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Episode 466 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Joe Rochioli, Jr. of J. Rochioli Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley of California.
Joe Rochioli, Jr. begins this interview talking about how his family grew hops, and ends it by expressing astonishment at the sheer number of vineyards that have been planted in the area around his home. In between is the story of California wine in the second half of the twentieth century, as family farms dedicated to cash crops like beans, apples, and hops were replanted to vines. While that march may appear inevitable in hindsight, Joe suggests that it didn’t seem all that preordained while it was going on. He talks quite a bit about the disagreements that he had with his father and other family members, as they wanted to plant crops that would give quantity, while Joe wanted to …