To those of you who having been checking for new Blogs an apology for the long
lapse and here you go!
It’s been an interesting several years. To catch you up to date on things aside from
Calstar Cellars, Londer Vineyards ceased production and 2 other small projects came along Ellipsis Wine Company as a winemaking client and Devoto/Wade as a cidermaking client.
Additionally Calstar Cellars is now in distribution in Ohio, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia as well as California.
Now onto the wines, I’ve just finished bottling the 2014 vintage and am doing a
Cardinini Zinfandel (Alta Zin) for the first time since 2009 and a Cuvee’ Ann Chardonnay for the first time since 2010. I’m very excited about both wines, which I hope to release this Fall, along with the 2014 Za ZA Zin. For those of you who weren’t able to get Rose’ either of the last two years there is hope I’m upping production again this year and hope it will last more than the 6 weeks it did with the 2013 and 2014 vintages.
So far I’m lucky with vineyards for this vintage, while crops are light, I’m not seeing
the shatter and very uneven set that a number of vineyards, and several of my clients, are. It is going to be an early vintage, with picks coming in 1-2 weeks earlier than last year. This makes for additional stress both on me and the wineries as we are both just finishing bottling and starting harvest without the usual “break” in between.
Stay tuned, new releases coming soon!
Crush for me and my clients ended this past Monday with the last of the fruit coming in. Harvest goes through the completion of primary fermentation for all my lots, but as of today, this process got a lot easier with the pressing off of the last of the Pinot Noir, Londer Vineyards Valley Foothills lot that makes up part of the Parabol Blend (my largest lot and project). This allows me to focus, in the next month, on monitoring completion of primary fermentation (sugar –alcohol) and secondary (malic acid – lactic acid acid).
The Anderson Valley fruit this year is back to “normal” after the issues with “smoke taint” last year. I’m excited by the quality of fruit from a new vineyard from which Londer Estates sourced fruit, Angel’s Camp.
For my own Calstar Cellars project, I brought in fruit from two new Pinot Noir vineyards, new Sauvignon Blanc and three Chardonnay vineyards, as well as getting fruit off two additional blocks of Sangiacomo Pinot Noir. This gave me Clones 115, 777 and Swan from the Sangiacomo Roberts Road Vineyard and fruit from Marshall and Vining vineyards in Sonoma County. I'm excited that all blocks are showing well. All three Chardonnays are showing well (Sangiacomo Roberts Road, Inspiration Vineyard, and Manchester Ridge Vineyard) and I plan on bottling two vineyard designates and a Sonoma Coast blend from these new acquisitions. For the Zin lovers, this vintage of Zin is looking great!
Futures for the 2009 Vintage will be made available soon and will be available until March 1, 2010. Don't miss out!
All of this and now the Holidays are approaching - time for me to work on my leather work (my hobby) for upcoming craft shows, oh, and, take my wife on a date!
The past couple of weeks have been activity-filled and slowing down or catching up on sleep are all unlikely. Aside from Winemaking, one of my 'other' professions/passions is leatherwork and with two shows back-to-back, it is busy! These shows, in addition to the Family Winemakers event in San Francisco and finalizing bottling for a couple of clients, will lead me into Harvest 2009.
This week (and next) I will be spending a lot of time looking closely at vineyards in prep for harvest. So far, Anderson Valley vineyards are looking good with an “average” crop set and no fires in the area the year. The only remaining worry from these vineyards is residual “smoke taint” in the soil from last year's fires.
The Sonoma County vineyards are generally looking good, although, this year may see us picking Pinot Noir well before the Sauvignon Blanc off comparable sites - a less common occurrence but this is what makes mother nature and science part friend, part foe.
Harvest 2009 is almost upon us - stay tuned for harvest updates.
I spent last Friday afternoon looking at vineyards, from which I am sourcing fruit. The one I was working in, Marshall, looks good with lighter crop load than last year’s. The second vineyard, Devoto, is in 3rd leaf and I will get a max of 1T off of it this year. Stan is doing a good job of vineyard management, on top of growing “vintage” apples and has several interesting clones in the ground. Looking forward to working with his fruit in coming years. The last vineyard suffers from being planted meter by meter and has significant mildew pressure. Fortunately, we caught it early and can probably catch the mildew before it becomes a real problem and I haven’t committed to it yet.
I have an in store tasting to pour at this weekend where I'll be pouring Zin. And, I've finally lined up staff for Family Winemakers of California on August 23rd and 24th at Fort Mason in SF - also busy but good exposure. Also getting ready for ACC Craft Show in San Francisco, where I’ll be selling my leatherwork as well as having Todd and David pour and sell Calstar Cellars wines. Doing the Tiburon Arts Festival the following week.
Personally, I am continuing to make time for bike rides weekly (at least one) and getting a little time for gardening. Looking forward to a couple of meals out at favorite restaurants this weekend and a short vacation the week after Labor Day.
This is wine country living!
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!