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Red Wine Chocolate Cake

February 2, 2016

IMG_2191Time marches fast, taking me away from home and wilds and long, lazy afternoons.

IMG_2172Still, I have the memory of strong mountain wines. And chocolate cake. And a recipe that includes both.


Contributing to my upcoming book The Winemakers’ Cooking Companion, Michael Reinisch of Johanneshof Reinisch wines in Tattendorf, Austria, sent me a recipe for chocolate cake with red wine.

Which red wine?

He recommends Laurent Holzspur. St. Laurent is a red grape variety grown in Lower Austria, as well as in Burgenland (while Holzspur vineyard belongs to Johanneshof Reinisch wines). The grape is similar to Pinot Noir – thin skinned and early ripening.

Next time I’ll plan ahead to secure this particular wine. Instead I used a local French red, which also worked well.

Enjoy this beautiful combination of chocolate, cinnamon, and nuts baked with scrumptious red wine.


Here’s the recipe (thanks Michael).


Tattendorfer Rotweinkuchen – Red Wine and Chocolate Cake

From Michael Reinisch of Johanneshof Reinisch, Tattendorf, Austria


Preparation Time and Quantity –

5 minutes to prepare, 50 minutes to cook. Serves 4 – 6 people.


Ingredients and Amounts –

Butter – 1 cup (250 grams)

Icing sugar– 1½ cup (300 grams)

Vanilla – 1 teaspoon (2 1/2 grams)

Red wine – 1 cup (¼ liter)

Flour – 3 ½ cups (380 grams)

Baking powder – 1 teaspoon (2 1/2 grams)

Cinnamon – 1 teaspoon (2 1/2 grams)

Minced nuts – ¾ cup (150 grams)

Chocolate chips – ¾ cup (150 grams)


Preparation –

  1. Pre-heat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit (160 degrees Celsius).
  2. Grease cake pan with butter.
  3. Chop nuts into small pieces.


Recipe –

  1. Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and wine together. Beat until well blended.
  2. Mix the flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
  3. Add flour and dry ingredients to butter / egg / wine mixture and stir until well blended.
  4. Add nuts and chocolate.
  5. Pour into a cake pan and bake in pre-heated oven for 50 minutes.

The lemons? For the tart from the last post, of course :)







Feasting With Winemakers – Salmon, Chicken, Lemon Tart

January 20, 2016

I recently enjoyed a cook-fest in southern France – trying out recipes supplied by winemakers from around the world for the forthcoming book – The Winemakers’ Cooking Companion.

After cooking, I carried dishes down the street – Rue Saint Simon – to La Cave de La Citadelle wine store and wine bar. Inside, friends gathered around an ancient wooden table to sample the food.


We started with cured salmon, made with a recipe from Assaf Winery in the Golan Heights of Israel. Next – a hearty pan-roasted chicken (with whole green olives) from the Hunter Valley of Australia. Dessert was a lemon tart (recipe supplied by Artisan Wines of Austria).

We substituted recommended wines with Bordeaux and other French equivalents.

Although friends devoured the appetizer and main course, they held off on dessert. I finally realized that for the French, cheese comes before dessert. They were just waiting for this missing course.

Of course…

Below are the recipes.


Cured Salmon in Rice Vinegar, from Assaf Winery, Golan Heights, Israel

Preparation Time and Quantity –

10 minutes to prepare before curing, 10 minutes to prepare after curing. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Ingredients and Amounts –

Salmon fillets – 2 sizable fillets, or 7 ounces (200 grams )

Coarse salt – 4 tablespoons (60 grams)

Light brown sugar – 2.5 tablespoons (40 grams)

Rice vinegar – ¼ cup (60 ml)

Olive oil – 1/8 cup (30 ml)

Capers – 2 tablespoons (30 ml)

Red onion – 1

Parsley leaves – handful


Preparation –

  1. Mix salt and sugar.
  2. Cover the flesh sides (non-skin sides) of the salmon with the salt/sugar mix.
  3. Tightly cover in plastic wrap.
  4. Place in a bowl, and put another bowl or dish on top that presses downward. Put a weight on top of this (I used a full wine box).
  5. Refrigerate for 2 nights.
  6. Remove plastic wrap, then gently wash away sugar and salt.
  7. Tap the fish with a paper towel to dry it.
  8. Remove skin.
  9. Slice thinly.

Serving –

  1. Arrange on a plate and drizzle with rice vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Slice capers and red onion thinly and arrange on top.
  3. Garnish with parsley leaves and serve with a rustic, crusty bread.

Comments –

Anat from Assaf Winery told me how this winery is located in the northern portion of Israel – The Golan Heights – and is owned by the Kedem family as part of the Kedem Wine Village. Adi (the eldest in the family) is a chef, a Clinical Nutritionist, and a mother of three. She studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York, as well as at Israel’s Reidman College, then founded AdiKa Café, which forms part of the wine village. The cafe teaches locals about local food, serves fresh-baked bread and other foods, and hosts culinary events.




Pan Roasted Chicken, from Todd Alexander of Belford Block Eight Wines, Hunter Valley, Australia

Preparation Time and Quantity –

1 hour to prepare, 1 hour 20 minutes to cook. Serves 6 people.


Ingredients and Amounts –

Organic chicken – 1

Spanish onions – 4

Potatoes – 6

Mushrooms – 6

Whole green olives – 1 cup (240 ml)

Garlic – 6 cloves

Lemons (or limes) – 4

Lemon thyme (or rosemary or oregano) – 10 sprigs

White wine (such as Semillon) – 2 cups (500 ml)

Organic (or homemade) chicken stock – 2 cups (500 ml)

Olive oil – 2/3 cup (150 ml)

Pepper and salt – to taste

Preparation –

  1. Pre-heat oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius).
  2. With a sharp knife, carefully slice along both sides of the backbone of the chicken to remove it, then place the bird skin side up and crush to flatten out. Push firmly to break some bones – which will help provide a tastier, moister bird. Cover and leave at room temperature while preparing other ingredients.
  3. Slice the mushrooms into 1/4  inch (1/2 cm) slices.
  4. Slice potatoes into 1/8 inch (1/4 cm) slices.
  5. Slice onions into 1/8 inch (1/4 cm) slices.
  6. Thinly slice 2 lemons.
  7. Peel the garlic cloves.

Recipe –

  1. Layer the sliced mushrooms evenly over the base of a large, deep, roasting tray.
  2. Layer the potato slices over the mushroom slices and salt slightly.
  3. Layer onion slices over the potatoes.
  4. Sprinkle whole olives evenly over the onions. It’s okay if this includes the juice. (Whole olives taste better when roasted, but advise your guests if they contain pits.)
  5. Layer the two sliced lemons (including skins) over the olives. (The lemons will carmelize and can be eaten with skins on.)
  6. Arrange the herbs sprigs evenly over the onions and olives.
  7. Put the peeled garlic cloves in the middle of the pan to flavor the chicken.
  8. Place the chicken skin side down over the vegetables, and squeeze juice of one lemon over the flesh, then season liberally with salt and pepper.
  9. Turn the chicken skin side up, place over the garlic, squeeze the juice of one lemon over the skin.
  10. Pour the chicken stock and white wine over the chicken.
  11. Let rest 10 minutes.
  12. Uncover the chicken, then pat skin dry with a paper towel.
  13. Pour olive oil over the skin, then season well with salt and pepper.
  14. Place chicken in hot oven for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 360 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Cook until potatoes are tender and chicken thigh juices run clear when pricked with a fork. This will likely be between and hour and an hour and a half, depending on the size of the chicken.
  15. Remove chicken from pan, cover with foil, and leave at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes. Return the pan with vegetables to the oven to keep warm.
  16. While preserving juices, cut chicken into six even portions and place over vegetables. Pour the chicken juices over this.

Serving –

Serve in the center of the table and spoon juices over rice, grain, or pasta – or mop the juices up with a crusty bread. Serve with an oaked Australian Chardonnay – such as Block Eight’s Reserve Chardonnay.

Comments –

From Todd:

“The Hunter Valley is well known for its wine, but also olives, and has some great local poultry farmers – which is why I’ve given you my Block Eight signature chicken dish. We absolutely love living here. I’m a passionate cook, cookbook collector, and kitchen garden amateur. It’s nice to think that of Hunter vineyards, our story stood out for you.”


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Courtesy Franz Schneider

Lemon Tart from Franz Schneider of Artisan Wines, Haltburn, Austria



Preparation Time and Quantity –

15 minutes to prepare, 30 minutes to cook. Serves 4 – 6 people.


Ingredients and Amounts –

Dough –

Flour – 2 cups (240 grams)

Soft butter – 1/3 cup (80 grams)

Sugar – 1/5 cup (40 grams)

Cream cheese – 1/5 cup (40 grams)

Vanilla – 1 teaspoon

Egg (small) – 1

Salt – pinch

Cream –

Caster sugar – ½ cup (120 grams)

Eggs – 2

Lemons (juice and zest) – 2

Butter – ½ cup (115 grams)


Recipe –

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
  2. For dough – beat together butter, sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, egg.
  3. Add flour and salt.
  4. Knead ingredients until a smooth ball, roll out, then put into a 9 inch (24 cm) diameter tart pan. Prick the base with a fork several times.
  5. Bake in pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius) for 10 minutes.
  6. For the cream – mix eggs and castor sugar until a creamy consistency.
  7. Add lemon juice, zest, and melted butter.
  8. Pour the cream into the partially baked tart shell, then bake for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  9. Cool the dish for one hour to let the cream turn firm.

Serving –

Serve with fresh berries or ice cream.

Comments –

Franz has a selection of recipes on his winery’s website. He generously informed me he “would love to add recipes to your book – just let me know which you would like.” 




Raclette and Wine in the Pyrenees

January 6, 2016

Here in the French Pyrenees ski town of Cauterets, seven kilometers from the border with Spain, there may be little snow, but there is ample hospitality.

Cauterets is in the province of Gascogne, south and east of Bordeaux, home of Aragon and French people who have shuttled between here and Spain for centuries. This is the home of the Three Musketeers and the concept of ‘the sweet life.’ It’s as appealing as it sounds.

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I arrived by bus (after a two-hour train trip south from Bordeaux to misty Lourdes) where friends picked me up. We drank reunion beers and gin and tonics before shopping  at La Cheeserier, where we met Marion and Julien, the proprietors. There we bought wine, cheese, and meats to make raclette back at ‘home’ – a spacious three-story house perched above the small city.

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The local wine appellation in this province of Gascogne is known as Madiran, and the best reds include 100 percent Tannat (also the dominant grape in the country of Uruguay). The AOC appellation rules also allow the inclusion of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fer.


The local whites include Gros Manseng, Petit Manseng, Sauvignon Blanc, Courbu, and Arrufiac grapes.

We also tasted one 100 percent Syrah  – out of appellation here – but a bold, smooth stranger to this territory.

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The cheese store also sold Mont D’Or – cheese in a can. This is opened and heated before you dip crusts of bread inside. Three skiers inside the store/bar invited me to sample their local Mont D’Or feast, which I did. It’s a delicious way to keep warm during the nip of winter.

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Back at the house Valérie made raclette while Jérôme opened bottles of wine.


Although Tannat can be brutally tannic, the bottles we chose were well made, and the tastes smooth and round.

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This hill country is sleepy and seductive, and no one is in a rush. The food and wine are unique, and crowds vanish a few days after the brunt of the holidays pass. It’s an ideal locale for easing into the first weeks of the New Year.

And a glass of Madiran for lunch while skiing is not a bad idea, either…




Almost Bought A Farm

December 22, 2015

About a year ago, during winter, I was driving away from the city of Bergerac, some 120 kilometers east of Bordeaux. Along this highway I said to myself – I need a sign of how to change life in the direction of destiny.


Suddenly there was this highway exit. I took it. I drove uphill, and there was this sprawling set of farmhouse buildings on the left. I said – bloated with destiny-inspired confidence: now – there will be a sign saying: ‘For Sale.’

And – Whoaa. There was.

So I pulled over and hopped a fence and scouted the grounds, and yes, the farmhouse needed rehab, but it had this stylin’ new swimming pool in the back, and three separate renovated adjacent structures – farmhouses – nearby. True, they were bought and occupied. But what about buying this set of buildings, transforming it into some sort of school, and eventually purchasing other buildings when the neighbors moved out?

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Check out the view:



I didn’t buy.

When I phoned, the sellers were out of town. But really, at that time I needed company and people, and not to be in the middle of the freezin’ ass countryside trying to figure out how to renovate barns without money or know-how or tools while bedding down on a pile of lice-infested hay in a sleeping bag with big dreams and no heating. And probably no food. (There would have been wine. Of course. I mean, this is France.)

Instead, I invested in a cosy apartment above a restaurant and a wine cellar and within shouting distance of a wonderful market, people, stores, vineyards, and a waterfront.

Excellent choice.

Who knows. Maybe that farm is still available.


Hello, Alternate Reality

Back to wine.

There are 22 regions of France, sub-divided into 96 departments. This is similar to the United States having states which are sub-divided into counties.


The Busy Farmhouse Neighborhood

The  French region of Aquitaine brims with magnificent history: in the 12th century, young and beautiful Eleanor of Aquitaine married both the kings of France and England in succession, crusaded to Jerusalem (where she apparently took a lover), and eventually gave birth to Richard the Lion Heart. For centuries the Aquitaine equates with agricultural wealth and free-thinking individuals.

This region includes the smaller departments of Gironde (think Bordeaux), Dordogne (think inexpensive castles being cleverly snapped up and purchased by Brits), Lot-et-Garonnne (think riverside beauty and peaceful acres lacking a decent airport), Landes (complete mystery, but on cursory research appears to include the heart-healthiest wines on this planet), and Pyrénées-Atlantiques (with chique turbo resorts catering to aficionados of mountain and ocean sports).

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Where is Bergerac?

Within the Dordogne, I visited the city of Bergerac earlier this year, as told above. This city is roughly at the same latitude as the city of Bordeaux, but 140 kilometers east as the crow flies. It includes compelling architecture, twisting alleys with cafes, open squares, fountains, and pedestrian shopping malls that emulate those of Bordeaux city. There is also a waterfront along the Dordogne River (a tributary of the Gironde estuary which splits Bordeaux wine country brutally in two). Bergerac has an international airport with flights to the UK, Ireland, and north Africa, as well as adjoining countryside with spacious real estate less expensive that many other regions in France

I purchased eight bottles of Bergerac red wine for 75 Euros (81 US dollars). At eight bucks a bottle it was jammy and oaky, yet still better than wine that would have cost twice that much from a supermarket shelf in Michigan or California.


When in doubt in life – there is consolation in Le Vin De Merde. [Not from Bergerac, but Bordeaux.]

Like Bordeaux wines, blends from Bergerac include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and sometimes Malbec (though no Petit Verdot). It’s livelier and less smooth than Bordeaux blends – but at that price – is a steal.

Which is good. Perhaps I’ll buy a case, a sleeping bag, and a sketch book to fill with drawings of how to renovate that farmhouse while pouring glasses of affordable Bergerac wine.

After all – destiny has no fixed timetable.

So, Happy Holidays. And Dream Big. When a voice calls, take the highway exit. Look around.

You may be surprised. And you can always say – perhaps later.





Holiday Wine Reads

December 8, 2015


Who has time to read books during the holiday season? There are people to visit, food to eat, movies to watch, and trails to walk.

But lists of wine books persist. If you don’t have time to read now, put books on an electronic ‘wish list’ for later.


Some of the lists below are recent, while others were published months ago. In March, The Gourmand Group listed best wine books, while in April, Food and Wine Magazine listed top sommeliers and their pairings of wine and food.

In July, the UK Daily Telegraph told us the best wines to match with scallops, and in August The Jerusalem Post recommended a book about a wine route in Israel.

IMG_6563In November, The Seattle Times recommended five great wine books for the holiday season, and more recently Lettie Teague from the Wall Street Journal recommended five wine books for beginners. Meanwhile, The Wine Turtle recommended 10 must-read wine books.

IMG_8298What else this past year?

The Irish Times recommended how to match wine and cheese, as well as a book by the author of that article – titled Wilson on Wine 2016. The Australian Daily Telegraph reviewed the book Tangled Vines, and The Portland Tribune reviewed the recent wine thriller, titled Vintage.

IMG_6635For more traditional wine books, The Australian reviewed James Halliday’s wine books, and here is a review of Matt Kramer’s book True Taste. If you’re into seriously heave wine lit, The Vancouver Sun recommended a six pound (three kilogram) wine book titled Wine Grapes.

Care for a visual treat? Open and read (from back to front), the graphic novel Drops of God, and though not a book, the following site includes a compilation of Fiona Beckett’s recipes, including recommended drink pairings (which includes wines).

IMG_6650So ignore the holiday bustle awhile. Treat yourself. Take time off. Pour a favored vino, then enjoy a decent read.






Premier Crus – the Movie

November 24, 2015


Months ago, there was a showing in my home town of Blaye, Bordeaux, of the new French movie Premier Crus. Some of the actors attended and answered questions. I was sorry to have missed out.


“Ne t’inquiétez pas,” a winemaker friend told me. “Don’t worry. When it comes out on video, with subtitles, we’ll gather to watch it before a roaring fire at our vineyard.”

Sounds perfect…


This movie takes place in Burgundy, a region on the opposite side of the country from Bordeaux, with a comparatively smaller quantity of wine production. Burgundy’s cachet and fame derive from the quality of the delicate local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines the region produces.


[Though Bordeaux is not teeming with actors, a neighboring vineyard was recently sold by actor Gerard Depardieu to artist Thierre Bisch to another friend…who suggests an investment would be wise. But, that is another story.]


For those who crave variety it may be difficult to subsist on Pinot Noir alone as a source of local red wine. Still, a nice Burgundy at the right temperature is always welcome. It may not be enough reason to move to the region, but it’s impetus for an occasional visit.

The geographical setting of the movie is somewhat timely. After Chinese invested heavily in Bordeaux wines during the stellar vintages of 2009 and 2010, prices skyrocketed, and investment consequently declined. The Chinese then discovered Burgundy. The worldwide fame of the region (once again) escalated. (Apparently Tuscany may be the next focus for serious Chinese investment, thought that is unsubstantiated rumor.)

I’ve not yet seen the movie. Have any of you?


Before leaving the media world, I was prompted to delve into, and enjoy, a highly readable fiction book about competitive blind wine tasting, titled Blinders, by Michael Amon. Rather than review it here, check out the review on the Social Vignerons site. The book is a great read – entertaining, down to earth, unpredictable, and fun.

News – 

Years ago I took a water resources course. Reviewing notes from one class before exams turned confusing until a friend revealed the reason. During each of two classes per week, alternate topics were discussed: the first covered hydrology, the second covered water quality.

Without knowing this, the notes seemed confusing.

It may be similar with two separate blogs I publish on alternate weeks. One – Vino Voices – concerns wine. The other – Roundwood Press – includes articles about writing, publishing, and travel.

Because the Vino Voices blog promotes a book published by Roundwood Press, it belongs to that site.

Hence, the forthcoming merger.


In coming weeks, both blogs will transform to different tabs on one site. Subscribers to Vino Voices will automatically be redirected. This process should be straightforward.

“Ne t’inquiétez pas.” 

Don’t worry.


The Roundwood Press site also now includes a new tab – Videos. This includes dozens of short videos clips I took and published during recent years, including vineyard drone shots, winemaker interviews, cellar song renditions, book reviews, and travel pieces (including that wonderful, brazen, toothless, singing grandmother from the mountains of Bhutan – below).

Thanks for staying tuned during the modification of this site. If your friends are interested in wine – please share a sample post and encourage them to sign up. This may not yet be a Premier Cru of wine blogs, but it is improving…


If you’d like to learn more about my book Vino Voices, click on the image below.

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Life Advice from the World of Wine…

November 10, 2015

People shared the following wisdom – not about wine, but about life – during conversations for my book Vino Voices (now in paperback).


“People work for one of two reasons. One: to make their wealth. Two: to fill their heart with wealth.”

Bill Wilson – Proprietor, Wilson Creek Winery, Temecula, California, USA


“You know Zen? Japanese. Something very slowly. The rhythm is in the moon, in the sun, the nature. You can do nothing against this.”

Carolos Costoya – Owner, Costoya Winery, Ribeira Sacra, Spain


“In a situation when things go wrong in a small community, a lot of people come together and make a big difference. That’s one of the great things about living in a small community. You’re really connected with people.”

Autumn Millhouse – Author, Napa, California, USA



“I’d rather under promise and over deliver if you know what I mean. Well I reckon’ that’s the way forward.”

Summer Bell – Winemaker, Stonyridge Winery, Waiheke Island, New Zealand


“You say, ‘I can’t.’ Then you say, ‘Well, yes, I can.’ You say, ‘I couldn’t,’ but then you say, ‘I’m going to see whether I can.’ It gives you enthusiasm.”

Flavio Fenocchio – Winemaker, Marchesi di Barolo Winery, Barolo, Italy



“I woke up one day and thought, ‘Okay, I bought a house, I’m here, I’m unemployed. What do I love, what do I want to do that would be cool?’ This is what happened with that thought pattern.”

Windee Smith – Proprietor, Valley Wine Shack, Sonoma, California, USA


“Serendipity? I think that’s for anyone who’s open to what the universe sends them.”

Les Kellen – Proprietor, Villa Saint Simon Guest House, Blaye, Bordeaux, France


“Innovation is the way forward in life.”

David Lehmann – Winemaker and Owner, david Franz Wines, Tanunda, Australia


“It’s all about not forgetting that you don’t stand here today having accomplished it all on your own. You’ve done it through the help and support of other people. It’s about what goes around comes around.”

Norm Benson – Winemaker and Owner, Dark Star Cellars, Paso Robles, California, USA



“I did what I had to do. I proved that I will succeed, and I can succeed, and I don’t need a man to do it.”

Robyn Drayton – Winemaker and Former Owner, Drayton Wines, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, Australia


“People don’t realize that today you need something extra. Like good music. Like having time for reading. Or eating. Something extra. Something like a slow life. That means you have the time for appreciating wine, music, lots of things. These are things we need to indulge in because they’re healthy, good, stable.”

Alvaro Arriagada – Winemaker, Casa Donoso Winery, Talca, Chile



“I love teaching. You watch these people who are so lacking in self-confidence and so wanting to learn but so scared to ask questions. And you watch them turn into confident people who can evaluate and critically analyze and think. That’s what makes me happy. That’s why I do what I do.”

Marianne McKay – Lecturer, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


“My philosophy that I share with the family is it should have some support and encouragement – divinely – in that you should be good at it. The way that you know you’re good at it is you think you are. That’s one thing. But if other people think you are, then it’s not just in your mind.”

“Give me a passionate person in anything they’re doing. I want a passionate airline pilot. I want a passionate chef and a passionate winemaker and a passionate brain surgeon and a passionate dentist who’s not thinking about earning ten thousand dollars, but wants to do the best he can. I consider it a good day when we encourage the best in others because that brings out the best in us.”

Peter McDonald – Farmer and Musician, Finger Lakes, New York, USA


“My husband said, ‘If you can read a book then you can be whatever you want.’ ” 

Zlatka Cvetko – Co-Owner, Kogl Winery, Velika Nedelja, Slovenia


“Work’s never really been much of a grind for me, because otherwise, why do it?”

Samantha Scarratt – Winemaker, Wither Hills Winery, Marlborough, New Zealand



“For us, rather than always being first, it’s more important being among the first three, because if you are consistently among the first three out of ten or fifteen… that’s a big result.”

Mauro Gamba – Co-Owner, Botti Gamba Barrel Producer, Castell’Alfero, Italy


“Balance. You want balance at the end of the day.”

Shaun Turnbull – Winemaker, Stone Hill Wine Company, Hermann, Missouri, USA


“You have a company. You have an image. If you make a mistake in one market with a big customer, that can be known nowadays in all the world. So you have to really work the best you can so that you will not have problems. Otherwise your image will be compromised.”

Filipe Brandão – Manager, J. Tavares corks, Santa Maria de Lama, Portugal


“There’s the being your own boss, entrepreneurial side of things, where you’re building it. The reward is that satisfaction of starting a business, being successful in it, making a good product, and then you get immediate validation from the customer – whether or not you met their needs or didn’t.”

Jason Gerke – Co-Owner, Jowler Creek Winery, Missouri, USA



“I don’t want to get sucked into a job that’s too comfortable. I’d rather be financially a little uncomfortable…and find the right opportunity.”

George Stevenson – Chef, Seattle, Washington, USA


“My goal is to get people what they want. To give a little education, but not preach. Listen to your customer and show them something new. The non-pretentious sort of path.”

Clint Hillery – Sommelier and Wine Bar Owner, Sydney, Australia


“I am independent with my own business. I say always to my employees, ‘I work harder than you, longer than you, but I must have time for people.’ It’s important to have time for people and not say, ‘Okay, we have five minutes.’ I think it’s very important. It’s a way of life also.”

Louis-Bernard Emery – Owner, Cave Emery Wines, Valais, Switzerland



“It’s about composition, not about numbers. Somebody asked Mozart one day, ‘How many parts in a requiem?’ And he looked at them and said, ‘Well, there are enough of them and they’re in the right places.’ ” 

“There’s inherently nothing that’s perfect. Everything can be improved on, ultimately. But the purpose of wine and books and art and music is…they encourage people to go and search for more. Especially young people. It’s like in art, Cezanne and Gauguin are of course obtainable by a rich person, but they inspire other people to do better than they would otherwise have done.”

“Everyone is great in their own way, and they are different. They are original and have their own quality. It’s the composition that matters. It’s not how many words. They don’t sell books by the weight in kilos, thank God.”

Danny Shuster – Wine Consultant, New Zealand




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