The holiday season is busy for all and we are no exception. The last three weeks of each year find us traveling to the East Coast. Ten days in Baltimore with family and visiting a few key accounts in Maryland, then onto visit with several friends in Pennsylvannia, New Jersey and the Finger Lakes Region of New York. We are particularly looking forward to the Finger Lakes portion of the trip as we'll have an opportunity to visit a few of the Finger Lakes wineries. The region is becoming well-known for Gewurztraminer and Riesling winegrowing and is a region of which I have not tasted since the late 1980's.
Year-end wine sales introduced a fun, new surprise in our first corporate gift order! This corporate gift order was even more interesting to us because the organization shares our name....Calstar Products. It makes perfect sense for us to work together to send out wine gifts to their customers with a similar name. Note to self: contact companies who share our name!
On the winemaking side, the 2009 Pinots finished up ML (malolactic fermentation) and were sulphured and reinoculations are moving along. Other reinoculations are for two lots of Chardonnay that I’m doing in barrel. It looks like they’ll make it on the first try though one is moving slower than the other. Interestingly enough, ML fermentations, which usually prefer warmer conditions, are taking off and finishing in the 55-60 degree F cellar. Go figure. Also, I have done fining on the 2009 Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminers in preparation for bottling in the next couple of months. I like to bottle aromatic whites early to preserve their fruit character.
With that, we wish all of you a very happy and healthy New Year!
The last couple of weeks have been a little nutty, monitoring ferments, doing sales calls AND I’ve added two craft fairs in two weeks to the mix (have I mentioned that I’m a leatherworker in a previous life?). This meant that I was dealing with two stuck ferments, evaluating two sets of fining trials, evaluating two sets of bentonite trials (one of which made no sense), helping at two client tasting events all while traveling on back-to–back weekends. Who says harvest is the busiest time of year?
I helped Londer Estate, a winery for whom I consult, pour at the Faralon Pinot Fest, and found it reassuring regarding what I’m trying to do in making Pinot. If you like a fruit-driven style, the Londer wines were as good or better than the “competition”. The Londer release event at the Presidio Club in San Francisco went well with both a good reception for the wines and good sales. I found myself liking the 2007 Ferrington Pinot Noir more than I had in the past and thought the other wines were showing extremely well.
My other passion, craft fairs, have been good; with the exception of a four-hour power loss due to high winds in Nevada City, but are extremely tiring when coupled with winemaking/wine sales duties. While in Nevada City, I tasted two current accounts, New Moon Café and Carrington’s Fine Wines, on current releases and checked out several new possible accounts. More on these in January, after I go back up there for a sales trip. For those of you who get up to Nevada City, I heartily recommend New Moon Café for imaginative food and a truly interesting wine list.
This past weekend we were doing a show in Carmel Valley, which gave us the opportunity to eat at our favorite restaurant in Monterey, Passionfish, which as you might guess has a great seafood menu and a equally good wine list that is generally priced just above retail. Additionally, they are big supporters of sustainable fishing, and have no problematic seafood on the menu.
Winemaker & Artisan, Rick Davis, started Calstar Cellars in 2001 to marry art and science to his love of wine. Read Rick's thoughts on all things wine!