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I'll Drink to That: Winemaker John Kongsgaard

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Episode 327 of I'll Drink to That! was released recently. It features features John Kongsgaard, of the Kongsgaard winery in Napa Valley.

This interview is a pretty fluid mix of the colorful tales (an ancestor shot at the State House! Getting dressed down in Bordeaux! Drinking with Dick Graff!) and the winemaking data points, which makes it an appealing episode both for entertainment and for a winemaking education. John Kongsgaard has turned in 41 harvests at this point, so he has had plenty of time to consider what he is up to, and he doesn't hesitate to share what he thinks on a number of winemaking and vineyard points. It would be hard to come out of the other side of listening to this interview and not feel like something has been learned about the process of how wine gets to be the way it is. John was clearly part of a pivotal generation in the Napa Valley when it comes to wine, and there are remembrances in this interview that a younger person would just have no way of ever knowing except by listening to someone like John. Homebrews with Nathan Fay? Oh, yeah. Vineyard advice from André Tchelistcheff? Sure. Measuring the impact of Michel Rolland? John felt it firsthand. This is a pretty extraordinary discussion on a number of points, and one your are likely to be thinking about for awhile, even after your second or third listen.

Listen to the stream above, or check it out in iTunes.

I'll Drink to That is the world's most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @levi_opens_wine

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Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise adventures on the wine route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud