Cover art for podcast Unreserved Wine Talk

Unreserved Wine Talk

236 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


200: German-Speaking Wines and Biodynamic Winemaking with Valerie Kathawala

Are you curious about German-speaking wines and which ones you should try? Why is biodynamic winemaking particularly important for viticulture? What’s the real difference between natural wine and biodynamic wine?


In this episode of the Unreserved Wine Talk podcast, I'm interviewing journalist and co-founder of TRINK magazine, Valerie Kathawala.


You can find the wines we discussed at



What was it like to be a German translator at the UN in the time of the Iraq War?

How did Valerie’s interest in language - German in particular - develop?

What was the catalyst for Valerie to start her wine journey?

How did Valerie’s lifelong love of storytelling and writing show up before her wine career?

What made a writing trip to visit Rudi Tossen in the Mosel region of Germany the highlight of Valerie’s wine career so far?

What was the most painful mistake of Valerie’s wine career so far?

How does Valerie find the balance between connecting with people to get the story while asking the hard questions?

What is biodynamic winemaking and why is it particularly important for viticulture?

How do biodynamic practices offer some protection against climate change?

What are some common misconceptions about biodynamics?

Why is biodynamic farming an empowering tool for growers?

Where did biodynamic viticulture come from?

What are the characteristics of German-speaking wines?

How do you know when you have a great story?

What was Valerie surprised to learn about the natural wine scene in the Mosel?

What’s the difference between natural wine and biodynamic wine?

Which German estate played an important role in the resistance movement during World War II?

How did a labour scandal spotlight poor practices in the natural wine industry?


Key Takeaways

I loved how she described German-speaking wines as sharing a certain mindset, tradition and values, grape varieties, winemaking approaches, geography, and climate.

I agree with her that biodynamic winemaking provides an excellent framework for wine growers to keep vines in equilibrium to stay healthy.

Her explanation of the differences between natural wine and biodynamic wine was insightful.


Join me on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube Live

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

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 Valerie Kathawala

Valerie Kathawala is a freelance journalist focused on the wines of Germany, Austria, South Tyrol, and Switzerland, with a particular interest in biodynamics. She’s a lifelong student of German culture and language and has lived and worked in both Germany and Austria. She crossed over from translation and editorial work at the United Nations to writing about “German-speaking wines” and hasn’t looked back since.



To learn more, 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