1WineDude TV: Candid Conversations With Napa’s Next Gen Winemakers

Vinted on July 28, 2010 binned in 1WineDude TV, California wine, interviews, on the road

What do you get when you gather five young, “next-generation” Napa vintners around a table and talk shop?  Besides “buzzed on some really good juice,” I mean?

Essentially, that’s the question I was hoping to answer when I worked with the Napa Valley Vintner’s Association to set-up a round-table discussion with some of Napa’s best next-generation family winemakers, hosted at the stunning Viader Vineyards property on Howell Mountain.  I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the next-gen Napa set before (see previous one-on-one’s with Hailey Trefethen and Helen Buehler), but until last week I’d never taken a deep dive into the unique spin that the next-generation has been putting on Napa’s family-run wineries and their wines.

As it turns out, I visited only family-run Napa wine operations during my latest Napa jaunt, and the most obvious common thread tying them together were wines of high-quality and often stunning vitality.  Acid is back in fashion, and so is balance – and for the most part, Napa’s next-gen set are making wines that they themselves enjoy drinking.

Included in our roundtable were Florencia Palmaz (Palmaz Vineyards), Alan Viader (Viader Vineyards & Winery), Judd Finkelstein (Judd’s Hill), Andy Schweiger (Schweiger Vineyards) and Elizabeth Marston (Marston Family Vineyard).  We tasted through several of the recent white and red releases, and talked wine scores, winemaking styles, savvy wine consumers, music, social media, and which wine critics they’d most like kick in the crotch.

Two-parter video (1WineDude TV Episode 16 and Episode 17) recapping the roundtable is after the jump.  Enjoy!…

Part the first:

Aaaaaand, Part the Second:






  • 1WineDude


  • Julie

    Love the post Joe! In addition to enjoying the conversation about young savvy wine consumers, I learned 1) you're secretly (or I guess, not so secretly) gunning for a Food Network program, 2) Alan listens to "I Think My Tractor's Sexy" while in the vineyard and 3) Andy belts out showtunes in the cellar.

    I'm looking forward to one day trying the wine that's made in a cellar pumping your didgeridoo and ukalele music :-)

    • 1WineDude

      Thanks, Julie – wine made to my band's music… not sure if it would be good, but I hear tell that my band's tunes can kill Brett! Ok, I made that up…

      • Julie

        Haha, Matt mentioned you both chatted about Brett quite a bit :-)

        • 1WineDude

          Me? Talk about Brett? No way…. ;-)

  • Gail A. Dickhaus

    As an old Foodie and Wino, you know your parents age, this was fun to listen to. Having raised five kids, three that is into wine from all over the world, having your insight with this new economy helps us growers and small lot producers. Know doubt the taste buds are generational and will change again… Keep up the good work for the future Gens….Cheers to two glasses of wine a day…

  • 1WineDude

    Thanks, Gail – it's three glasses a day in my case, but who's counting?

  • Regina

    Great idea gathering these young wine-dudes and dudettes for a truly enlightening discussion of the future trends of winemaking in the NV…however, I think you might have missed a chance to include other great next-gen winemakers of note by focusing on those who belong to NVVA.

    As a for instance, check out young Kirk Venge, son of celebrated winemaker Nils Venge, owner of Saddleback Vineyards. Kirk has been making Venge Vineyard wines since 2003, when he made the wines at the old Rossini winery property. He bought property just south of Calistoga last year and started construction work on his own winery in June of this year and plans to be completed in time for harvest…currently he's making the Venge wines at a custom crush facilty. Kirk's wines are pretty wonderful now, but I'm betting the quality will go through the roof when he's in his own winery.

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