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

December 11, 2023 49 mins

In this episode, we take a look behind the scenes of one of the wine and spirits industry’s most important trade fairs: Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris. The Thieves speak with with Rodolphe Lameyse, CEO of Vinexposium, the company that runs the fair – and spoiler alert: Wine Paris and Vinexpo Paris are two names for the same show – Rodolphe explains why the trade fair has a dual name,  and will discuss some of the issues that are most...

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The Wine Thieves are back with part two of a series on the Unità Geografiche Aggiuntivi of Chianti Classico (or UGAs) the recently announced additional geographic units that will begin appearing on labels of the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione category as of this year.  Joining us again are Caterina Mori, Director of Communications for the Chianti Classico Consorzio, and the "Map Man" Alessandro Masnaghetti who literally ...

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In part one of this two-part episode, the Thieves  go behind the scene in Chianti Classico with Caterina Mori, director of Communication for the Consorzio Vino Chianti Classico and Alessandro Masnaghetti, aka Map Man Masnaghetti, to take a deep dive into the recently approved “added geographic units” of this important Tuscan region , which were officially signed into law this past July 2023. (Alessandro will be familiar to Wine Thi...

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The first of a three-part journey into  Chianti Classico. in this episode we look at the past, present and future of the denominazione with our special guest, Giovanni Manetti, Chariman of the Chianti Classico Consorzio and proprietor of the venerated Fontodi estate in Panzano. This is Manetti’s second term as the Chairman , where he has been a driving force of innovation and evolution, helping to re-establish Chianti Classico as o...

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The Thieves embark on a South African “wine safari” with  Pieter Walser of Blank Bottle Wines based in Sommerset West near Stellenbosch, one of the most unusual and innovative wine businesses  anywhere, and Peter-Allan Finlayson of Crystallum Wines and Gabrielskloof in the Bot River region. Finlayson is a third generation winemaker and the son of the man who pioneered Pinot Noir winemaking in the Hemel-en-Aarde region, Peter Finlay...

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This episode takes a wide-ranging look at biodynamic agriculture, which, perhaps not so coincidentally, seems to be the foundational philosophy underlying a disproportionately large percentage of the world’s best wines. The Thieves speak with two prominent Californian practitioners of biodynamics to discuss several aspects of this philosophy-cum-practical manifesto, first developed by Austrian-born philosopher and social reformer R...

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Originally aired November 2022: The Thieves are  back in Europe to explore the wealth of indigenous grape varieties and stunning stunning old vineyards found in Portugal.  Exactly how this sliver of the Iberian peninsula has been able to safeguard traditions, vineyards and distinctive regional character is what Sara and John are out to learn in this special reissue episode. 

They have a hunch that large-volume producers h...

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We’re kicking off 2023 and season three of the podcast with a look at one of the hottest wine trends down under: cool and fresh red wines from Australia. Once famous, and still well-known for robust, full-bodied, sunshine-filled jammy reds, today there’s serious momentum gathering, and already flowing, for lighter styles of red, fresher, less oaky, with lower alcohol and higher drinkability. So, what is driving this trend? What sho...

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With a broad, international perspective, award-winning author, Decanter columnist and broadcaster, Andrew Jefford shares his thoughts on Ontario Chardonnay after his role as a keynote speaker at this year's i4C (International Cool Climate Celebration) in Niagara, Ontario. Join John & Sara as they listen in to Jefford's consequential speech which connects the dynamic aspects of wine to music. 

Jefford shares h...

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The Thieves are  back in Europe to explore the wealth of indigenous grape varieties and stunning stunning old vineyards found in Portugal.  Exactly how this sliver of the Iberian peninsula has been able to safeguard traditions, vineyards and distinctive regional character is what Sara and John are out to learn. 

They have a hunch that large-volume producers have a role to play, and invite three important guests to investi...

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The Wine Thieves are finally back with a new episode, perfect for the late summer, at least in  the northern hemisphere, in which we share some cool news and information on the white wines of Australia. Many picture Australia as a warm country with beautiful beaches and great surfing,  well suited to heat-loving red grapes like grenache, shiraz and mourvèdre (aka mataro) that  make up the classic GSM blend, and rightfully so.  But ...

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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,...

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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 Me...

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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 Galic...

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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...

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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, sal...

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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 Rü...

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