Dan Berger, winemaker? Of course! Dan is back with Steve Jaxon and Harry Duke in part 2 of the story of Dan’s career as a journalist that ends up with him making Riesling. Part 1 is here. The episode begins with the story of Dan’s book about basketball. He also wrote for the NFL for one year, for their magazine called “Pro!” which was the outer portion of the stadium programs for the whole league. The local team provided the inside portion. He had an office at the corner of Wilshire and Westwood in Los Angeles, near UCLA.
The Story of the Corked Riesling
He was bored with the restaurants while covering sports on the road so one night he ordered seafood and noticed that the wine tasted bad. The waiter agreed that it was corked and told Dan that with good taste perception like that, he could have a career in wine. While he was the San Diego sports columnist he also wrote three articles a week about wine.
The Dan Berger International Wine Competition
In 1982 Dan Berger founded the Riverside International Wine Competition. He was tired of the numerical scores on wines and felt that gold medals meant more when they were the product of the judgement of a panel of qualified judges. By the late ‘80s the idea took hold and he still runs The Dan Berger International Wine Competition, an annual competition under his own name.
When an editor asked him to cover “high tech” in 1983. Sorrento Valley in San Diego was where several new technology companies were started, including chips and cell phones. The community was connected to UC San Diego which was an important center for new technology. about the brand.
“Journalism calls for analysis. You can’t write a story based on just one single source. You have to ask all the questions that nobody wants to ask… A good journalist is going to look at every single angle before putting a single work on paper.”
Dan has been to Australia 23 times, 15 for judging and the other 8 times for interviews. He has been to New Zealand 9 times. “I think New Zealand is one of the greatest countries in the world.”
He wrote a book about San Diego, called “San Diego, where Tomorrow Begins” although the publisher didn’t like his title, “San Diego, City with a Mission” for some reason. After making an offhand comment about being able to write such a book, his friend called him later to say he had a publisher for him.
Dan Berger, Winemaker
The reason that Dan’s competition exists is that he believes winemakers are the best judges and so many of the top winemakers in wine country are his judges. Dan has just started producing a Riesling, too. He is also involved in a project based on “changing how wine is being produced.” Stay tuned.