Cover art for podcast Unreserved Wine Talk

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


173: What Being a Winemaker is Really Like with Inside Winemaking's Jim Duane

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a winemaker and wondered what it takes? What’s it like to work a wine harvest without power? What makes Riesling the most difficult grape to ferment?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm chatting with Jim Duane, winemaker and host of the Inside Winemaking Podcast.


You can find the wines we discussed at



If you live in the United States you can get 10% of Jim’s Terratorium wines using the code NATALIE.



What’s the story behind Seavey Vineyard having both grapes and livestock?

Which unusual cow-specific winemaking tip does Jim follow every harvest?

How did 15 tons of crushed Pinot Noir grapes go missing and end up in a parking lot?

What’s it like to work a harvest without power?

How did Jim go from totally avoiding Rosé to making three vintages by 2021?

What makes Riesling the hardest wine to ferment?

What led to the aha moment in high school when Jim first became intrigued by fermentation?

How are off-dry, dry and sweet wines classified depending on their sugar levels?

Why does Jim consider himself a gardener at heart?

What’s unique about working with Seavey Vineyard?

Why was Jim terrified about going into a career as a winemaker?

What was Jim’s inspiration for creating his podcast, Inside Winemaking?

How was working at Stags’ Leap winery was like a university of practical winemaking for Jim?

Why is mastering logistics a critical part of becoming a successful winemaker?

What were Jim’s biggest takeaways from working at Robert Mondavi Winery?

Why was Jim excited to have access to the To Kalon vineyard?


Key Takeaways

Jim gives us a taste for what it’s like being a winemaker, but his podcast and courses will help you take a deep dive if you’re so inclined.

His story about working a harvest without power was incredible. Pure grit and determination. And I guess that’s how they did it in the old days every year. Hard to imagine.

I’m fascinated with all aspects of Riesling as it’s so diverse in style and food pairings, but Jim really opened my eyes to how difficult it is to make.


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 Jim Duane

Jim Duane studied biology at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington then worked at Brancott Vineyards in New Zealand. Hauling rocks in the vineyard, he says, helped him get ready for graduate school at the renowned University of California at Davis oenology program. In 2004, he moved to Napa where he’s been ever since.

Jim is now the winemaker at Seavey Vineyard in California's Napa Valley. Prior to that, he worked at Stag's Leap Wine Cellars and Robert Mondavi Winery.

In 2014, he launched a podcast called Inside Winemaking, which is ranked one of the most popular wine podcasts. In 2021, he launched Terratorium Wines as a direct result of his podcast and winemaking classes. Jim and his wife Erin have two daughters that keep them busy. Recently, he notes, they logged four pulled-teeth in a 36-hour period.



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

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction


Listen to Unreserved Wine Talk


A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens