D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves

D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves

A riveting insider's look at the world of fine wine. Telling the stories of the people and the places that shape the world’s most compelling finds. John Szabo, Master Sommelier and Sara d’Amato, a jack of all wine trades, get to the root of the vine.

Episodes

June 18, 2022 64 min

In today’s episode:  how cataloguing old vines in South Africa has raised standards for fair employment, and sustainable farming and may just prove the key to solving the problem of the country’s most prevalent vine virus. We continue investigating the topic of old vines, this time from a different perspective, as we look to the Certified Heritage Vineyards of South Africa. We hope you’ve built up an appetite for the subject after ...

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Today's episode takes a critical look at the fashionable and fascinating subject of old vines, some extremely old, how they got so old, how they perform and the wines they produce. Do they make better wine than young vines?

The Wine Thieves  ask two world experts from South Australia to weigh in:  Prue Henschke, viticulturist for the renowned Henschke winery, including two of Australia’s most iconic ancient vineyards, Hill of Gr...

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May 6, 2022 77 min

Who doesn't love Beaujolais? This in-depth episode is all about this picturesque, hilly region and its geological and stylistic diversity. Recent cataloguing of the Beaujolais soils helped bring to light over 300 soil profiles that have been analyzed and described by geologists in tandem with growers, underscoring that diversity (be sure to check out the soil map,  published on  beaujolais.com.)

The Thieves welcome Mee Goddard t...

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The Wine Thieves venture out beyond wine (but not too far) to speak with Michelin starred chef-sommelier José González-Solla (Pepe to his friends) of the renowned Casa Solla, near Pontevedra in Galicia.  Once-known for its excellent, traditional, home cooking, when Solla took over from his parents he transformed the business through his inventive style of cooking that's  still firmly focused on the  authentic flavours of Galici...

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In Episode 4 in a five-part series on Rias Baixas,  the Wine Thieves speak with winemaker Emilio Rodriguez of the Terras Gauda winery in O Rosal, the largest privately owned winery in Rias Baixas. Emilio has been at Terras Gauda for longer than he can remember, and he is a big fan of some of the other native grapes of the region beyond Albariño, especially caiño blanco.  He speaks about the sweeping changes that occurred in the reg...

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Rias Baixas episode 3 of a five-part series: redefining Albariño, emerging styles, ageworthy wines, and the Condado do Tea subregion with special guest Isabel Salgado, winemaker at Fillaboa. In this episode we shift our focus over to the Condado do Tea sub-region. Condado de Tea is the second largest sub-region of the five, behind the Salnès Valley. It starts inland from O Rosal about 40 kilometres from the coast along the course o...

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This is part two of a five-part series on the Wine of Rias Baixas. In the first episode, we took you through the region, including a brief history and the technical details of climate and soils, sub-regions and the denominación of origin rules and regulations. If you missed it, you may want to go back and have a listen to our interview Katia Alvarez, winemaker at the Martin Codax winery of the Val do Salnés sub-region. 

In this epis...

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Welcome back and thank you for joining us for another season of Wine Thieves! We're off to a fresh start with our latest series in which we  explore albariño, seaside vineyards and fresh Atlantic wines as we travel through the diverse wine-growing region of Rias Baixas. This small corner of northwestern “Green Spain” in the region of Galicia has emerged over the last couple of decades as a premier source of fresh, crunchy, salt...

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 A replay of last year's terrific episode celebrating Riesling day, March 19th, featuring  Johannes Selbach (Selbach-Oster) of the Mosel Valley, Johannes Leitz from  the Rheingau, Philip Wittman of the Rheinhessen, and twins Hans and Valentin Rebholz of Ökonomierat Rebholz. The earliest-known written record of Riesling dates back precisely to March 13, 1435 in Germany, in the cellar log of Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen in Rüs...

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December 24, 2021 46 min

This is the last in our 5-part series featuring Armenia’s modern wine renaissance and our final episode of 2021. This time we focus on what’s most important, that is . . . eating and drinking in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia! Following the evolution of wine culture in the country that moved from a brandy-producing and brandy drinking culture to embracing their millennia-old wine history and reviving wine production and wine drink...

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In this episode, the Thieves visit one of the world’s great wine capitals: Vienna.  Up until the late Middle Ages, grapevines were still growing within city walls in what is now the first district in the heart of Vienna. Vineyards were slowly pushed to the outskirts, but Vienna remains the only European capital to have acreage of commercial consequence; just under 600ha are planted today to a wide variety of both red and white grap...

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December 3, 2021 57 min

You probably already know about Austrian grüner veltliner. It’s the country’s most planted variety, and the wine you’re most likely to find on store shelves and restaurant wine lists. You may even know that Austria makes exceptional riesling and fine reds from local specialties like blaufränkisch and sankt laurent. But what may be news is that this middle European country is also the source of some of the world’s best sauvignon bla...

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November 26, 2021 68 min

The Wine Thieves make their way to the south of France to the country’s most productive IGP, the Pays d’Oc. This long coastal strip spanning 240 kilometres across the Mediterranean Sea from just east of Nîmes to the Spanish border is a multi-faceted region with endless sunshine, benevolent winds and variations in elevation that make it possible to successfully grow no fewer than 58 permitted grape varieties. The IGP Pays d’Oc (Indi...

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November 22, 2021 58 min

This week we're back in Armenia focusing more deeply on the origins and proliferation of Armenia’s autochthonous grape varieties. Indigenous and autochthonous seem to be used interchangeably, but as we've learned, in the scientific community, autochthonous is the preferred term for grape varieties that were born, so to speak, in a certain place.  So, get ready for a very heady interview as we delve deep into vinifera DNA, d...

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November 16, 2021 48 min

(Previously aired 07/21) In this important episode, we connect with two of the many women who make up the fabric of Napa Valley's wine trade.  We speak with Megan Baccitich, a Healdsburg native and winemaker at the forward-thinking Geodesy Winery, and Ana Diogo-Draper, born raised and educated in Portugal but in Napa for the last 15 years, and now  Director of winemaking at Artesa. We explore why discussions about women in wine...

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In this episode, the Thieves explore one of the most important and timely topics in the wine world today: Regenerative Agriculture. “Regen Ag”, or simply RA as it’s often called, has become THE buzzword of the year not just in the wine industry, but in the agri-food sector at large. What is regen ag? It’s a simple question but the answer is anything but.  In very basic terms, it’s a system of agriculture that puts in more than it t...

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(Previously aired July 2021) This is not an episode about Napa's “icon wines” or “icon wineries” whose labels, rarity, and high cost cause a frenzy among consumers resulting in exclusive waitlists for the privilege of purchasing a bottle. No, today we’re talking about the “star” vineyards that, in some cases, have become brands in their own right. In Part One, we spoke with Andy Beckstoffer, the winegrower who turned Napa Valle...

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November 5, 2021 56 min

In this third episode focused on the re-nascent wine industry in Armenia, the Wine Thieves get into a deep and detailed conversation about ancient and recent techniques applied to the wealth of autochthonous grapes in the country. Joined by guests Artak Gabrielyan, chief winemaker at the Armenian National Agrarian University and lecturer at the EVN Wine Academy, and Jean-Paul Berger, German-born but Armenian tradition-obsessed? win...

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(Previously aired 07/15) Join the Wine Thieves in Napa Valley this week for the first of a special two-part series on the "grand crus" of Napa Valley, that is, the very best vineyards, the historic and more recently famous sites that produce Napa's finest wines. Today we're going straight to the source to talk to the Napa Valley’s, and probably all of California’s, most famous grape grower, a man who has created as ...

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In this episode we take a deeper look at VQA Ontario wines, and more specifically the Niagara Peninsula and its 10 sub-appellations. We begin to unravel the mystery of the cru, those single parcels of vineyard that have, or yet may rise, to the top of the heap of Ontario VQA wines. What features do they share? What makes them unique?

With grapegrowing experience stretching back to the 1970s, it is becoming more clear which sites are...

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