Saturday, September 29, 2007

wow - bubbles!

Someone had a birthday around here this week and bubbly was in order. Bubbly and chocolate that is. Now Champagne is lovely with dark chocolate (like this Miles of Chocolate brownie) but what is even better? - Pink Champagne! No, not some syrupy thing - I am talking bone dry brut Champagne with just a touch of fruit from brief contact with pinot noir grape skins. Great aromas, crisp flavors and a long yeasty finish. It's Besserat Bellefon NV Brut Rose Champage in this case (about 40 bucks at Vino Vino on Guadalupe). And just so you know, Vino Vino is the place for pink bubbly from under $10 to $50+.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Hanging out in the vineyard

Wine country is buzzing with harvest anticipation as warm sites pick and cool sites get ready. New to rockroom for 2007 is this cool site - Bohemian Vineyard in Freestone just a grape's throw away from the chilly Pacific. While much of Russian River picked pinot noir days or even weeks ago, these grapes will hang at least another week. Good for us as the best pinots come from these slow ripening sites.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Punching down some of the first pinot to come in - not ours yet: it is still hangin' out in the vineyard. Soon though...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

06 taste test

It may be harvest 2007 but let's not forget we have 2006 wines that need a little TLC! Today I sat down with barrel samples of our 06 Hein Vineyard pinot and played with some blends. Great news! - each barrel has something good to add and the resulting blend is better than any one barrel. More good news is that the wine will be ready to bottle as soon as harvest is done and the bottling line can be set up. Hmmm - could there be some pre-release wine to sample with roast turkey? Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Harvest has begun!

It's official - our Alder Springs chardonnay high up in the hills of Mendocino County (that's the vineyard in the photo) will be picked on September 3rd making it the first of our grapes to go to the custom crush in San Francisco. Hurray! I will be zipping out there soon, hopefully as grapes comes in and will keep you posted. Rest assured though, I have worked out detailed winemaking plans with the folks out there so there is no mystery about what to do when our grapes arrive at the crushpad. They have a great crew and have staffed up, added another top-of-the-line Italian membrane press and are ready for the big harvest that lies ahead. All reports I have been getting are that harvest this year is 1) about 2 weeks earlier across California and 2) healthy with no troublesome rain showers (causes mildew and dilutes flavors) or whithering heat (does not give grapes recovery time at night). Bottom line - we are looking good!