The Taste with Doug Shafer – Stories of Winemakers and Wine

The Taste with Doug Shafer – Stories of Winemakers and Wine

Serving up stories of food and wine. “Mainly, I’m interested in people’s stories – where they started, their struggles, successes, and how they ended up where they’ve ended up,” says Doug Shafer.


November 7, 2022 64 mins
Third-generation vintner Violet Grgich tells an incredible family wine story that spans a century that includes a world war, daring escapes, and a years-long journey to Napa Valley. Her grandfather was a winemaker in their small town in Croatia, her father came to Napa and help put the region on the world stage and started a winery, Grgich-Hills Estate, where today Violet is president. Enjoy!
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Hugh Davies lives in the same house he grew up in at Schramsberg Winery here in Napa Valley and, in a case of history repeating itself, it’s where he and his wife are raising their own family and making world-class wines. Hugh does a great job of weaving together 150 years of stories about family and winemaking on Diamond Mountain. Enjoy!
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June 2, 2022 62 mins
In 1975 John Williams arrived in Napa Valley with a return bus ticket and $40 in his pocket. He fell in love with wine and never used that return ticket – instead launching Frog’s Leap Winery. Today John and his son Rory (who also owns Calder Wine Co.) are running Frog’s Leap together and on the podcast, they discuss the joys and challenges of family business.
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April 5, 2022 61 mins
John Kongsgaard grew up in Napa Valley, where his father was a beloved local judge. John says their father-son relationship was tested during the stresses of the Vietnam War and the road to healing that rift culminated in the creation of Kongsgaard’s most celebrated wine, The Judge. Today John works with his son, Alex, to keep growing beautiful fruit and making outstanding wines. Enjoy! For more visit:
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December 13, 2021 52 secs
Delia Viader came to the wine business in Napa Valley in the 1980s after living in Argentina, Switzerland, Lebanon, and France and earning degrees from the Sorbonne in Paris and MIT in Boston. Her son Alan grew up on the winery property, learning vineyard and cellar work at a young age. Today this duo runs Viader Vineyards & Winery, one of Napa Valley’s best. Enjoy! For more visit:
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November 19, 2021 58 mins

Adam Lee comes from a family of devout Texas teetotalers. In college, however, Adam not only tasted his first wine, he became passionate about it. He and then-wife Diane Novy moved to California and founded Siduri, making outstanding Pinot Noirs from vineyards site that ranged from Santa Barbara to the Willamette Valley in Oregon. After selling Siduri, Adam has gone on to start several exciting new wine projects. Enjoy!


For more vi...

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September 2, 2021 59 mins

Early on Donald Patz thought he’d pursue a medical career. After college, however, he landed a wine sales job and one thing led to another. By the 1980s Patz met James Hall in Napa and they created Patz & Hall, a winery celebrated for outstanding Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In 2016, they sold the winery and Patz moved on to several exciting new wine projects – including his first venture into Cabernet.

For more visit: https://d...

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July 29, 2021 50 mins

As a kid Elizabeth Vianna lived in Brazil, Los Angeles, and Illinois, then moved back to Brazil. She entered college intent on becoming a concert pianist, then got serious about medicine but along the way found her true love in wine. Today Vianna is one of our favorite neighbors here in Napa Valley’s Stag Leap District as winemaker and general manager at Chimney Rock. Enjoy!

For more visit:

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July 1, 2021 78 mins

While Michael Silacci grew up near the vineyards of Gilroy, California, it took years of travel through Hawaii, Japan, Switzerland, and eventually France to discover his passion for wine. Today he can look back on nearly 20 years of stellar winemaking at Opus One, combining innovative thinking with age-old techniques to produce wines that are among the best. Enjoy!

For more visit:

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June 4, 2021 51 mins

Jay McInerney burst onto the literary scene in 1984 with Bright Lights, Big City, his novel based on an era both in his life and the life of New York City. A dozen years later McInerney surprised a lot of people by turning to writing about wine. He won over many early doubters, displaying a novelist’s eye and a wine lover’s enthusiasm for profiling wines, winemakers, wine regions, and more. Enjoy!

Wine books byJay McInerney:https:...

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In this episode the guest is you! We invited listeners to send in questions about wine collecting, winemaking, or all things Shafer – and you came through. Doug Shafer invited veteran broadcaster and wine enthusiast Spencer Christian to help navigate our way through all the queries and to add some of his own colorful thoughts and observations and we had a blast. Enjoy!

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April 6, 2021 59 mins

Later in 2021, Charles Woodson will accept a Pro Football Hall of Fame award in Canton, Ohio, just 100 miles from where he grew up in the small town of Fremont. From his start in high school football through college and an outstanding NFL career, Woodson was unstoppable, winning countless awards while at the same time becoming a philanthropist and successful vintner with his Intercept Wines brand. We cover the whole field in this e...

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March 12, 2021 48 mins

Early in college Tor Kenward was drafted and sent to Vietnam. Coming home he realized that life is short and he only wanted to do things that brought him joy. That pursuit brought him to Beringer Vineyards in the 1970s where he became “Vice President of all the Fun Stuff.” In the early 2000s he and his wife Susan launched TOR Wines, a small winery that has consistently produced vintage after vintage of beautifu...

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February 26, 2021 45 mins

Dalla Valle, long known for elegant and outstanding wines, is opening an exciting new chapter. Originally founded by Gustav and Naoko Dalla Valle in 1986, today the winery is run by the incredible mother and daughter team of Naoko and Maya Dalla Valle. Their story covers a lot of territory – from Northern Italy, to Kobe, Japan to Bordeaux, to the red soils of their vineyards off Silverado Trail. Enjoy!

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February 1, 2021 65 mins

In 1967 the Chappellet family built the second post-Prohibition winery in Napa Valley. Cyril was in elementary school then and mostly what he recalls is all the fun of living in the wilds of Pritchard Hill with his four brothers and sisters. The next 50-plus years have been a great adventure for the Chappellet family, who’ve made some beautiful wines along the way. Enjoy!

For more visit:

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December 15, 2020 63 mins

By the age of 35 Thomas Matthews had lived in several U.S. states and abroad in Belgium, France, and Spain. He didn’t see himself staying anywhere for long. Then he took a job in London to write for a magazine called Wine Spectator.

And something happened. He fell in love with the world of wine. This year Tom retires after more than 30 years with Wine Spectator, 21 of those as Executive Editor. It’s been quite a ride - enjoy!


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November 24, 2020 67 mins

By the time her parents started Araujo Estate in 1990, Jaime Araujo was in college. She went on to earn four degrees, was a theater actress in London, and launched her own marketing agency in France – all before returning to Napa Valley. That life experience has been a boon in partnering with her parents on their winery, Accendo Cellars, as well as launching her own label, Trois Noix. Enjoy!

For more visit: https://accendocellars....

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October 16, 2020 49 mins

Oscar Renteria grew up in Napa and wanted to escape the wine industry so he went to college and earned a business degree. After graduation his father called and asked Oscar to come work for his new vineyard management company. Oscar accepted and together as they turned their business into one of Napa Valley’s leading vineyard companies. Today Oscar also has a wine brand, Tres Perlas, producing ultra-limited beautiful wines. Enjoy!


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September 18, 2020 57 mins

Tom Rinaldi grew up in San Francisco, enjoyed the Summer of Love, and tasted wine in Napa Valley on his motorcycle. Later he signed up for the Navy before entering UC Davis where he studied winemaking -- and the rest is history. He’s been winemaker for Round Hill, Duckhorn, Provenance, Pellet Estate, and others. His sense of adventure intact, Tom looks forward to many more vintages to come. Enjoy!

For more visit: http://pelletesta...

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August 20, 2020 69 mins

In his 20s Andy Erickson thought he’d work in the diplomatic corps but an extended trek through South America’s wine country and a chance encounter with Paul Hobbs changed all that. Erickson came back and started a Napa Valley winemaking career producing outstanding wines for Dalla Valle, Screaming Eagle, Bond, Staglin, Mayacamas, as well as the wine brand, Favia, he launched with his wife, vineyardist Annie Favia.

For more visit:...

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