Stories from the winemaker, new recipes, happenings around the winery, and more.
Picked some incredible Cabernet Franc out of the Byecroft Vineyard in El Dorado County today. Literally some of the prettiest and most well cared for grapes I've seen in a long time. Margaret and Bill do an amazing job day in and day out all year long. They are the type of growers that when I pull up unannounced to walk the vineyard, I go out to the vineyard instead of up to the house, because I know more likely than not, that's where they will be. Every day, all day. A beautiful and challenging way to spend your life.
Sampled the Oakmont and Baartman Vineyards today. Seems like it is way too early in the season to be looking at Barbera, but every year is different and those two fields are coming on strong. The acids are a touch strong but my goodness grapes are tasting great this year.
We had nothing short of an amazing dinner at Mikuni's last night with most of the Andis team. Hosted by Mikuni's owner Taro Arai, a masterful showman who also delivers the goods, it was the perfect moment for a celebration. With a crush pad full of empty barrels and empty bottles the winemaking calendar comes full circle again. Tomorrow we begin the 2012 harvest season, a year that has been as beautiful in the vineyards as any in recent memory. Next week, we bottle the first of the reds from last year's grapes. The enduring magic of this craft is this annual transformation from simple grape to delicious wine. It is a cycle that never stops inspiring excitement, awe, and a profound appreciation for the bounty we are yearly blessed with. Happy 2012 Harvest To All!!
They say that form follows function, but, sometimes the two intersect to complement each other. The style of our building has received lots of commentary and some pretty fun press attention. However, the original goal of the building was not to do something simply shocking, but simply to build a structure that could make great wine, afford a comfortable setting for enjoying it, and do it all in the greenest approach possible. Cleanliness is the name of the game in winemaking and metal, more than any other common building material, is easier to clean and keep clean. One legendary California producer recently had to spend two years and untold millions replacing all the wood in their cellar because it had become infected with TCA (the compound that causes corked wine!). No danger of that here. And building the building was faster and came with fewer environmental repercussions than building with stone or wood. Practicality and craft need not be at odds with each other. Sometimes, in fact, they can serve to make each other even better!