I’ll Drink to That: Jeffrey Grosset of Grosset Wines

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Episode 301 of I’ll Drink to That has been released. It features Jeffrey Grosset of Grosset Wines in the Clare Valley of South Australia.

In many ways this interview is a capsule history of Australian winemaking for the last 35 years, as Jeffrey started in the business at quite a young age. When he was still in his teens he was working at Lindemans crushing thousands of tons of grapes. Then he went off to found his own project, and in pretty much every step along the way he took a different route than the majority of his peers. Instead of the big reds that were gaining in popularity, Grosset focused on Riesling. He emphasized soil type differences in his bottlings when the word terroir was still little used. He decided to forgo the popular wine competitions. His signature wine was firmly in a high-acid style. He planted vineyards on their own roots. He chose organic farming just at the time that the industry was largely going heavy into chemical additions. Then he pioneered the use of screw caps, and fought for tougher labeling restrictions in the face of heavy opposition from larger wineries within Australia. More recently he has been working with the Fiano grape to see if the conditions of his area might suit the variety. What is fascinating about this interview is that Jeffrey Grosset explains his reasoning for each of these decisions, and what he was responding to. Sometimes the outsiders have the best view, and an iconoclast like Jeffrey Grosset puts the Australian wine industry of the last 35 years in context.

This episode also includes a Warm Up from Erin about wine closures.

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

I’ll Drink to That is the world’s leading 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