EPISODE 8 – ROSS COBB of Cobb Wines, on the extreme Sonoma Coast, is this episode’s guest. Ross crafts some of California’s most elegant Pinot Noir wines under his family’s label, and makes more than a dozen other varietal wines as a consultant for other wineries. He also loves beer. We meet up at one of my favorite breweries, HenHouse Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, Calif., to pour saison down our gullets and talk about Ross’ animal adventures in Kenya.
EPISODE 7 – SEAN THOMPSON is the senior winemaker for Schramsberg Vineyards and Davies Vineyards in the Napa Valley. Sean makes incredible sparkling wines, along with terrific Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir, and guess what? He’s also a home brewer! We meet up at Confluence Taproom & Lounge in Santa Rosa, Calif. to taste an array of interesting beers and talk about Sean’s favorite brewers, “beercations” and his unstoppable fruit-tree obsession.
EPISODE 6 – RICHIE ALLEN is the director of viticulture and winemaking for Rombauer Vineyards in the Napa Valley. (If you look up “classic California Chardonnay” in the wine dictionary, you’ll probably find a photo of Rombauer Chard.) In this episode, we hang out at Right Proper Brewing Co. in Washington, D.C. and sample yeast-driven beers while chatting about Richie’s miserable childhood winery visits, Australian beer and what constitutes “bad wine.”
EPISODE 5 – JORDAN HARRIS is the winemaker for Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Virginia. Jordan is known for his blending expertise, and in 2013, he was included on Wine Enthusiast magazine’s list of “40 American Tastemakers under 40.” We meet up at Churchkey beer bar in Washington, D.C., where we discuss bad Canadian beer, science experiments and Jordan’s irrational fear of brewing.
EPISODE 4 – NEIL BERNARDI is the VP of winemaking for Duckhorn Wine Co., producer of such stellar brands as Duckhorn, Goldeneye, Migration, Paraduxx and Canvasback. We meet at Crooked Goat Brewing in Sebastopol, Calif., to sample creatively infused beers and talk about failed brewing experiments, the trombone and Neil’s love of Modelo Especial.
EPISODE 3 – WES HAGEN is the winemaker for J. Wilkes Wines in the Santa Maria Valley, and for more than 20 years, he was the winemaker at Clos Pepe in California’s Sta. Rita Hills region. In this episode, we hang out at Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. in Santa Barbara. While sipping wit beer and red ale, we talk about the myth of wine clones, “fake” sour beer and Wes’ no-longer-secret fetish for the TV show, “Little House on the Prairie.”
EPISODE 2 – NILE ZACHERLE is not only the winemaker for David Arthur Vineyards and Montagna Napa Valley, he also owns an artisan brewery called Mad Fritz. (This guy really knows his beer!) We meet up at Farmstead restaurant in St. Helena to chat about “origin beer,” terroir and Bud Light over a brew or two.