Episode 106: Girls Gone Grape!

Episode 106: Girls Gone Grape!

Robin Salls, founder of Girls Gone Grape (GGG), joins us on World Malbec Day. We chat wine, women, adventures, haikus, cocktails, and more. We share the story of GGG, upcoming trips to Tuscany and beyond, as well as climate change and extinct grapes. Yes, it’s all here, including some epic #WineOops stories for you and an occasional haiku. Pour a glass and join this week’s pour of fun!

Welcome to our ladies’ wine drinking gathering on World Malbec Day! Today we have a special guest sitting next to Steph up in the FoCo. We also have a geeky factoid on our winoradar about climate change and a shout-out to a new restaurant. The ladies were rockin’ and rollin’ on a Monday afternoon.

In Our Glasses:

Steph and Robin:  “Since we are recording on World Malbec Day, April 17th, I picked up a bottle of Susana Balbo Signature Malbec for Robin and me. This bottle is the 2013 vintage, and I paid $23 for it. It is 94% Malbec and 6% Petit Verdot. It is also unfined and UNFILTERED!!! For all of us who love unfiltered wine… maybe we should start our own hashtag?

Of all the Malbecs on the shelf at Wilbur’s Total Beverage, why did I choose this one? I’m going to tell you… last month I saw Susana Balbo speak at WOTVS in Napa. She is one hell-of-a badass lady! She is an incredible wine maker, leader, entrepreneur and looks good doing it. A true inspiration!


Val: “I can’t keep up with these national/world/international/whatever days. Apparently, in addition to #WorldMalbecDay it is also #BatAppreciationDay and #NationalHaikuPoetryDay. So I combined all these into one handy dandy celebratory cocktail of a tweet.

“Eh hem.

“Therefore, I decided to make a cocktail. This is a riff on a Mediterranean Pink Lady. It’s made with:

  • 1/2 oz of Campari
  • 1/4 oz of Limoncello
  • 1/2 oz of Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 oz Cointreau
  • 1 & 1/2 oz of Gin.

I did leave out the egg white, so maybe it’s more of a Mediterranean Pink Mistress, hold the salmonella. Also, a little sparkling water float made it even more refreshing, since it is a beautiful, warm springy kind of afternoon!”


Interview:  Robin Salls and Girls Gone Grape

Robin Salls, Founder/President of Girls Gone Grape, Inc. is a passionate entrepreneur, publisher, author, event planner and wine lover who’s bringing women, wine and adventures together to inspire creativity, connection and support. Women inspiring women. She’s sipping her way through life creating “La Dolce Vita”, A beautiful life, on her terms; wine, food, family, friends, adventures. She’s sharing her passions through Girls Gone Grape Events, The Girls Gone Grape Sip On Life Magazine and the soon to be released book, Girls Gone Grape – The 5 Varietals of Girlfriends you Need in Your Wine Pack.


Behind GGG

Robin talked with us about how the name “Girls Gone Grape” (or GGG) came about and the responses she gets from women and men alike.  GGG began as a way to create and maintain connections with other wine-loving women who were keen on sharing not only an occasional glass, but also adventures. After five years, travel is now part of the GGG offerings. It began last year with a Colorado winery grape-stomping trip and a jeep tour. This year they’ve launched their international trips, the first being to Tuscany later this year.

On the GGG Horizon

In addition to the upcoming book, Robin tells us what the wine world can expect from GGG in 2018 and beyond. There are new chapters popping up and new trips to the Amalfi Coast and Greece. If her first international adventure is any indication, be sure to sign up quickly; her Tuscany trip was fully booked within weeks.

Robin’s energy was so infectious and it’s easy to see why the GGG concept is taking off faster than her tumble down a fire escape with a Bartles & Jaymes while trying to flirt with a Sigma Chi. Wait, what?  Well, you’ll have to listen to the entire episode to hear her adorable #WineOops story, as well as Steph’s tumble down some bus steps … toward the toilet … on an Italian bus … in her wedding dress. How about that! It wasn’t Val falling down the stairs for a change, but she did spew forth a a tragic haiku. So there you go.

Get Involved!

If you’re interested in getting involved with a local chapter or starting one in your area, please visit www.girlsgonegrape.com. Be sure to check out the spread about our Steph in the Sip on Life Magazine on the website as well. Also, if you mention you’re a Wine Two Five listener, Robin will give you the Champagne Member discount to your first event or on the GGG store!

You can also connect with Robin on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook.


Factoid & Wino Radar Combo!

Our Wino Radar includes a few Factoids (see how we did that there?) about changes in the climate, changes in the vineyard, and grapes you’ve probably never heard of. There are two classic regions, Burgundy in France, and Franciacorta in Italy are looking to other solutions because both of them rely heavily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir is already a rather persnickety grape to grow, so as temps rise it will be even more of a diva. Chardonnay does OK, but the flavors become more ripe and tropical and it loses acid fast as sugars develop.

Now these regions are looking to late ripening grapes that can retain acid as well. For example,

  1. Burgundy is considering experiments with Syrah and hybrids

Read more:  http://www.harpers.co.uk/news/climate-change-prompts-syrah-trials-in-burgundy/551004.article

2) Erbamat is reemerging in Franciacorta. Beginning this year, authorized grapes will extend to include the ancient Erbamat, whereas prior it was only made with Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc).

For more reading, http://winewitandwisdomswe.com/2017/04/02/introducing-erbamat/

So hang on to your tasting glasses and spit buckets, wine students. Studying is going to continue to be very interesting! If you’re interested in seeing my perspectives, including adulterated wine maps from back in 2014, check out my gibbering attempt to tie all this together on one of my blogs, which also references a scientific study from the Journal of Wine Economics by Leeuwin & Darriet that discusses steps that can be taken to keep pace with climate change.  http://www.vinowithval.com/2017/04/10/where-the-grape-grow-climate-change-and-colored-pens/

Yes, it’s a thing.



Steph: “I want to congratulate Chef Troy Heller on the opening of his new Italian restaurant here in Fort Collins called Cacciatore at Heller’s Kitchen! The official Grand Opening is April 29th, but you can dine there now. Cacciatore is open every day of the week for lunch and dinner.

“Also, big thank you to Robin for being our guest today!”


Patreon Love: 

Thank you so much to our Patreon supporters! Sending out some Patreon Love to:

“TENacious Tasters”: 

Jeff E from the hilarious drinking show, We Like Drinking!

Lynn G from Savor the Harvest!




Sebastian S of Sassi Italy tours!


“It’s not five o’clock and we don’t care” listeners: Thank you:
  • Meg from South Dakota!
  • Clay from Arizona!
  • Jon in California!
  • Andrew in Illinois!
  • Aswani in California!

We thank you for being a vital part of the W25 listening and sipping community.


Monthly Patreon Drawing:

Reminder – we have a new monthly Patreon drawing! Each month we are drawing a winner of a wine gift for all Patreon supporters at the $2/month Tastemaker Listener level and higher. Go to our Patreon page for details. www.patreon.com/winetwofivepodcast



This episode also brought to you by …

Bright Cellars! Have you taken advantage of the special Wine Two Five listener deal on Bright Cellars? Let us know what wines you got!  https://www.brightcellars.com/WineTwoFive/


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Until next week, Cheers!