HdR 1: First wine ever made?
MTP: The first wine I ever made was Pinot Noir in 1986 when I was five. I told my dad I wanted to make wine. He suggested that I make Zinfandel or Merlot or one of the grapes Ravenswood was making at the time. I had heard him say he would never make Pinot Noir, which, being a malfeasant brat, naturally aroused my interest. Angelo Sangiacomo, after realizing I was serious, gave me a half-ton of Pinot Noir for free every year after that until 2001.
HdR 2: Do you have a name for your press? If so what is it?
MTP: Sonofabitch. Though the best I have heard is about old Diemme presses, which a winemaking friend told me was French for “impossible to f#@king clean.”
HdR 3: If you had to choose another region to craft wines in what would it be?
MTP: There are a number of up and coming parts of central and eastern Europe, places like Hungary and Croatia, where some fascinating indigenous varieties are being looked at again, that could be really fun.
HdR 4: Favorite color?
HdR 5: Choose another winemaker to form a winemaking partnership with.
MTP: I already have, Michael Havens who made the first Syrah from Hudson Vineyard and the first Albarino in the U.S., – we make Albarino under the Abrente label together. My father, Joel, would be high on my list as well, though we essentially already make wine together.
HdR 6: Cork or screwcaps?
MTP: Cork! Sustainably better, aesthetically superior.
HdR 7: Favorite food/dish?
MTP: I am an equal opportunity fatty with a healthy appetite. Better question is what I don’t like. The answer is capers. That is all.
HdR 8: Favorite grape variety to play around with?
MTP: Old-vine field blends, so really up to 30 grapes or so in the same field.
HdR 9: Activity/Hobby/Pastime other than winemaking?
MTP: Cooking, travel, walks on the beach, why do I feel like I am filling out an online dating questionnaire. Online dating.
HdR 10: How many countries have you traveled to?
MTP: Oh man, a lot. All of Europe, Australia, Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Oman, Canada and Mexico.
HdR 11: What is your favorite beer?
MTP: Anchorsteam, but I generally only drink beer during harvest
HdR 12: Peanut Butter or Nutella?
HdR 13: What is the most reoccurring dream or nightmare you have during harvest?
MTP: TTB audit! Some of those inspectors are hotties…
HdR 14: Favorite vintage from your winery?
HdR 15: What snack gets you through the day?
MTP: I’m not much of a snacker but every once in a while I need some really good dark chocolate or marzipan.
HdR 16: When you take a vacation, where do you go?
MTP: True vacations generally involve places without vines, but I rarely go on true vacations.
HdR 17: What is that one bottle in your cellar that you are most looking forward to drinking one day?
MTP: I have a few bottles of Salon that should be pretty amazing in 20 years.
HdR 18: What do you never leave your house without?
MTP: My iPhone and hopefully a decent sense of humor about the world.
HdR 19: What was your favorite subject in school?
HdR 20: If you couldn’t make wine anymore, what would you do?
MTP: Probably be a disgruntled history professor in a fly-over state or a sommelier with way too much arcane knowledge of Burgundy.
HdR 21: What is the one thing you wish someone would have told you before you entered the wine industry?
MTP: Enjoy kindergarten!
HdR 22: Name and breed of your favorite dog?
MTP: My Great Pyrenees, Caritas, though my sister’s Leonberger, Montus, is a close second.
Learn more about Morgan and Bedrock Wine Co. before he takes the stage in April at the 2011 Hospice du Rhône Seminar Series.