Grape Encounters the Blog

Episode #634 - How a Foot Race Through the Himalayas Took Winemaking to a Higher Level
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Episode #634 – How a Foot Race Through the Himalayas Took Winemaking to a Higher Level

This story would make a great movie, if only the plot were believable. Michael Juergens is part Earnest Hemingway, part Ethan Luther (Tom Cruise’s character in Mission Impossible) and a hefty dose of Andre´ Tchelistcheff (Google him if you don’t know). Michael lives the life most people dream of; a senior partner at one of the big 4 international accounting firms, a guy who runs foot races in places like Antarctica and an uber-serious wine ...
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Episode #633 - How a Grief-Stricken Family is Turning Wine Into Suicide Awareness
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Episode #633 – How a Grief-Stricken Family is Turning Wine Into Suicide Awareness

This episode of Grape Encounters will tug at your heartstrings as few things can. It’s the story of a warm and cheerful family that suffered an unthinkable tragedy that came without warning and led them to a vineyard to heal themselves and bring hope to others. A lost loved one can never be replaced, but pain can be a powerful weapon capable of preventing tragedies from upending the lives of other families. Today, you’re invited ...
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Episode #632 - The Peculiar Intersection of Fine Wine Making and World News Breaking!
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Episode #632 – The Peculiar Intersection of Fine Wine Making and World News Breaking!

Things aren’t always as they seem.  Like that nice fella at the farmers market, offering you a taste of some delicious Sonoma Valley wines.  He seems like a regular guy… maybe a wine country native, living the California dream?  That would be as far off as you can get! This guy is Ken Fuhr, a New York transplant with a resume´ in network news that spans several decades. During those years, the only thing that has ...
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Episode #631 - Wine Festivals, Vineyard Events are Back as California and Oregon Celebrate the New Normal!
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Episode #631 – Wine Festivals, Vineyard Events are Back as California and Oregon Celebrate the New Normal!

It may be a while before things truly get back to the way they were before the pandemic, but there’s an abundance of wine-related events to enjoy nonetheless. It’s wine month in California and you’ll find all sorts of celebrations happening up and down the state. Meanwhile, just up the coast, the Oregon Wine Experience is back, despite an adjustment to the date to better ensure the well-being of participants. We begin today’s episode of ...
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Episode #630 - Grape Smoke Taint:  Purfresh's Remarkable Second Chance for Winemaking
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Episode #630 – Grape Smoke Taint: Purfresh’s Remarkable Second Chance for Winemaking

Every year, around the globe, the devastation caused by wildfires is worsening at a catastrophic pace.  Moreover, if there’s anything we’ve learned in recent years, it’s that wildfires will overtake territory once thought to be invulnerable to its wrath.  There is no better example of this than vineyards.  No, they don’t burn, but if there are grapes hanging from the vines, smoke from nearby wildfires will envelop the fruit and render it useless for winemaking ...
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Episode #629 - Pairing:  It's All About the Spice!
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Episode #629 – Pairing: It’s All About the Spice!

We’ve been telling you this for years, but maybe you need to hear it from the King of Seasoning himself.  When pairing food, it’s really all about the spice!  Sure, you can generalize and say, “White with chicken and fish” or “red with beef, lamb or gamey meats,” but the truth is, you should be more concerned about the intensity if the spices you use than what you sprinkle or rub it on. Bren Randolph, ...
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Episode #628 - Somm to the Stars and a Star Willamette Winery GM Talk Daring 2021 Wine Choices
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Episode #628 – Somm to the Stars and a Star Willamette Winery GM Talk Daring 2021 Wine Choices

Christopher Sawyer is one of the most highly regarded Sommeliers in America and has long been nicknamed “The Sommelier to the Stars” because of his A-List celebrity clientele. Gavin Joll is the General Manager of Abacela Winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley; a true superstar winery known for its broad range of stellar varietals. Abacela doesn’t follow trends, they create them. And, as for Christopher, no one has better insight into current wine trends than him ...
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