I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Ehren Jordan of Failla Wines

Episode 404 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Ehren Jordan of the Failla Winery located in St. Helena, California.

Many California winemakers have a soft spot for Syrah, but few of them have accomplished a couple of harvests in Cornas to go with it. Ehren Jordan did work along the slope of Chaillot for a couple of years, and he has plenty of entertaining stories to share from his time living in Cornas, a small village that views visitors from even the next town over as outsiders. Ehren shares his memories of Noel Verset and Raymond Trollat in this interview, and other Northern Rhone Valley personalities make appearances as well. But besides the personal contact, Ehren also seems to have brought back an open mind with him to California and to his own winemaking there. While others in the New World pushed for ripeness, Ehren remembered what he had seen in France, and questioned the need for new Syrah plantings on warm sites. When other people questioned stem inclusion, Ehren recalled that some of his favorite wines had come from that direction. And similar conversations come up in this interview regarding massale selection as well as vineyard rows. The Old World references loom large for Ehren, and they seem to have given him the belief that he didn’t have to go along with what he saw around him in California. The takeaway of those harvests seems to have been: if you are different, that’s ok. And that experience makes this interview a whole lot more than just ok, as well.

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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: @leviopenswine