San Francisco, CA – Wine journalist, blogger and speaker, W. Blake Gray, has debuted a video series on his eponymously named The Gray Report. Gray conducts his interviews remotely from his home in San Francisco. Aptly named “Intoxicating Conversation with W. Blake Gray”, Gray engages in often funny, sometimes sobering conversations with wine industry leaders. Laura Catena, of Bodega Catena Zapata in Argentina, launched the series. A renaissance woman who is a vintner, emergency room physician and author, Catena proves to be an engaged and lively interviewee.
Rob McMillian, Executive Vice President of Silicon Valley Bank’s Wine Division, appears in the second episode, and offers, by turns, optimistic as well as realistic information on the wine business in the time of Covid-19. McMillian’s avuncular, articulate nature provides the viewer with a sense of calm and understanding, while also offering essential, up-to-the-minute insights about the state of the industry. Forthcoming guests include Chad Melville (Winegrower/Owner, Melville Winery), Hugh Davies (Vintner, Schramsberg Vineyards) and Jason Haas (Owner, Tablas Creek Vineyards) among others.
Gray chose to launch “Intoxicating Conversations with W. Blake Gray” because, he says, “People are trapped at home. They need entertainment, but more than that, they need human connection. I have had countless really interesting conversations during my time as a journalist. It’s one of the great pleasures of the job. Now that I can’t go out for dinner or even coffee, I find myself craving conversation more than ever, and I’m sure I’m not alone. I thought, by asking some of the many interesting people I’ve met to join me virtually, we could bring those conversations to people. I’m not tech-savvy at all so there’s no editing; no studio tricks. Just two people talking.”
Gray adds that “the series will not be limited to solely wine producers, but will also include those who work with spirits and cannabis. I am a very minor part of the ecosystem around these products, and it’s fair to ask whether I contribute anything at all. In a pandemic, we all have to contribute what we can. I can do this, so I will. I am.”
Gray, who for years was a wine journalist and editor for the San Francisco Chronicle, is currently the US Editor for Wine Searcher, the world’s most visited wine website. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, World of Fine Wine, SFGate, San Francisco Weekly, Wine Business, Wine & Spirits Magazine, Palate Press, Wine Review Online, Beverage Media, The Beverage Journal, and Quench Magazine. In 2013, he received the coveted Roederer Award for World’s Best Wine Writer and Blogger. Other recipients include Jancis Robinson, Kelli White, Andrew Jefford, Oz Clark, and Jon Bonne, to name just a few.
All episodes are free and available at https://blog.wblakegray.com/.