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Sunday, November 11, 2018

5 November, 2018 - Carla Marina Marchese of Red Bee Honey & Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines

Tonight, Slow Living radio host Steve Andrews and co-host Chef Bob Hurley are joined by honey sommelier Carla Marina Marchese and broadcaster turned winemaker Alan Baker of Cartograph Wines 

Carla Marina Marchese

Carla Marina Marchese is changing the way people taste and think about honey. She is the design visionary and beekeeper behind the iconic brand Red Bee Honey.  A graduate of The School of Visual Arts, Marina's designs for JOUJOU sportswear were featured in Woman’s Wear Daily and landed a feature inVictoria Magazine,  which launched her international career licensing her designs for giftware, home and stationary. It was  in 2000 that Marina was unexpectedly invited to visit a neighbor’s apiary where her first taste of fresh honey from the beehive would change the course of her life. Surprised to find that allowing docile honeybees to crawl across her hands instilled a serene tranquility and comfort, she was inspired her to quit her job, build her own beehives, and acquire a colony of Italian honeybees to become a full-time beekeeper and she hasn't turned back.
It was on a visit to Montalcino, Italy, “The City of Honey”, that Marina became passionate about the diverse flavor profiles of varietal honey determined by the type of nectar gathered by the honeybees. Compelled by the philosophy of terroir, Marina studied wine tasting in order to transfer those skills to honey tasting which lead her to curate a collection of single-origin honeys launching the Red Bee Brand. In 2004, Marina and Red Bee honey landed the cover of American Bee Journal for her innovative packaging and label designs elevating honey to a gourmet worthy product earning Red Bee the Slow Food Snail of Approval.

Her best selling book Honeybee Lessons from an Accidental Beekeeper chronicles her entrepreneurial journey into beekeeping and how a hobby quickly turned into a full - time career and nationally recognized brand. Her second book, The Honey Connoisseur Selecting, Tasting, and Pairing Honey co-authored with Kim Flottum (editor of Bee Culture Magazine) is the definitive guide to honey, it floral sources and flavors . Marina was invited  to write the chapter on honey in the international best selling book Beekeeping for Dummies for her mentor and friend Howland Blackiston and has appeared in a variety of television series like ABC-TV’s The ChewThe Untitled Action Bronson Show on Viceland TVOn the Road with Edible Nutmeg, The Splendid Table. Marina's Red Bee will be featured in Weekend with Yankee on PBS withe Emmy award winner Richard Weise. James Beard award winning author Rowan Jacobsen wrote about Marina obsession with varietal honey in his book, American Terroir.  
Marchese is the first US citizen to be accepted as a member of the Italian National Register of Experts in the Sensory Analysis of Honey, where she received her formal training as a honey sensory expert and Italian honey judge. 
Carla Marina's personal web site is

Carla discusses a wonderful honey on the US market, Golden Blossom:

 Blossom Honey Premium Pure U.S. Honey (SRP: $9.99), 16oz) 
Golden Blossom Honey has been making their honey since 1921 with a unique blend of three pure honeys: orange blossom, sage buckwheat, and extra white clover, creating the signature Golden Blossom Honey flavor. It is sourced exclusively from U.S. beekeepers, and does not contain any additives or preservatives. Naturally gluten-free.   

Golden Blossom Organic White Forest Honey (SRP: $5.99, 12oz) -  Made with a blend of pure, organic honeys sourced exclusively from northeastern Brazil, this organic honey is full-bodied and intensely sweet. Naturally gluten-free, certified organic by QAI, and U.S. Grade A quality with no additives.    


From a longtime career in classical music production for public radio, to one of the fist wine podcasters to successful winemaker and winery owner, Cartograph WinesAlan Baker has had a journey fueled by creativity and passion.

Alan Baker & Serena Lourie
Alan’s “Aha!” moment after opening a bottle of Riesling on a kayak in the middle of a lake, sparking an immediate desire to learn more about wine and ultimately inspiring him to leave a 15-year career at Minnesota Public Radio to journey to Healdsburg, California – the heart of California’s acclaimed Russian River, Alexander and Dry Creek Valleys -  to pursue this new craft. Unsure of what aspect of the industry he would be best suited to, he used his radio experience to create a wine-focused podcast (the second only in the industry) called Cellar Rat, trading publicity with wineries for knowledge and offering listeners an inside look at all aspects of the wine business. As one of the very first wine podcasters, through interviews and in-depth episode research, Alan was able to dig in and learn in depth the ropes of the wine business. His quickly amassed knowledge and passion for the industry landed him a position at San Francisco-based custom crush and production facility, CrushPad - where he worked through the business to become a consulting winemaker.

Leveraging his podcast’s growing audience, Alan offered his listeners the opportunity to participate in the winemaking process and the fruits of his labor, in turn assisting him in funding his venture. For a fee, audience members could visit the production facility and take part in Alan’s project. He documented it all on a video podcast - which grew to be called Pinot 2.0 and the group of regular participants became known as “The Rat Pack”.  Successfully utilizing his social media following, Alan employed crowd-sourcing to fund his first release (Cellar Rat Cellars) and build his brand long before these terms became commonplace.

Only after meeting Serena Lourie, his now partner in business and life, at CrushPad as her assigned mentor winemaker, the dream of Cartograph was conceived. A socially responsible company built on strong relationships and with a goal of producing truly great wines, Cartograph was founded in 2009. Known for their elegant, ultra-premium Pinot Noirs, Alsatian-styled white wines and now sparkling wines (new to 2018) the brand’s core values center on education and the importance of being hands-on and handcrafted. Grateful for the community that helped him establish his brand, Alan spends his days overseeing the extraordinary process of turning grapes to wine - rewarding his loyal followers from Podcast days by offering exceptional wines.

Alan and Serena celebrating the 10th anniversary of the hatching of their plan and vision for Cartograph, with an expanded portfolio (sparkling new this year) and their latest Pinot Noir release, Traverse, a blend of 5 Pinots across blocks and properties. Their estate vineyard straddles the new Petaluma Gap AVA and RRV - just 14 miles from the coast and in a finicky micro-climate.  Alan's Cellar Rat was among the very first wine podcasts (back in 2005) - which he leveraged to gain access to winemakers industry pros to assess what job would be a good fit for himself in the industry 

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