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Volcano Winery- Volcano, HI Ep. 3 Pt. 1

Volcano Winery

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Let’s start the adventure. Our featured winery in this episode.

We find out America’s Southern Most Winery. Do you have a guess? Let me give you a hint. Aloha. Oh, you guessed it’s Volcano Hawaii is where we venture to.

My name’s Kendall. And I’m the assistant manager and my associate here at Volcano Winery.  Well, hello, Kendall. When you first come into the parking lot and you look at the winery, what are we looking at?

Yeah. So when you first take a glance at Volcano Winery, the first thing that’ll definitely jump out to you is that we grow grapes here. We have rows of grapevines, Japanese tea plants, olive trees, and a one of a kind Hawaiian grown cork tree.

Now, what is also a cork tree?

So it’s a cork tree, but it’s harvested. You harvest cork from it. So the outer layer of the tree is how you harvest the cork. And it regenerates every seven years.

And that’s what you used to cork up the wine, as you know, Cork says, what we up in that bottle. They keep it nice and sealed up. We also have a small tasting room. And in addition to that, we offer a free vineyard and production room tours in the backdrop. You’ll see Mauna Loa volcano on the left and Monacan volcano on the right. And then we’re heavily forested up in this area.

We have tons of native forests and lava tubes on the property here. Lava tube?  What is that?

The volcano system on this island. They are not the explosive volcano that you would expect to see. They’re called shield volcanoes. And so a shield volcano, instead of exploding out, it houses the lava in a big crater. And then when it goes to release the lava, it shoots it out, kind of like a plumbing system. It shoots it through all the lava tubes which are under our feet.

So you’re just outside of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. I imagine you get a lot of traffic coming from the park.

Yeah. So we’re about two miles from the national park entrance. So a lot of the times we have customers that are hiking during the day and then they come check us out for an afternoon tasting or kind of the opposite. People come in first thing in the morning and do a little tasting so that they can go hiking with a little by little wine.

Right. It’s sort of that mountain. That volcano doesn’t look so big when they’re taking it.

Yeah. In reality, those are the two biggest mountains in the world. If you if we measure them from under the ocean to the tippy, tippy top of those mountains, taller than Mt. Everest. Yeah. Wow. So I was reading on the Web site where you’re very passionate about sustainability. So I imagine over the years you’ve had to do some experimenting to make that happen.

We’ve experimented with a lot of different great varietals here, and we’ve narrowed down to four varietals that work really good for our microclimate here in the volcano. And those would include a great cold symphony and symphony is a hybrid. UC Davis, California, actually created this grape in the 40s by doing a cross of the Mascotte grapes and the Grenache grape. So it’s kind of a cedar white grape. And we tried to blend it through a lot of our wine since it’s the main grapes that we’re producing here. We also do a grape called Cayuse Awaits. And that was created at Cornell University for the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. So that grows really well here. And then for red wine to do a Pinot Noir and Syrah and those two grapes do really well here. We can produce a really well-rounded wines that really embody what you would imagine wine tasting like from Hawaii. They’re fruity, they’re light, they’re juicy and a little bit on the cedar side. But yeah, that’s kind of what you expect coming from a Hawaiian wine.

That is it for part one in our next episode as we continue speaking with Kendall of Volcano Winery. We learn about their sustainability goals and their fundraising.

Brace yourself, because you’re out to do this all day for very little money.

Oh, I know. And I haven’t run out of energy yet.

It is time now for a Listener Voicemail Question.

Hi, this is Peggy from Long Beach, California. What is the standard tasting poor when we go to a wine tasting? Thank you.

Good question, Peggy. Doing my own informal poll and speaking with different wineries, it varies. Some wineries swan outs, others two to three. Obviously, it’s at the discretion of the winery. But remember, they love it when you buy their wine. So they. Let’s just sample. Keep in mind, if you’re planning on buying. Don’t hesitate to ask for another sample.

Sure. Thank you for listening. I’m Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best Five Minute Wine podcast was produced by his IHSYM. If you like the show tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time, pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

Please subscribe from your favorite Podcast Platform: Apple, Spotify, Google, Deezer, Stitcher, Tunein, Breaker, Castbox.



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Callaghan Vineyards- Elgin, AZ Ep. 2 Pt. 2

Callaghan Vineyards

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Let’s start the adventure.

Our featured winery is we return to Elgin, Arizona, for part two of our interview with Kent Callaghan Vineyards. Some of the events that they put on at the winery is a library tasting where they share a library worth of wines and they take you to a behind the scenes special event. You get to sample wines from their earliest vintages back when they started in early 1990 to the wines that they are producing now. So you get to compare the two.

I think it’s interesting for them to see, you know, the library historical data to see how the wines age, what’s done well, you know, and how these images are different, because we definitely have vintage variation in Arizona in general, and particularly in Sonoita, the monsoon rainfall that we would get.

So when you’ve been working with the vines for close to 30 years, as Kent has, you tend to get recognized in the wine industry with some awards, most recently a governor’s dinner in 2017 San Francisco Chronicle, probably a competition that people in California can relate to. And we got Pinot 19 in competition got Best of Class. Got the craft in the last competition and 2020 launches happen in January. Man, I have been there a white one best of class. So they tend to do pretty well in the competition. If you’d like to inquire more about what’s going on with the events or even visit the winery in Elgin, Arizona, at Callaghan Vineyards, how can people get a hold of you can go to the website Callaghanvineyards.com

All right. Thank you very much for your time. It has been very enlightening. Yeah. Thanks for us. Thank you.

It is time now for our listener voicemail question.

My name is Jolene Erickson and I’m from Flagstaff, Arizona. And I was wondering when making wine do you have to have seedless grapes? If you could answer that question. That would be awesome. Thank you.

No, you do not have to use seedless grapes. However, there is a difference between wine grapes and table grapes. There are over a thousand different varieties of grapes made for winemaking. They’ve converged them over the years. Plus, wine grapes have a very thick skin, unlike the table grape, which has a very thin skin. So it’s easy to eat and the differences go on and on. That’s what makes winemaking so intriguing. The layers are endless.

Thank you for listening. I’m Forrest Kelly. This episode of The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM.

If you like the show tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

Please subscribe from your favorite Podcast Platform: Apple, Spotify, Google, Deezer, Stitcher, Tunein, Breaker, Castbox.

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Callaghan Vineyards – Elgin, AZ Ep. 2 Pt. 1

Callaghan Vineyards

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Our featured winery is in this episode is. Let’s start the adventure.

Our featured winery is: We venture to Arizona. Callaghan Vineyards. Dr. Gordon Dutt, doing some research for a project that he was working on, was surprised to find that there were no wineries in the state, even though the soil composition was similar to Burgundy France after some funding. The wine business was born in Elgin, Arizona. The state of Arizona has over 100 wineries, but in a particular area, we’re talking about is fifteen, including Kent, Callaghan Vineyards.

So we go back to summertime 1990, Ken’s parents decide to start the vineyards along with Kent. But Mother Nature didn’t exactly greet him with open arms.

Well, we planted in the middle of a heatwave. It was the first time, as far as I know, Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix had shut down. Think it was 122 for a couple of days. It was 105 here in Elgin.

So we lost a lot of our plantings right off the bat in Cabernet, which was about 9000 of those vines to us, probably twenty-five hundred.

It’s going to be all that hard work. Then to see those vines die because of the extreme heat, you probably wonder whose idea was this anyway?

It was my dad’s idea. He had been a real home winemaker, so they thought this parcel man asked me to come on to help them plant the starting point of entry and start a winery. I was right out of college at that point, basically.

So you graduate from college. Where did you to college? Pomona in Claremont. Okay. In Southern California. And graduated with a degree in philosophy. So from that to the current time, you’ve been doing this. What? Let’s say you do the math. You’re a little over 30 years.

Yeah, 30 years. 30 of vintage this year and then 31st first year growing.

How big is pruning into the success of a vineyard? It’s huge. In my opinion, the single most important thing that you do if I had to rank them.

Why is it so critical? Well, It sets the stage for basically everything else. If you prune correctly, you know, you’re just setting yourself up for success the vine architecture, the way the vine grows is going to give you hope what you know, he’s intending to get with less need for inputs, particularly manual input.

Without getting too philosophical, how would you describe your vineyard, your winery? We’re not looking for a huge crop. I think we’re looking for quality fruit. It’s the whole focus on what we do.

Are you one of the bigger wineries? Biggest acreage, one of the smaller wineries. Our output is not particularly large. We’re probably the third our fourth-largest, something like that out of fifteen. Yeah, well, I was the whole goal from the start was never to be a large operation, but a quality one.

It’s a winery. What are you most proud of? I mean, just enjoy it. I guess we’re best known for. We’re still experimenting. I mean, it’s been quite a long journey in trying to figure out what varieties grow best and not only in Sonoita, where we are specifically on our specific site. And that is something that’s still ongoing. It’s been fun and somewhat now. I’m consuming, obviously, but mostly rewarding. Otherwise, you’re not just our own, but for the folks that are consumers that enjoy our wine. I think it’s interesting for them to see, you know, the library historical data to see how the wines age, what’s done well, you know, and how the vintage is different are different because we definitely have vintage variation in Arizona in general and particularly in Sonoita due to the monsoon rainfall that we get, everything depends on how much rain falls when it falls. If we have a cloud cover at critical times when it rains and that kind of thing. So all of those things affect and that obviously is effects your wine, not only air quality but also the character of the vintage.

Ok. Due to time constraints, that concludes part one of our interview with Kent of Callaghan Vineyards. So that brings us up to our listener voicemail.

Hello. This is Savannah from Corona, California. I would like to know who invented the corkscrew and when. As far as historians can recall the earliest reference to a corkscrew was in the 1680s. They called the crude instruments a steel worm. We do know that Reverend Samuel Henshall received the first patent in 1795. Thank you, Savannah, for your question.

Thank you for listening. I’m Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best 5 Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHYSM, if you like the show tell your friends and pets and subscribe. Until next time pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.

Please subscribe from your favorite Podcast Platform: Apple, Spotify, Google, Deezer, Stitcher, Tunein, Breaker, Castbox.

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Bear Creek Winery – Homer, AK Ep. 1 Pt. 1

Bear Creek Winery

Welcome to The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast. I’m your host Forrest Kelly from the seed to the glass. Wine has a past. Our aim at The Best 5 Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all grape minds think alike. Let’s start the adventure. Our featured winery is Bear Creek Winery as we venture to Homer, Alaska. Population just over 5,000, the halibut fishing capital of the world. Home to such famous people as the singer Jewel. Mr. Motel 6 Tom Bodett. Tom Bodett: We’ll sure leave the light on for you. Forrest Kelly: Thanks Tom and Bear Creek Winery, owner-operator Louis Mauer.  That is correct. So when we pull into the parking lot at Bear Creek Winery, what do we see? Beautiful set of grounds and gardens that you can see and so there’s a little aft people can walk through and we’ve highlighted some of the berries, the fruits, and berries that we use in our wines in the garden. No, the first thing people think of, you know, a winery in Alaska. How is that possible? Are there any hardships?

Well, yes. If we were trying to grow our grape, it would be extremely difficult. Which we’ve actually tried cultivating grapes and they’ll root and they do okay during the summer months, but then they’re very difficult over winter with the cold. Our most challenging thing is probably shipping items, getting stuff up here, and getting things back down the lower 48. It is always a challenge and costly.

In the early years, you were doing five-gallon batches and now you’re over what, 20,000 gallons a year?  That’s correct. Right now, we ship anywhere in the US.

So your featured wine, your home run, your grand slam home run wine would be?

Our strawberry rhubarb. We have two brands, one’s a Bear Creek and the strawberry rhubarb is by far our most popular wine. We make a strawberry wine and then a rhubarb wine and blend the two together. And then for our Glacier Bear, which is our sister label that we’ve produced in order to highlight the guaranteed to be grown in Alaska fruit wines. We have a golden raspberry that we make that’s extremely popular.

Do you get any push back from traditional wineries?

No, not from wineries but within wine tasters. Everything’s interested in what we’re doing,  it’s very collaborative. We get more blowback from customers coming into the tasting room and not understanding what it is that we do more so than people in the industry.

It’s the taste of a fruit wine that much different than that of a grape wine?

It’s significantly different. The wines are, you know, they’re wines are crafted well. We’ve produced award medal-winning wines, but the flavor profiles are dramatically different because they’re not done, it’s not a grape. So, you know, I don’t know who’s ever tried, like apple wine might be something they’re more familiar with. And the fun part of it is because the flavor profiles are so much different, you have a whole new set of flavors that you can pair with dishes and for different settings and occasions and things.

So is the process similar? Yes, the equipment is the same. We use tanks and pressers of holding vats and all those kinds of things from the same vendors that a grape winery would and we use all those things in the toolbox. We might do it in a different order than some other winery, but it’s all the same, still yeast and sugars and producing alcohol.

I understand you’ve got a lodge? We do. We’ve got two suites that guests can stand and then we also have an apartment, a three-bedroom apartment so people can stay on the grounds and enjoy tasting while they’re here.

A typical day for you starts at what time in the morning?

I’m usually in the office at eight and then I’m heading home around six. Our tasting room is open until six o’clock every day, all year.

This coming year, what does Bear Creek winery have in store for us?

Looking forward to 2020 here, we’ve got some new products coming out. We’re going to try doing a sparkling apple wine. We’re going to try doing some cider. So, we had a really good growing year last summer for apples and we got quite a bit more than we would have expected. So, we got some extra juice to play around with and try some new products.

What are you most proud of at the winery?

Oh man, that’s a tough one. I started out in the production side of things and making the wines and the Glacier Bear label was one of my ideas. So, I’m very excited about that and having that do well and showcasing those Alaska berries. And since then, since I’ve taken over the whole thing, I’m quite proud of our staff and what a good crew. We have treated our crew like family type of deal.

Where can we get a hold of you with a website address?  Bearcreekwinery.com. You can also check out our sister label, Glacierbearwinery.com.

Something we learned today with Louis of Bear Creek Winery is the flavor profiles are so much broader with fruit wines, that it opens up the possibilities.

You have a whole new set of flavors that you can pair with dishes and for different settings and occasions and things.

All right. Thank you, Louis, for being our guest today and hopefully one day we’ll venture to Homer, Alaska, and sample some of your creations.

Yeah, thank you. I appreciate it. Glad you found us.

All right, so that brings us up to our listener voicemail question.

Hi, this is Diane from Chicago. I wondered, how long does it take a grapevine to mature from seeds?

Excellent question, Diane. There are many factors involved, of course, but up to three years is what the experts say, and one of the most crucial aspects of bringing it to fruition is pruning. We’ll get into that in a different episode. Thank you for listening.

Please subscribe from your favorite Podcast Platform: Apple, Spotify, Google, Deezer, Stitcher, Tunein, Breaker, Castbox.