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I grew up amidst the vineyards of Burgundy and have spent my adult life travelling the world to research various grape varieties and study different viticultural and winemaking regions. Meeting and having discussions with hundreds of winegrowers, winemakers and renowned wine producers has added to my continuing education and knowledge about how soils, humidity, air movement, temperature fluctuations, geography and weather affect various grapes and the wines they make.

Eric and winemaker Tomas Hughes at Trapiche, Mendoza (2012)
2012 – ARGENTINA
Two weeks visiting wineries, wine growers and winemakers in the Mendoza region, including Clos de los Sietes (Carlos Tizia, Michel Roland), Bodegas Lurton, CarenaE (Philippe Subra), Trapiche (Tomas Hughes & Daniel Pi), Catena (Sofia R. Cavanagh), Malbec de Angeles (Juan Mauuel González). Particular interests: Malbec in Vale de Uco; biodynamic vineyards at Bodegas Lurton in Mendoza.

Eric with Christian Vallejo at Vina Vik in Chile, 2012
2012 – CHILE
A 16 day tour to study suitability of varieties like Pinot Noir in Val de San Antonio and Carménère on Apalta. Toured vineyards & wineries from Bio Bio north to Acongagua: Lapostolle & Clos Apalta (Andrea León Iriarte), Maria Soledad Garcia (Neyen), Cristian Vallejo (Vik), Patrick Vallette (Bodegas Bouchon, Vik), Bodega Matetic, J. Bouchon (Rafael Sánchez Pérez)

Eric with Marie Helene Cristofaro at Mathieu Deiss, Alsace (2012)
2012 – FRANCE, ALSACE
This was an exciting trip – in the process of reinventing itself the Alsace region’s biodynamic Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Noir are brilliant; visited with A. Mann, Mathieu Deiss, others.

Eric with proprietor Nik Weis of St. Urbans-Hof, Mosel Valley (2012)
2012 – GERMANY, MOSEL
My first opportunity to explore the hillside vineyards of the Mosel Valley; following up on conversations with Johannes Selbach of Selbach-Oster (who I interviewed for “The Vintner’s Apprentice”) and Nik Weis, St Urbans-Hof; great education in balancing tannins/harsh phenolics in Riesling in the Mosel region.

2012 – CALIFORNIA, TEMECULA
On this trip I had the opportunity to see Temecula’s new and exciting wine country, including in-depth visits with Callaway, Hart, Wilson and the South Coast Winery (Sangiovese!); also did some Central Coast – Pinot Noir and Syrah (Brewer-Clifton, Clos Pepe). I have been in California more times than I can count over the past 40 years watching and learning from its perfect storm of universities, well-heeled investors, R&D programs at individual wineries; the talent that has gravitated there from around the world has made it a deep well of information. It has been my pleasure to include all four of Robert Mondavi’s children as personal acquaintances, and I have consulted with Mike Grgich, Stacey Clark (then Pine Ridge), Andy Ericson (Favia), Warren Winiarski (Stag’s Leap), Ken Fugelsang (UC Fresno), Ralph Kunkee (UC Davis) and many other brilliant enologists.

2012 – WILLAMETTE VALLEY, OREGON
A return trip to become reacquainted with the brilliant Willamette Pinot Noirs and Pinot Gris, including Montinore, Bergström, and Sarver. In a few short decades this region’s focus on Pinot Noir and its winemaker’s ability to work together toward nothing short of excellence has certainly paid off. I have a debt of gratitude to Ken Wright, the Adelsheim family and a host of wineries like Chehalem, Torii Mor, Beaux Freres and Bethel Heights.

2011 – CALIFORNIA, NAPA, CARNEROS, SONOMA
Loved doing some book signings for “The Vintner’s Apprentice” in Healdsburg and Sonoma while pursuing Mountain Cabernet (Togni), sweet wine (Far Niente), and Zinfandel (Seghesio).

2011 – NEW YORK STATE, FINGER LAKES
I have spent much time here and in the Lake Eric region visiting vineyards and sourcing grapes like Riesling, Niagara and Steuben in my role as a consultant.

2011 – FRANCE, CHAMPAGNE
Visited classic houses like Taittinger; an opportunity to learn more about acidity and longevity.

2011 – CROATIA, VIS
My first opportunity to be exposed to Crljenak Kaštelanski, Tribidrag, Primitivo (AKA Zinfandel) on the island of Vis.

2010 – CALIFORNIA, CENTRAL COAST
A fabulous trip with wine educators including some great sessions and conversations with Gary Pisoni, Brian Talley, Joe Davis, Was Hagen (Clos Pepe) and Brooks Firestone.

2009 – YAKIMA VALLEY, WASHINGTON STATE
On this trip I saw a string of excellent pioneering wineries like Horse Heaven and Champou Vineyards; in past visits I have learned so much from other wineries including Chateau St Michelle, Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon, Cayuse, K Vintners, and Hogue, to name a few.

2008 – SPAIN
Two weeks up close and personal with Tempranillo, Garnacha, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Cabernet Franc in Ribera del Duero, Torro, Sardon del Duero ( Abadia Retuerto), Calatayud and Priorato (Alvaro Palacio)

2008 – CALIFORNIA, MENDOCINO & THE SONOMA COAST
Travelled up through the dramatic Anderson Valley (Golden Eye and Navarro) and visited risen stars like Dutton Goldfield, Paul Hobbs, Lynmar.

2006 – GREECE
I was surprised at the quality of wines we found on this month long trip throughout Greece, which ended up in on the island of Santorini where I learned a great deal about viticulture on extreme volcanic soils.

2005 – FRANCE, PROVENCE & LANGUEDOC-ROUSSILON
A fortnight in heaven winding through Provence and Languedoc-Roussilon in pursuit of their take on the Syrah grape and the new Rosé wine; many thanks to Kermit Lynch.

2004 – ITALY, CHIANTI & MONTALCINO
As my own Sangiovese grapes came into their own, it was time to meet with the masters in Montalcino and Chianti, including Villa Banfi, Isole e Olena and Poggio al Sole; in past trips to Italy I have traversed the Barolo and Barberesco regions.

2001 – BAHA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO
Two days spent with the Society of Wine Educators, meeting winemakers and growers including Bodegas Santo Tomás, Casa de Piedra and La Cetto.

PREVIOUS INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE:
Burgundy, Bordeaux, Portugal, England

PREVIOUS UNITED STATES:
Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York (Lake Erie Region, Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley, Long Island), New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas

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