We had a couple of groups with appointments at the Tasting Salon this weekend. This is the real upside to running a small winery getting to share what I've made with people who really enjoy it.
Saturday we had a family in: parents from Philadelphia (acquainted with a couple of my partners) and their daughter and son-in-law from San Diego. It was a really nice visit.
My significant and I had a wonderful dinner at Harvest Moon Cafe
later that evening, and our favorite waiter there asked about an appointment for Sunday for his sister and some of her friends. This group turned out to be an experience.
Our friend's sister and her girlfriends were up for a "spa-weekend", and thought they would spend Sunday touring Sonoma wineries. As sometimes happens, they discovered there is no place they would rather be than hanging out here at the Salon, where they had good wine, good company, good music and a great environment in which to enjoy it at their leisure. And leisure they did.
My thanks to those elements of theFEMPIRE
for their patronage, and thanks also to Ms. Lee from Toronto who wandered in at random during our soirée and impressed all with her passionate understanding of great Pinot Noir. And Chip with the Audi Driving Experience
? Sorry you did not have more time to spend with us I'm anxious to explore the idea of a trade to get behind the wheel of an R8 at Infineon
(in my dreams
BTW - wishing everyone a happy and very safe New Year's Eve. - John
After The Rain...
We finally had a little more rain yesterday something like 0.9 inches. So far it has been remarkably dry and warm for this area and time of year. Many trees and even grapevines are still holding their leaves. The forecast is finally calling for some near-freezing to full-on freezing overnight temperatures for the next couple of days.
I'm off to Houston next week for a partners meeting and some face-to-face time with accounts. Then it is Christmas time with family in Denver, during which time I also hope to hook up with Westwood's new distributor there. And then it is back here for New Year's.
New year already? Man.
Today I added sulfur dioxide to the 2007 Annadel Pinot Noir. I have lab results showing that the Syrah and Mourvedre in tanks are done with malolactic, so they will get racked and sulfured before the end of the year.
One of my suppliers finally
delivered new barrels (nearly 3 months late) which has forced me to do something new with the Rhone varietals
I have been toying with the idea of for a couple of years of raising these wines in tank for some period before going to barrels for a second phase of affinage
. I'm not convinced that 228-liter barrels are the best place for these wines to be raised the tank phase before going to barrel averages (philosophically, anyway) to raising the wines in 20-hectoliter foudres
, as many Rhone producers do.
I'm having issues
with my 4-Part Rosé this year. I had good, quick, clean, and complete yeast ferments but the malolactic ferments are not moving, and the wines (except the Grenache rosé component, god love it) have sulfides and mercaptans stinks that should not be there since the ferments were good. Aaargh! I don't get it
. Time to do some remedial winemaking, and to call some friends who are smarter than I am to figure out why this happened and how to avoid it in the future.
Casting Bread Upon The Waters
I finally did it early this week sent some wines out for review. Since I took over the winery in 1994 we just have not done this, only in part because we have not needed to.
But now that we are starting to grow and working to sell wine into wholesale distribution again, I owe it to the people working for us to place the wines to give them every support I can manage including some good ink if it can be achieved.
So I sent the 2003 and 2004 Pinots of to an influential wine writer one who I think understands and respects Pinot Noir, wherever it comes from. This is not the first time I have had wines out for review in my career, but every time it feels like sending your kids off on the bus for their first day of school.