Winemaker, Chris Phelps, was an elusive and mysterious presence to me the first several weeks I was hosting by-appointment only tastings in the Swanson Vineyards Salon. I had met his son, Josh Phelps (who I interviewed previously) and had been tasting and talking about Chris’s wines with guests in the Salon, utterly unsure if the man truly existed. Finally, we met one brisk Napa morning as grapes were coming in and as harvest activity picked up, he was around a lot. Not that he isn’t around – he’s simply around the grapes, the tanks, the vineyards and not so much the salon. His bio includes a laundry list of high-pedigree mentors and wineries, namely Petrus, Dominus and Caymus. He’s a Francophile and purist at heart and uses words like “Iron Fist” and “Velvet Glove” to describe his covereted Merlot. I hope you enjoy Chris’s fabulous stories of the ’82 epic Bordeaux vintage, his first! among other wonderful insights. He also makes a wine called Ad Vivum, which we’ll discuss in a later podcast. After listing to the interview, if you’re curious to read about my personal experience working the 2011 Harvest in the Swanson Salon, visit Winetology. Thanks for listening.