This week we have a complementary podcast to the one we did with Ryan Schmaltz, who did a giant pivot in his career to pursue his winemaking dream. This time we talk to Ian Renwick of Domaine de la Citadelle
in the Luberon region of the Rhône Valley. I have “known” Ian virtually for years and have watched his career changes through interactions over email and social media as he moved into wine. Finally, he gives us the whole, fascinating story and then we get into SERIOUS dorkery — discussing everything from rosé making to the politics of Bordeaux to whether or not ratings matter. Here’s a quick outline:
- First we discuss Ian’s life as a corporate HR dude and how he happened upon the WSET and Master of Wine program.
- Then we talk about Ian’s foray into wine importing in Hong Kong
- We take a side trip to discuss Bordeaux, Southwest France, and the politics of the Bordeaux classification system and the AOP system at large.
- Ian tells me about how he wound up in Luberon and what he’s doing there.
- The darker commences with tons of info on what Ian learned from his first harvest at the Domaine — the good, the bad, and the ugly
- We talk about the Mistral, and what it really feels like
- We discuss Luberon, Provence, the grapes of the Rhône and the benefits of blending versus using single varieties in wine
- Then it’s all about the business of wine: the balance between commercial success and individuality, our views on whether or not ratings really matter, how wine PR really works and winemaking versus drink making. We also throw in info on rosé winemaking, the characteristics to look for in a great Rhône wine and Ian’s work on how rosé could be improved and made better.
A fascinating podcast full of great dork moments and industry stuff, I think you’ll get a lot out of this.