In this episode of the SOMM TV podcast, Jason Wise chats about winemaking in Los Angeles. Early in the episode, Wise invites Matthew Kaner to join him. Together, they discuss the history of wine in the area, specifically before Prohibition.
As host of SOMM TVs History of Wine Podcast, Kaner takes listeners back in time to learn how vines make their way to different winemaking regions. Each week, he’s joined by special guests to help tell the story. Throughout season 1, Kaner and his guests explore Vitis vinifera in the Americas, everywhere from Chile to New York to Mexico.
In the latter half of the episode, Mark Blatty joins Wise to talk about leading the city’s current wine movement.
Blatty and his wife, Jenny, founded Byron Blatty Wines in 2014. Their intention was to create world-class wines from their hometown of Los Angeles. However, finding the right spot to source their grapes was difficult. Vineyards once grew along the banks of the LA River. However, most plantings were torn out during Prohibition. A few small sites remain throughout the county, which took the Blatty’s nearly a year to discover.
The Byron Blatty portfolio is vast, with most of its focus on red blends. The longest-running wine offered is Agenda, a rich blend of Syrah and Tannat. Other highlights include Evenfall (Tempranillo, Petit Syrah, and Merlot blend) and Ghost Cat. A portion of Ghost Cat proceeds go to SaveLACougars.org to help fund the planned wildlife bridge over the 101 freeway.