is full of big, important ideas that could shape the future of our world for the better.

This interview is no different. We skip the backstory and dive right into the big ideas that are occupying Mimi’s mind these days involving experimenting with a sulf-sustaining community. We talk about the need for there to be more integration between rural and urban worlds, the ways that she farms and solves problems at Hope Well, the need to integrate and involve vineyard workers in all aspects of winemaking and the wine world, and so much more. As with anyone on the cutting edge, many of Mimi’s ideas are controversial and even incendiary. I hope you are incensed, intriqued, and inspired by this interview with one of the great minds of our time.

Karl Hambsch - Owner of Virginia’s Only Organic Winery

Karl Hambsch - Owner of Virginia’s Only Organic Winery

August 28, 2020

Karl Hambsch is the owner of the only certified organic winery in Virginia - Loving Cup Vineyards & Winery, outside of Charlottesville - and one of less than a handful of organic wineries on the entire East Coast of the US. 

Karl has been able to grow wine organically in Virginia because of a lot of hard, and careful, work. He has trialed over 50 varieties of grapes over the past dozen years to find varieties that have the characteristics and natural disease resistance to withstand the onslaught of fungi, mildews, pests and infections that are rampant in the hot, humid growing season of the Mid-Atlantic region.

Because of his commitment to organic viticulture, Karl has had to basically replicate the process of natural selection in the Loving Cup vineyard for delicious grapes that are disease and pest resistant. This is a process that would normally take millennia, and resulted in the dominant European (Vitis vinifera) varieties we know today. At Loving Cup, Karl continues this process to find the most expressive grapes best adapted to his terroir, a process that will result in the grapes that future generations will come to know and love.  

Karl's approach to growing wine is not for the faint-hearted, but it provides hope and an amazing example of the potential viability of organic viticulture everywhere. If he can do it in Virginia, then winegrowers in California have no excuse not to practice organic viticulture.

In this in-depth interview, Karl explains his specific methods of grape variety selection for organic cultivation, his four-pronged approach to  making organic viticulture work - ideas that could and should translate to any grape-growing region in the world. We also discuss the immense challenges of growing grapes in Virginia, the fascinating possibilities that arise from growing hybrid varieties, PIWI grapes, the realities of having both your vineyards and your winery organically certified, and much more. 

What Is Organic Wine & Who Is Adam Huss?

What Is Organic Wine & Who Is Adam Huss?

August 28, 2020

How can wine help connect us to the solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing the world today? How can the wine industry change to make this possible? And who is Adam Huss, and why has he started the Organic Wine Podcast to answer these questions?

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