Category Archives: Interviews

VinoPeople No. 35: Gaia Gaja of Angelo Gaja, Piedmont

Gaia Gaja of Angelo Gaja inPiedmont

Gaia Gaja ©AnneinVino

Gaia Gaja ©AnneinVino

The best advice I ever got: My father told me: “Don’t be afraid to say no.”
My life motto: From Lampedusa’s Il Gattopardo: “For things to remain the same, everything must change.” (“Se vogliamo che tutto rimanga com’è bisogna che tutto cambi”)
I am currently reading: Trattato di Funambolismo by Philippe Petit
The most-played track on my iPod: Vecchio Frac by Domenico Modugno
A wine that surprised me recently: Our 2013 Nebbiolo that will come out next year
My favourite newspaper/magazine: La Repubblica
My desert-island wine: A magnum of Barbaresco
If I didn’t do my current job I would be: I’d do something agricultural – like beekeeper or vegetable gardener
I most admire in people: Tolerance, honesty and humility
I really detest: Arrogance and factiousness
The skill I don’t currently possess but would like to have: Ubiquity
I relax while: Biking in the hills and on a boat on the sea
I have learnt a lot from: My parents
My first taste of wine was: I clearly remember learning to read and write, but not tasting wine, so it must have been before that.
My last meal and sip will be: Fried eggs with white truffle and very mature Nebbiolo
What do you want to show most in your wine? Clarity, fleeting delicacy, commitment and dedication

VinoPeople No. 34: Frédéric Panaïotis, Chef de Cave, Ruinart

Frédéric Panaïotis, Chef de Cave, Ruinart

©AnneinVino Frédéric Panaïotis

©AnneinVino Frédéric Panaïotis

The best advice I ever got: “Aide-toi, le ciel t’aidera” (=Help yourself, and heaven will help you) is what my father said to me.
My life motto: Learning – the world of wine is endless, you never stop.
I am currently reading: Perfidia by James Ellroy
The most-played track on my iPod: Hip hop by Big Poppa and Freddie Freeloader and So What by Miles Davis
A wine that surprised me recently: Passopisciaro’s Contrada R Rampante from Sicily
My favourite newspaper/magazine: International Herald Tribune and The World of Fine Wine
My desert-island wine: A Jeroboam of Château Yquem 1986
If I didn’t do my current job I would be: Vet in a zoo
I most admire in people: Being inspirational, I guess that’s a mix of intelligence, charisma and wisdom.
I really detest: Teetotallers
The skill I don’t currently possess but would like to have: Playing the saxophone and being better at breathing while free-diving
I relax while: Free-diving, gardening and cooking
I have learnt a lot from: In Life from my parents; in work from Jacques Péters and Richard Geoffroy
My first taste of wine was: Very early on since I grew up in a wine family, but my first clear memory was 1976 Richebourg from the Gros family on 25 December 1985. I can still taste it.
My last meal and sip will be: An amazing omakase menu in Hokkaido with Junmai Daiginjo sake.
What do you want to show most in your wine? The aromatic freshness of the Ruinart style – but it’s not about showing something; it’s about making people happy and meeting their expectations.

VinoPeople No. 33: Sue Hodder of Wynns Coonawarra

Sue Hodder of Wynns Coonawarra – the doyenne of Australian Cabernet

©WynnsToronto Sue Hodder

©WynnsToronto Sue Hodder

The best advice I ever got: Don’t forget people, look after people
My life motto: Don’t worry too much about the future
I am currently reading: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The most-played track on my iPod: Johnny Cash & Leonard Cohen
A wine that surprised me recently: A Greek Assyrtiko
My favourite newspaper/magazine: The Economist
My desert-island wine: Wynn’s Michael Hermitage 1955
If I didn’t do my current job I would be: Cattle farmer
I most admire in people: Resilience in the face of hardship
I really detest: Poor values, worrying about the wrong things
The skill I don’t currently possess but would like   to have: Painting and drawing
I relax while: Horse riding
I have learnt a lot from: Brian Walsh at Yalumba
My first taste of wine was: Sparkling wine when I was about 12
My last meal and sip will be: A Tavel Rosé for aperitif, then a really good steak, salad and Coonawarra Cabernet
What do you want to show most in your wine? Vineyard expression, the winemaker should stay in the background

VinoPeople No. 32: Johan Joubert, winemaker and Chenin Blanc evangelist at Kleine Zalze, South Africa

Johan Joubert, winemaker and Chenin Blanc evangelist at Kleine Zalze, South Africa

©Kleine Zalze Johan Joubert

©Kleine Zalze Johan Joubert

The best advice I ever got: My father told me to be humble and to keep my eyes and ears open, so see opportunities and start working
My life motto: To live my passion
I am currently reading: Anything about animals
The most-played track on my iPod: Anything from the 1980s
A wine that surprised me recently: A very elegant 2009 Côte Rôtie from Guigal
My favourite newspaper/magazine: An outdoor magazine called Getaway and Rapport, a local paper
My desert-island wine: Kleine Zalze Bush Vine Chenin Blanc
If I didn’t do my current job I would be: Geologist
I most admire in people: Honesty, openness and fair exchange
I really detest: When people talk behind your back and taking things for granted
The skill I don’t currently possess but would like   to have: The patience to read books.
I relax while: Fishing, diving and making wine.
I have learnt a lot from: My brother, who is also a winemaker and from Beyers Truter, (legendary South African winemaker)
My first taste of wine was: An off-dry Gewürztraminer when I was 16
My last meal and sip will be: To start the Family Reserve Chenin Blanc 2012 from Kleine Zalze with Prawn Risotto, then well-matured beef and Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 and chocolate truffles
What do you want to show most in your wine? Personality, identity and a style to remember