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Unreserved Wine Talk

237 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


37: From Champagne to Napa Valley: Wine Stories with Tilar Mazzeo

In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, we’re chatting with Tilar Mazzeo, author and proprietor and winemaker at Parsell Vineyard. Her book The Widow Clicquot, a biography of Barbe-Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin, the founder of the champagne house Veuve Clicquot became a bestseller on the New York Times, and a film adaptation of the book is in the works. Tilar gives us the story behind the Champagne and the woman who built not only this prestigious luxury brand but was instrumental in the development of the industry as we know it. She also shares her inspiration and insights from developing the Back-Lane Wineries series. Enjoy!



  • Why did Veuve Clicquot become such a sought after brand?
  • What were some of the Widow Clicquot’s most remarkable innovations?
  • What is the connecting thread through many of Tilar’s writings?
  • What is raw wine?
  • Where can you find Parsell Vineyard?
  • What is Tilar’s favourite wine gadget?
  • What’s the best piece of wine advice Tilar has received?


About Tilar Mazzeo

Tilar J. Mazzeo is the Clara C. Piper Associate Professor of English at Colby College, in Waterville, Maine. She is the author of numerous works of narrative nonfiction, and several of her books, including the “oenobiography” The Widow Clicquot, have been New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and Los Angeles Times bestsellers. She was a nationally prominent wine writer in the United States before emigrating to Canada, and her writing on wine has appeared in venues such as Food & Wine magazine and in her guide book series The Back-Lane Wineries of Sonoma, The Back-Lane Wineries of Napa, and The Back-Lane Wineries of New York. She holds a certificate from the winemaking program at the University of California at Davis and is currently the proprietor and winemaker at her family’s estate project, Parsell Vineyard in Saanichton, British Columbia.



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

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