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Unreserved Wine Talk

238 EpisodesProduced by Natalie MacLeanWebsite

The Unreserved Wine Talk podcast features candid conversations with the most fascinating people in the wine world. Your host, award-winning journalist Natalie MacLean, dives into how it feels to compete in the nerve-wracking World's Best Sommelier Competition, the shadowy underground of wine forgery… read more


182: Cabernet Franc, California's Paso Robles & High Acidity Wines with Lori Budd

Are you curious about why Cabernet Franc should have just as much respect from you as a wine lover, if not more than Cabernet Sauvignon? What makes wines from California's Paso Robles region unique? Why is it easy to fall in love with wines that have high acidity?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with winemaker, writer and podcast host, Lori Budd.


You can find the wines we discussed at



What does it mean to be an alternating proprietorship winery versus a crush pad?

What was the inspiration behind the name Dracaena?

Why did Lori and her husband choose Paso Robles for their winery?

What is the geography of Paso Robles like?

Which pleasant surprises did Lori find after starting the winery?

Which unexpected difficulties came up when Lori and Michael started Dracaena?

Why are Lori and Michael so passionate about Cabernet Franc and why did Lori start Cab Franc Day?

How is Cab Franc Day celebrated around the world?

What taste differences will you notice between a cool climate and a warm climate Cabernet Franc?

Why did Lori and Michael choose Chenin Blanc as one of Dracaena’s flagship wines?

Why is it easy to fall in love with high-acid wines?

Which wines would Lori pair with her favourite childhood dish, ravioli?

What are the most difficult food and wine pairings Lori has encountered?

What’s Lori’s favourite wine gadget?


Key Takeaways

I’m so glad Lori highlighted Cabernet Franc as it’s such an under-valued, but terrific wine. We all need to show it a little more respect.

I’m looking forward to visiting California's Paso Robles region after listening to Lori describe the wines, the land and the people.

I’ve always considered myself an acid head when it comes to wine: acidity gives wine its vibrancy and life. It also makes it so much more food friendly.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live Video

Join the live-stream video of this conversation on Wednesday at 7 pm eastern on Instagram Live Video, Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Video.

I’ll be jumping into the comments as we watch it together so that I can answer your questions in real-time.

I want to hear from you! What’s your opinion of what we’re discussing? What takeaways or tips do you love most from this chat? What questions do you have that we didn’t answer?

Want to know when we go live? Add this to your calendar:


About Lori Budd

Lori Budd began her career as a microbiologist, but her need for excitement led her into Adventure Education, teaching students how to rock climb, zip line and tie those all important survival knots. Along the way, she fell in love with wine and graduated from the prestigious UC Davis enology program, along with certifications from a number of other wine programs. She and her husband, Michael, own Dracaena Wines in Paso Robles. She’s consumed by the stories that unfold as each glass is poured, and shares those in her award-winning blog and podcast called Exploring the Glass.



To learn more about the resources mentioned in this episode, visit

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