Spotlight: Wine Life Profiles

Spotlight | Terroir Talking

Every wine tells a story that contains all the history — natural and human — that has shaped the land and influenced the evolution of its wines. Spotlight presents profiles of winemakers, growers and others whose lives are defined by nature, the vines and wine. Their stories add a human dimension to the sensory experience of wine..

Eben Sadie
Grower/Winemaker, Sadie Family Wines, S.Africa

For Eben Sadie, there is more to a barrel tasting then dipping a thief and into a barrel of wine. While tasters are swirling and breathing in aromas, the evolving wine has been changed by its visit to the outside world. And when the time comes to return the remaining wine to the barrel Eben does so with love.

Viticulturist, Gaia Wines, Santorini, Greece

“I am happy to have been able to pass you some old stories of the island. Because too often we forget to look back! I believe that we live on a blessed island and we are very lucky to comfortably live in this place, as my grandfather lived".

Grower/Winemaker, Thymiopoulos Vineyards & Wines, Naoussa, N.Greece

As I arrived in Trifolos, my GPS was confused and I had no idea where I was. I had to call Apostolos, who told me to pull over and find someone who spoke Greek. I found a nice lady peeling potatoes in her kitchen window and handed her my phone.


By now everyone is familiar with the legend of the renaissance of the Priorat led by René Barbier and five friends. One of the first to enlist in the adventure was Josep Lluís Pérez, a highly educated, instinctively philosophical man who trusted fate. So the idea of making wine with this disparate, but good-natured, group was one he could not refuse.


You might wonder what makes a guy pursue two of the hardest, most prestigious wine certifications in the world. In fact only four people have had the fortitude and acumen to do so. Doug Frost is one of them, but he emphatically believes he can teach anyone how to pass the tests. I have seen the movie Somm and I doubt it.

Grower/Winemaker, Smallfry Wines, Barossa Valley, South Australia

The name Wayne Ahrens comes up often amongst winemakers who do not have their own vineyards. Wayne is one of a few who embraced biodynamic farming early on. The winemakers who believe in minimal intervention in the cellar come to him because they know great wines begin in the vineyards.

Proprietor/Winemaker, Wind Gap Wines, Sebastapol, California

One of my favorite questions to ask a winemaker is “If you were a wine, what would you be?” Some people are perplexed, but others, like Pax Mahle, know right away. When I asked Pax, he said, “ Syrah — we understand each other.” In fact, he realized he is very much like Syrah. They are both wild, savory, transparent to their experiences and sensitive to oak.

Spotlight | Terroir Talking