Well, it’s been way to long since I wrote my last blog, leaving me a lot to cover.
This summer has been busy so far – there’s a lot to cover! I have a new wine broker that I’m excited about as they assist in getting Calstar out in the market. Additionally, I’ve been reestablishing contact with some old accounts notably CAV Wine Bar in San Francisco and the Sonoma Wine Shop in Sonoma and Sebastopol, all great old accounts into which we are happy to return.
On the production-side, I bottled and ’09 Gewurztraminer for two clients, Londer Vineyards and Halleck Vineyards. Both are done in a dry style (“Alsatian”) and is probably my favorite white wine after Sauvignon Blanc. Almost all the wines are through M-L (malolactic) fermentation and sulphured. I’ve been finding that several of my ’09 Pinot Noirs have changed dramatically in the last weeks. Most of these are to the “good”, but it still confuses blending plans and what vineyards/blocks to include in next harvest’s plans.
Speaking of blending, I have started the hard but creative process of putting together blends for the ’09 Pinot bottlings, with Chardonnay to follow in 3 weeks. The difficult part is to assess blends and try to maintain perspective over a long day’s tasting. The creative/exciting part is that I have some of the best wines I’ve made to date to start with and now it’s a matter of creating blends that accent the positive characters of each lot. Happy Summer!
As we approach August, we’re not only full of anticipation for the upcoming grape harvest but also excited to enjoy the bounty of the garden. Fresh fruits and vegetables abound with warm days and cool evenings in Northern California and this year offers no exception. The garden my wife and I tend at our home in Santa Rosa is coming along nicely and includes some of the basics, some delicate fruit selections and a transplant from the East Coast.
The basics include what could become an instant summer salad with basil tomatoes (add Mozzarella and our Calstar 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and you’re done!) as well as onions and peppers (who needs Philly, just a nice BBQ and our 2006 Alta Zin). A more interesting, and perhaps risky vegetable is asparagus, which is doing well for being in its second year, and we hope to have a nice crop next year (with a little luck).
Our fruits include persimmon and lemon trees, both doing well but an apple a day may not be in our future, as the apple and the peach trees are not fairing as well. The delicate includes the raspberry plants that we received from the Londer family (of the same family that we source our Londer Estate Pinot Noir) which are taking (second time’s a charm) having planted them in the spot that previously housed four Merlot vines. We will reap the delicious results of this change but I will miss the vines as they did provide nice smoker material.
Transplanting can be difficult, both for people, and for trees (seeds) but time and luck can prove successful. The maple seeds I brought back from a visit back East (Maryland) bore one seedling that is doing well and there is nothing better than being a transplant with reminder of home.
Rounding out this week and prepping for the 2009 vintage included confirmation of grape sourcing, and have lined up the following:
-10T Pinot Noir, Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard
-4T Pinot Noir, Marshall Vineyard
-1T Pinot Noir, Vining Vineyard
-3T Sauvignon Blanc, Hopkins Ranch
-3T Chardonnay, Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard
-5T (Pending) Zinfandel, Stokes and Cardannini Vineyards and Manchester Ridge Chardonnay
I am excited about Harvest, both personal and of the vine.