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Elizabeth Schneider

Elizabeth Schneider is a certified sommelier, certified specialist of wine, and creator of the Podcast Wine for Normal People.
Recent episodes featuring Elizabeth Schneider
Ep 297: Anthony Road Wine Company -- a Legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York
Wine for Normal People
Anthony Road Wine Company is a legend in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. It’s one of the pioneering wineries of the area, and it makes wines that reflect the soils and climate of the Finger Lakes. Their wines are made from grapes grown in vineyards owned or managed by the Martini Family and carefully selected by Peter Becraft, the head winemaker. Anthony Road is a family run, family owned, and family operated winery that makes outstanding Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, blends, and a variety of reds and rose, as well as some skin contact wines.      This week I speak with Peter Becraft, a man of many talents. He started out his career as a Fine Arts Masters student, working as a casting director for a famed fashion photographer in Manhattan. As with many of our generation, Peter found himself at a crossroad after September 11, 2001. He realized he needed to do something more fulfilling with his life. Previously finding more common ground and excitement in the folks his pastry chef wife Cary hung out with, he pursued a wine shop job in lower Manhattan and immersed himself in the world of wine. Today, he is the head winemaker at the iconic Anthony Road Wine Company in the Finger Lakes on Seneca Lake.    Here are the show notes:  Peter tells us how John and Ann Martini moved from Baltimore in 1973 and set up their farm. He gives us a great lesson on the history of Finger Lakes – what it was like when the Martinis came, and how things have evolved over the last 45 years.   We learn about the role of hybrid grapes and why they are different from and similar to the grapes we know and love (vitis vinifera)   Peter tells us about the climate and the differences between the Martini Family Vineyard and the Nutt Road Vineyard and why microclimate is so essential to winemaking In the Finger Lakes. Peter gets into really nerdy detail, including glacial movement, silt-loam soils, and how the depth and width of Seneca Lake influences the vineyards   Peter then shares his incredible journey from sculptor to winemaker. He tells us how he went from student in Virginia to fine arts Masters student in New York City to winemaker at one of the premier wineries in New York   Peter tells us how he learned winemaking, the importance of mentorship from former head winemaker Johannes Reinhardt and how he approaches winemaking   We discuss the variety of wines in Anthony Road’s portfolio – Riesling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Vignoles (a hybrid), Lemberger, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc, Merlot   We wrap with Peter’s view on what makes the Finger Lakes so special – its unity, vision, and collegiality   Peter and Anthony Road will be at the Underground Wine Event on 11/9/19!   You can meet Peter and try his wines at the Underground Wine Event in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2019!    Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!! _______________________________ Thanks to our sponsors this week: Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!    Last Bottle    I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines: Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines. Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.
Ep 296: Boundary Breaks of the Finger Lakes, Where Terroir Reigns Supreme
Wine for Normal People
Boundary Breaks is located in the Finger Lakes in Central New York. It's the consummate cool weather growing region, where Riesling and aromatic whites reign supreme. Bruce Murray, the founder and creative force behind Boundary Breaks, tells us how he went from newspaper man, to working with Elon Musk, to running a winery so focused on terroir, they don't even have a dedicated winemaker.   Boundary Breaks was founded in 2007 by Bruce on the East side of Seneca Lake. It focuses on Riesling, which range in style from dry and complex to lightly sweet to a true Riesling Ice Wine. In addition to Riesling, small amounts of Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are grown on the estate. The wines are spectacular with a purity of flavor, and excellent terroir expression. Bruce's life is fascinating and Boundary Breaks, indeed, has broken some boundaries in what can be done in the wine world!    Here are the topics we discuss:  Bruce tells us how his life unfolded to bring him back to the area in which he grew up. He tells me how the Donnhoff Riesling from Nahe, Germany in a Thai restaurant in Vegas changed the course of his life.  We talk about the Finger Lakes, how they were formed, why they are so unique and why the east side of Seneca Lake produces such excellent grapes. We get extra dorky, discussing Boundary Breaks' unique drainage system and why "wet feet" are bad for grapes   We discuss Riesling and how vineyard management is so pivotal to getting pure flavor. We detail each style Boundary Breaks makes -- dry, off-dry, ice wine plus aromatic whites like Gewurztraminer.   We talk extensively about the challenges of growing reds in the climate of the Finger Lakes and how quality has been spotty over the years, but is improving by leaps and bounds. You can meet Bruce and try his wines at the Underground Wine Event in Washington, D.C. on November 9, 2019!    Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today!! _______________________________ Thanks to our sponsors this week: Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!    Last Bottle    I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines: Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines. Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.
Ep 294: Walla Walla,  Washington's Fathers of the Vine -- Eric McKibben of Pepper Bridge Winery and Amavi Cellars
Wine for Normal People
Eric McKibben grew up in Walla Walla, where his dad, Norm, is a founding father of the most important side of Walla Walla – the vineyard side. Norm is known to have helped grow the Walla Walla industry from a few dozen acres in 1989 to 2800 today, around the idea of impeccable quality in the vineyard. The business is truly a family business. Norm is still involved but Eric is a partner. Eric worked for 11 years in Seattle in the telecom industry, earned an MBA and then returned to Walla Walla in 2003, where he is an active partner at Amavi Cellars and Pepper Bridge Winery. In 2004, he assumed the duty of General Manager at Amavi Cellars. He also taught me pretty much everything I know about Walla Walla and is one of the best advocates for the region there is! If you get a chance to try these wines, you should do it -- they are pure Walla Walla and purely excellent!  Here are the show notes:   Eric tells us about the Missoula Floods and why Walla Walla is such a unique growing region, unlike any other in the world. If you want to see a cool PBS documentary on the Missoula Floods, here it is.    We learn about the early days of Walla Walla -- what was here, how grapes supplanted apples, and who the early players were and what they accomplished. We talk about Jean-Francois Pellet, winemaker and partner for both Pepper Bridge and Amavi, and why he was such a believer in this region when he came from Heitz in Napa for a job interview with Amavi and Pepper Bridge.    We discuss the "bowl" valley that is Walla Walla, the soil types and and the styles that different parts of Walla Walla yield. We do a bit of compare and contrast on Napa v Walla Walla styles   Because it's timely, Eric settles our fears about phylloxera that was recently reported on in the wine pubs   Then we spend time dorking out about the flavors that you'll find in Walla Walla -- Syrahs that taste plush, some that taste like licking rocks. Cabernet that expresses terroir without being too full or rich. Semillon that has beautiful acidity. All of these things and how they are achieved.    Finally we dip into the thorny question of why so many wineries are based in Walla Walla that don't make any wines from Walla Walla fruit only (they blend it with things from other part of Columbia Valley) and what that means for the AVA from a marketing and reputational standpoint.    Amavi and Pepper Bridge will be at this year's Underground Wine Event in Washington DC. For tickets, go to www.undergroundwineevents.com            Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!  ____________________________________________________ Thanks to our sponsors this week: Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!    Last Bottle    I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines: Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines. Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.   Coravin  Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!   M.M. LaFleur        If you’ve wondered about these clothes, as I have, I’m here to tell you PULL THE TRIGGER! They are beautiful!! The M.M.LaFleur collection is designed by co-founder Miyako Nakamura, the former head designer of Zac Posen. M.M.LaFleur offers personal styling to help you find the best pieces for your body and lifestyle. Right now, new customers can enjoy $25 towards their first purchase or Bento Box with the code WINE. Visit mmlafleur.com/wine for more details and to redeem this gift.
Ep 293: Afton Mountain Vineyards Proves Why Virginia Wine is So Unique
Wine for Normal People
Virginia, on the east coast of the United States, has much history with grape growing, but not all of it was good. Today, however, exciting producers have mastered their microclimates and are making some of the freshest, most nuanced, terroir-driven wines in the United States.   This week I sit down with Elizabeth Smith of one of the top wineries in this lovely state, Afton Mountain Vineyards. We discuss everything from Virginia history with grape growing, to terroir obsession, to the European flare of the region, and why the wines are so darn good.  If you don't know much about VA or you're an obsessive this podcast will be equally fascinating!    Elizabeth and Tony Smith both grew up in Charlottesville and had lifelong ties the Blue Ridge Mountains. After working and raising a family in coastal VA, and even trying their hands at grape growing there (not quite the right terroir!), they decided to move back to their hometown for their second act – winegrowing and making. They bought Afton Mountain Vineyards in 2009 and in this show, Elizabeth shares their story and how they came to make some of the best wine in Virginia.   Elizabeth shares her background and how she went from investment management to property management to winery management (and rocked them all!)   Elizabeth gives us a true education on the Monticello appellation – what matters to quality wine, what is challenging in growing grapes here, and why she and Tony selected the most westerly site in the Monticello AVA to make their elegant wines   We dork out on microclimates, what makes Virginia so unique, and why elevation, and extremely attentive (obsessive) vineyard management is the only way to make great wine in Virginia and why sustainable viticulture is better than organic in a dicey climate like that in the Monticello area.   Elizabeth answers the question: Why does Damien Blanchon, their French winemaker, and so many other French winemakers find themselves in Virginia, and decide to stay (hint: challenge without restriction!)   We talk about the varietals that do well for Afton Mountain (Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, and Albariño for the whites, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Tannat, and Sangiovese for the reds) and the flavors they yield from this land. We have an interesting side bar about how Petit Verdot can really suck if not handled well!   We wrap with Elizabeth talking about how far Virginia wine has come in the last 10 years and a BIG teaser on a project Afton Mountain is starting this fall!   Find out more about Elizabeth and her wines at www.aftonmountainvineyards.com and come to the Underground Wine Event on 11/9/19 in Washington D.C. to meet her and taste her beautiful wines!   Thanks to our sponsors this week: Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!      Coravin   Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!     Last Bottle    I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices. They offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.     Zola Zola, the wedding company that will do anything for love, is reinventing the wedding planning and registry experience to make the happiest moment in couples' lives even happier. From engagement to wedding and decorating your first home, Zola is there, combining compassionate customer service with modern tools and technology. All in the service of love. To start your free wedding website or registry on Zola, go to www.ZOLA.com/wine  
Ep 292: The Secret, Stunning Wine of Swartland, South Africa
Wine for Normal People
Just 40 miles/65 km north of Cape Town lies a large area that makes the most exciting, sought after wines in South Africa. Swartland (Dutch for 'black land') is full of young, passionate winemakers making wines that respect the hot, dry land from which they derive and are able to create wines of such depth, flavor, and nuance that it’s hard to believe so few know about them. In this show, we tell you about the Syrah, Rhône and Mediterranean varietals, the Chenin Blanc and other stunning white blends coming from this area and why you need to seek it out ASAP!   Overview of the region… Swartland was oncea rural backwater, better known for wheat fields than vineyards Vineyards traditionally grew where wheat couldn’t -- on the northern side of Paardeberge Mountains in the south, the plains of Piketberg in the north, and the smaller Ward of Riebeekberg and Kasteelberg Mountains in the east Lots of old vines on slopes where nothing else grows, hand harvested The climate ishot and dry with very low summer rainfall but with consistent afternoon and evening breezes off the Atlantic Ocean. Growers have less concern about fungus and other diseases. They use the ecosystem to keep the vineyards healthy with integrated pest management, bush training of vines, and dry farming   We dork out on plate tectonics! Swartland has ancient geology. The terroirresulted from a combination of tectonic collisions, ancient volcanic activity and continental separation The soils are the oldest in the world and are a mix of shale, arenite sandstone and granite, schist based terroirs. Malmesbury shale on Kasteelberg Mtn is the dominant soil. vertical layering structure caused by tectonic shifts. Water drains away and vines dig deeper for liquid nourishment   Grapes/Winemaking We talk about the grapes and terroir driven wines of the region Red grapes: Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvèdre, Grenache Noir, Carignan, Cinsaut, Tinta Barocca, Pinotage White grapes:Chenin blanc, Grenache blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier, Clairette, Palomino, Sémillon, Muscat d’Alexandria, Muscat d’Frontignan, Colombard and Verdelho. Viticulture:A lot of natural, noninvasive methods of farming Winemaking:larger barrels that impart less flavor, less racking and stirring to keep earthy flavors, unfiltered, unfined wines – low input wines The Ward of Riebeekbergnear the towns of Riebeek Kasteel and Riebeek West has vineyards on eastern slopes of the Kasteelberg Mountain make big reds of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc, and Chardonnay that are complex    We talk about South African and Swartland Wine history We discuss how South Africa lies somewhere between the Old World and New World styles. We discuss the early history in the 1660s, with the arrival of the French Huguenots who planted vineyards. We tell the story of how, in late 1990s, Charles Back of Goats do Roam fame went to Swartland to source grapes and wound up transforming the area by  buying land and hiring Eben Sadie to run his “Spice Route” wines in 1998. We discuss the modern history of the region and why it takes a special person to make wine in conditions withlow rainfall, un-irrigated vines and paltry yields.    Producers and the Swartland revolution We discuss Swartland Independent Producers (SIP), an association that runs the Swartland Revolution celebration every November Their goal: Wines that are a true expression of their origin. Like old world AOPs -- distinctive wines but also making them so as to speak about a sense of place See the list of requirements and the producers here:  https://swartlandindependent.co.za/members/    Top producers AA Badenhorst: AA Badenhorst Family White,  AA Badenhorst Family Red are flagships; Secateurs produced from purchased fruit Lammershoek:Traditional producer Testalonga:“naked” style, funky wines Lammershoek:Libero No. 5 Mullineux: Syrahs and white blends; entry level Kloof Street Porseleinberg  Sadie Family: Columella – Syrah-based blend (famous), Palladius – rich style white; cheaper, co-owned Sequillo range   Don't forget to order your Wine For Normal People book today too!!  ____________________________________________________ Thanks to our sponsors this week: Thanks to YOU! The podcast supporters on Patreon, who are helping us to make the podcast possible and who we give goodies in return for their help! Check it out today: https://www.patreon.com/winefornormalpeople And to sign up for classes, please go to www.winefornormalpeople.com/classes!    Last Bottle    I love this service!! Last Bottle Wines finds great wines and offers them at a one time discount. Last Bottle Wines: Is a fun way to discover the best wines at the lowest prices Maintains relationships with producers in the most prestigious wine regions around the world and traveling to Europe several times each year to eat with, stay with, drink with, walk the vineyards with the people who make the wines. Offer a range of prices from low end to high end $9 to $99 and the wines range from the lesser known kinds like Albariño and Bläufrankish to Cabernet, Merlot and Chardonnay. Visit: http://lastbottlewines.com/normal and join to get a $10 instant credit to use toward your first order. Invite your wine drinking pals and they’ll get $10 instantly and you get $30 when they make their first buy.   Coravin  Coravin is the first and only tool in the world that lets you pour wine without removing the cork. You can pour wine in any amount and preserve what’s left of the bottle for weeks, months of even years. Thousands of wine professionals, from sommeliers to winemakers, around the world have tested and trust Coravin with their wines and it will change the way you drink wine too. For a limited time, visit Coravin.com and enter NORMAL at checkout to get $20 off your purchase of $50 of more!
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Stats
Episode Count
330
Podcast Count
3
Total Airtime
1 week, 2 days