Telmo Rodriguez, telling it like it is

I’m jealous of my friend Kent Benson. Not just because he’s an accomplished wine educator at Swirl wine school in St. Cloud, but because he got to take in a talk last night by one of TelmoSpain’s greatest winemakers, Telmo Rodriguez (at left).

Kent was kind enough to pass along some of the highlights from the evening:

• On the importance of vineyard sites: “[Why is it that] when we talk about Rioja, we talk about process ““ Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva. When we talk about Burgundy, we talk about vineyards.” … “Grapes are like loud speakers, to talk about places.” … “My wines are not signed by a winemaker, they are signed by a place. 

• On sources of Rioja wines, “Rioja Alta or Alevesa is not enough ““ you need to know the vineyards. 

• On time in oak: “We ask the wine, “˜How much time do you want to spend in the cask?’ “ … “A wine that is a maceration of oak is a shame. 

• On caring for the vineyard: “In the ’60s we thought growing grapes was as simple as: plant, spray, harvest. That’s like saying raising children is as simple as: doctor, university, marriage. It’s a lot more complicated than that.  … “It’s not a matter of biodynamic or not Biodynamicbiodynamic. A vine is something to take care of. It’s not a machine.  … “It doesn’t make sense to be a pig in your vineyard. 

• On natural wines and the use of sulfur: “What is a natural wine? Maybe a natural wine is vinegar. 

• On the wine market: “Wine is made by the consumer, not the producer. If you keep drinking bad Spanish wine, I’m dead. 

5 Responses

  1. Bill Ward

    Kent helped edit one of her books, pre-scandal. He is as above-board and honest as anyone I know in the business.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Bill. Jerry – if by “associated” you mean utilizing her food and wine pairing tool and providing a link to her website, guilty as charged. I never really considered the implications by association. I like the wine pairing tool (use it often myself) and her site is very informative, especially for newbies. Nevertheless, I’ll consider a change. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. I couldn’t agree more that the vineyards and the quality of the grapes are ‘the’ most important factor in making good wine. I think it’s probably the one thing that all natural winemakers agree on, even though they tend to disagree on every other vine and wine topic!!!

  4. Pingback : Wines of the Week: June 10-16 | Decant This! … the wine blog of Bill Ward

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