I’ll Drink to That: Erin and the Volcano

Episode 488 of I’ll Drink to That! features a tour of Pico Island, a part of the Azores archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean. Erin Scala leads the audio tour and takes listeners along as she speaks with numerous people living and working on the island.

Erin Scala packs big, sturdy boots and heads to Pico Island, a land known for mysterious and intricate vineyard sites, razor-blade lava stones, whale watching, a marshmallow-like cheese, spiritual soups, “The Year of the Noise”, and one particularly giant volcano. As she travels across the island she comes across some distinctive indigenous grape varieties, a wide range of wine styles, and a full-blown, dynamic wine renaissance reverberating across the whole place. Indeed, numerous newly formed and revitalized wineries have come onto the scene on Pico. She also tracks down the history of why winemaking on the island, which had once been producing on a massive scale, dwindled and seemingly faded away until only recently. While discussing Pico, Erin gives a clear sense of her own fondness for it, as well as a compelling case for why you should be paying more attention to the wines and the cultural history they are a part of. If you want to head out into parts unknown and engage with a mysterious landscape, but can’t because of travel woes, let Erin be your guide for this one-of-a-kind tour.

Episode 488 features commentary from (listed in order of appearance):

  • Vanda Supa, Director of Environment and Climate Change of Pico
  • Monica Silva Goulart, Architectural Expert of the Pico Island Vineyards
  • Paulo Machado, Insula and Azores Wine Company
  • Dr. Joy Ting, Enologist at the Winemaker’s Research Exchange
  • António Maçanita, Azores Wine Company
  • Catia Laranjo, Etnom
  • André Ribeiro and Ricardo Pinto, Entre Pedras
  • Lucas Lopez Amaral (translated by Paulo Machado), Adega Vitivinícola Lucas Amaral
  • Tito Silva (translated by Fortunato Garcia), Cerca dos Frades
  • Jose Eduardo and Luisa Terra, Pocinho Bay
  • Fortunato Garcia, Czar Winery
  • Bernardo Cabral, Picowines Co-op
  • Filipe Rocha, Azores Wine Company
  • Christina Cunha (for her uncle Leonardo da Silva), Santo Antonio Carcarita
  • Marco Faria, Curral Atlantis Winery

Photo above by Erin Scala.

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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