Before moving to California wine country a decade ago, Michael Wangbickler knew virtually nothing about wine. Oh sure, he knew which was red and which was white (most of the time), but he was no expert by any stretch of the imagination. He does, however, have an obsession for the good life and that certainly includes wine.
Undaunted by his ignorance, he threw himself into learning everything he could about the subject and now holds a Level 4 Diploma in Wine & Spirits from London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), is a WSET Certified Educator, and a Certified Wine Educator (CWE). They even let him teach now. In addition to teaching wine appreciation and WSET classes, Mike is also in hot demand at conferences around the world and presents on wine and food, and social media. While he hates the word “expert”, he is Balzac’s social media whiz. We just call him “expert” behind his back when he’s not listening.
Mike currently holds a position (not sure whether it’s warrior pose or downward-facing dog) at Balzac Communications and Marketing in Napa, California. He is lead instructor at Discover Wine & Spirits Academy where he teaches WSET Level 2 and Level 3 certification courses in his spare time. In addition, he is also President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit advocacy organization, Drink Local Wine Inc.
Michael is a great guy and a believer in Local Wine. I am a big fan! - C. DeVito, Editor
Hudson Valley Wine: Hidden Gem of Local Wine
Through The Bung Hole
Posted by Michael Wangbickler
Oct 13, 2014
Millbrook - Hudson Valley Wine
Harry and Carole Robibero purchased their 42 acre estate in 2003, and began making their own wines in 2007. Today, their winemaker, Kristop Brown, is pushing the Robibero family to grow and improve. They are small now, but have plans for gradual grown, and will be planting a new vineyard soon. I liked the New York State Cabernet Franc 2012 ($40) and the New York State Traminette 2013 ($19).
Tousey Vineyard began as a family-run enterprise (and still is today) by Ray Tousey. The winery is now run by Ben and Kimberly Peacock – Ray’s daughter. They are kind of the new kids on the block, but as such they bring a more modern sensability to a pretty traditional area. Kimberly and Ben are young and enthusiastic, and it shows in their wines. Their strong suit is their Rieslings, but they are make reds under a second label. I liked the Estate Grown Hudson River Dry Riesling 2013, Estate Grown Hudson River Riesling 2013, and Estate Grown Hudson River Reserve Riesling 2013. I don’t think the 2013 wines are officially released, hence no prices listed.
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