Italian Wine Podcast: two years of “cin cin” with Italian wine people
On March 10th, 2019, the Italian Wine Podcast celebrated its second anniversary since its first weekly episodes were launched on dedicated digital platforms.
Monty Waldin (left) interviews José Rallo (right) whose family owns the Donnafugata winery in Sicily
Devised by the vision and passion for podcasts of Stevie Kim (Korean-American wine business entrepreneur, digital innovation specialist, and Managing Director of Vinitaly International), the Italian Wine Podcast airs every Tuesday and Wednesday with a brand new episode which goes live on multiple channels to which listeners can subscribe for free: SoundCloud, iTunes, the Chinese podcasting platform XimalayaFM that makes it available in China, and the official website www.italianwinepodcast.com. In addition, the show is also available on several podcast apps.
Stevie Kim comments on the rationale behind the Italian Wine Podcast project and her willingness to harness the potential of audio storytelling to promote Italian wine globally: “I have invested personally in the podcast project because I believe audio is immediate and frictionless. This immediacy and ability to reach wine lovers while they are commuting to work, jogging, or working is a very effective way of bridging the gap between the Italian wine community and the rest of the world. In devising the project two years ago, our intention was to give voice to Italian wine producers but also to wine professionals who promote Italian wine worldwide and who provide their precious insight into the way the Italian wine category can be better positioned in their home markets.” On the show’s achievements to date and future directions, Stevie Kim adds: “In terms of plays we are still below my personal objective. Although to many 130,000 plays may not seem like a lot, I have given myself 5 years to significantly improve ratings and engagement. As it stands, the project is not entirely self-sustainable. However, I really believe in its potential and hope the show can be the go-to place to take part in the Italian wine conversation.”
Podcast host Monty Waldin, who also has extensive experience in television documentaries about wine, after his central role in Channel 4 series Château Monty (among other series) where he was filmed making biodynamic wine in France, has a personal connection and family memories associated with audio storytelling: “As a kid I would help my dad produce audio recordings of key figures in the local community. My dad was both a history fan and a radio expert, having worked in intelligence during the war. I see the podcast as a hybrid, part educational tool and part oral history. The podcast format has an easy, effortless transparency: there is no filter between audience and interviewee.” Drawing on this experience, Waldin approaches each interview with deftness and great empathy, putting his interviewees at ease in the recording booth, truly enjoying their company and making their stories shine. Waldin sees a parallel between podcast interviews and tasting wine: “For me a podcast interview is like a blind wine tasting but by audio rather than by smell or colour or taste. You get an intimate feel of family histories, of terroirs, wines, and wine making, plus news of innovation and branding, sales, market trends. All this in a format allowing you to listen and learn on the move.”
In two years of digital broadcasting, the show has released 181 episodes subdivided in thematic series and playlists. Italian wine lovers can listen to the history of wine producers grouped by geographical location within Italy (Tuscan, Piedmontese, Sicilian wineries and so on). Series also include “Celebrity Winemakers,” where Waldin uncovers the personal story of personalities from the fashion, cinema, and TV businesses such as Renzo Rosso, Carole Bouquet, and Joe Bastianich, who also produce wine in Veneto, Sicily, and Friuli Venezia-Giulia respectively.
The wine business is also reflected in a few playlists with wine professionals from all over the world with strong affiliations to the Italian wine industry from either a marketing, sales, education, or communication perspectives. Among these playlists, two most recent broadcasts feature wine educators and communicators who host wine-themed podcasts in the U.K. and the United States. Chris Scott, the host of The UK Wine Show Podcast (one earliest and most long lasting wine podcasts in the UK) tells Waldin about the power of the podcast medium for wine education. Adam Teeter and Zach Geballe, the duo behind the microphones of The VinePair Podcast, discuss their informal and entertaining approach to podcasting for issues that span the entire beverage industry.
Most recently Italian Wine Podcast has been nominated as one of the Feedspot’s “Top 30 wine podcasts” for its active commitment “to educate, inspire, and empower its audience with frequent updates and high-quality information.”
Entering its third year of broadcasting, the Italian Wine Podcast will continue to showcase new weekly stories of Italian wine producers and key industry players from all over the world. Coming up in April are a new series focusing on Sardinian producers, new recording sessions that will take place during Vinitaly in Verona, and the launch of a new dedicated channel on Spotify.
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