Welcome, to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast. I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass, wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, the grape minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is in this episode. We head to the state where the first ever ice cream sundae was served in 1881. It's home to my favorite architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Nearly all of the ginseng grown in the United States and about 10 percent of the world's supply comes from this state. At one time, Steve Miller called the state home. My name is Philippe Coquard. I'm the owner with my wife, Judy, the winemaker and the president of Watershed Winery Inc. And I've been in America for 38 years. And you still have the accent there heavily. And I don't even hear the Wisconsin accent. No, not quite. But you know what? All the ladies tell me it's super sexy. So you still listen to the ladies? Oh, yeah. We're in France. You originate from. So I grew up in Beaujolais. I am a third generation winemaker, both side of my family. I mean, growing grapes and making wine and somewhere around sixteen hundred. Well, that's a pretty good backgrounds. That's solid. Yeah, it's, it's in my blood. Sometimes I joke around that I have more wine than blood running through my veins, so. And that would make sense. Says that wine growing region into France. Beaujolais has over 4000 vineyards growing up in Beaujolais. Both of my uncles had wineries. My grandfather worked with them. My father was a vineyard consultant his entire life, so I was in the vineyard since I can remember going to the winery, tasting wine, putting bottle on the bottling line when I was eight years old, picking weeds, picking brush, picking grapes, driving the tractor with my uncles. I took a liking to that. I went to school for wine making, wine marketing, Bachelor of Science from Mackle Winemaking School in South Burgundy and then a fresh out of school. My childhood dream was to come to America, so I applied to many different ways and I ended up coming with A Future Farmers of America in 1984, and my father in law picked up my name on the list of intern wanting to come to the US and that's how I ended up in Wisconsin. So then that gets you to America. And then that was eighty four. So the winery had already been established? Yes, the winery was, let's call it a small place. We were doing eight thousand gallons. Thirty seven thousand bottles. Some were, some was good, some was okay. Financially difficult, struggling lack of cash flow. In the meantime as a good Frenchman I fell in love with the owners daughter. Got to Judy. My wife was still in college in marketing and business at UW Madison, and then she joined the family business. We were raising a couple of kids, so it was financially it was very difficult. Ok, so in 1972, your in-laws bought the winery. Tell me a little bit about that, Bob and Jillian Wollersheim, both native of Wisconsin. My father in law was an electrical engineer. He put himself through college electrical motor rewinding. My mother and I worked at different banks while my father in law was studying and ended up teaching electrical engineering at UW Madison. I ended up to work for the Science Center tire of the high tech world. He was an avid home winemaker, backyard grape grower, knew of this historic winery and got interested in purchasing the place. And he put a business plan together. Talk to the local bank with whom we still bank bought the property in 1972. The property had been a winery since 1866, closed down after Prohibition became a Wisconsin farm and then nineteen seventy two. My in-laws Bob the place restarted everything from scratch without a dime in their pocket. In part two of our interview with Philippe, owner and winemaker of Wollersheim Winery in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. We learned of a very important discovery in 1988. I created a wine called Prairie Fumé. Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly. This episode of the Best Five Minute Wine podcast was produced by IHYSM, if you like the show. Please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time pour the wine and ponder your next adventure.
Welcome to The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast, I'm your host, Forrest Kelly. From the seed to the glass wine has a past. Our aim at The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast is to look for adventure at wineries around the globe. After all, GRAPE minds think alike. Let's start the adventure. Our featured winery is: We head to my hometown. It's where I grew up and at 10 years of age, delivering the Lewiston Morning Tribune newspaper spent many of Saturday mornings canvassing the neighborhood looking for lawn mowing and car washing jobs so that I could head to Lewis-Clark State College play pinball all day long. I also learned to hunt and fish accumulated hundreds of miles in the Army Corps of Engineer levee system. I also began my radio career here as a senior in high school and started working full-time at KOZE FM and AM. We head to the panhandle of Idaho to the city of Lewiston.
My name is Coco Umiker and I am a winemaker and co-owner of Clearwater Canyon Cellars.
Ok, Coco, you've really built Clearwater Canyon Cellars into something impressive and we'll get to that later. But where did this begin?
Well, it really started with my love of science and strangely, it stretches all the way back to when I was a little kid. But I was 11 years old. I had cancer. And that ended up, you know, I being in hospitals a lot and around medical people. And so when I took off for college, I'm much better now. I'm good. Got through it in good shape. But when I went off to college, I thought, you know what? I'm going to be a pediatric oncologist and the undergrad premed program at the University of Idaho. They encourage students to do a double major in microbiology, molecular biology, and biochemistry. I got into it and I loved it.
Wow. That's very ambitious, microbiology, OK? I could see how that could dovetail into winemaking is Louis Pasteur. You're kind of originated that and then molecular biology, seeing how the biological activity in and between cells and then biochemistry, the processes with living organisms, I could see where that would be kind of all-consuming with your time and your thoughts and your studies. But I'm guessing that's not the course that you ended up taking
Partway through. I just realized that I wanted to do something more creative. I wanted to be outside. I wanted to be able to come back to my family farm in Lewiston and do something with that place. I never lived in Lewiston, I lived in Boise. I spent all my summers up in the Lewis and farm with my grandparents. And so I stayed in that degree and was just this hardcore science nerd. So University of Idaho and Washington State University are about eight miles apart in Washington State University is the leader in the northwest in terms of wine programs. And so it was very wonderful for me because I was able to actually cross some classes. And in the program over there, I was so sold. I mean, I just when I found and discovered fermentation and wine and all of that, I was like I knew that's what I wanted to do. I actually planted so my boyfriend at the time and I ended up becoming my husband he I second to last year of my undergrad. So I was two thousand three, asked my grandfather if we could plant a quarter acre of vines on the family farm down here, and he let us do it. And then in two thousand four, we started a winery in a garage.
So in two thousand four, you start the winery with your boyfriend at the time, Karl, who turns out to be your husband later to start the winery, because you've got all of these angel investors lined up and you've got all this money and you think it's a great idea. Let's start a winery. Right?
We had three other partners in the beginning of Clearwater Canyon because we were young and we had no money. At that point, Karl had paid off his student loans. You got a sweet deal. He actually grew up in Arkansas and his dad was a professor at the University of Arkansas in the music department. So he got a really great education for a little cheaper because he had a father that was faculty they gave, you know, children faculty a better deal. And so that was fantastic. So he was able to get a chemistry degree from the University of Arkansas and came out here to Idaho on a research assistantship to study soil science and earn his master's degree. And that's what I did at WSU. I was on a research assistantship. You're both able to kind of work on projects that in his case that the farming industry was really interested in. He did soils work and I was studying Brettanomyces, which was a hot topic in the wine world at the time.
In part two of our interview with Coco Umiker of Clearwater Canyon Cellars, we explore what she loves. Oh, my God. Yeah. I mean, I love.
Thank you for listening. I'm Forrest Kelly this episode of The Best Five Minute Wine Podcast was produced by IHYSM. If you like the show, please tell your friends and pets and subscribe until next time pour the wine, and ponder your next adventure.