Just came in from the tasting room and have to say, it's always nice to catch up with wine club members and meet new or future ones. The tasting room has been bustling lately in an uncrowded but steady flow of very interested and enthusiastic people from all over. Yes, word of mouth has been a good thing for us and we thank all of you who spread the good word!
We absolutely love the level of interest in all that we do but one of the questions we get very often is "what is your favorite?". Most of you that know us understand the reason for the answer, "it depends". Yup, it really does depend. Time of day, temperature, food or none or just plain mood are some of the things that make the difference. Several years ago we even started making our one white wine, Viognier, just for the simple fact that sometimes we are in the mood for a white wine and so are our customers.
That said, maybe the question should be "what are you drinking lately?". Now that the days are long, the grass is green and the BBQ is heating up, our tastes are changing to certain wines. The Sangiovese has never gone out of favor but this time of year really screams for it along with a simple grilled steak, a side of pasta and zucchini. Or just thinking about grilled shrimp and a chilled Viognier makes my mouth start to water. But I've got to admit, if I'm grilling a whole roast filet or Tri-Tip, a treat for sure, a bold Cabernet is definitely on the menu.
So, once again, it depends. If I can give any advise at all, it is to get any bottle open quick, share a few glasses with friends and then, and only then, start thinking about what you want to open next!
Whatever you're in the mood for, pop that cork and enjoy your Summer!
Spring means a lot to us as farmers but one very exciting thing for us at this time of year is to plant. As you may or may not know, we don't plant every year like most crops. Grapevines are perennial/deciduous and once planted can give us fruit once a year for years. The average age of most commercially farmed vineyards is about 30 years with some vineyards producing high quality grapes for over 100 years.
That said, you can see how important it is to get it "right" the first time.
Getting it right doesn't mean just planting the right vines in the right spot. Planting a good vineyard does start with proper site selection as well as matching the vines and rootstock to the soil and overall "terrior" of the site but making sure everything else is in place first is imperative to a vineyards longterm success. I'll save a definition of terrior for another time so for now let's start with what's under the vines.
In most areas, even in higher rainfall areas, irrigation is key to the life and quality of planting. Having enough water for the young vines to survive the first year is why even in those "wet" areas some type of irrigation is installed. For us, watering is very critical and believe it or not, quite complicated. Starting with the right system underground is more than burying some pipe. A good system is well thought out and designed with length of runs as well as water pressures maintained over the entire vineyard. Yes, there is math!
Once the layout is designed (each plastic knife pictured represents a vine) the trenches are dug and the pipes are installed. We have learned the hard way; we check the irrigation before we bury the pipes! The next step is to install the pressure regulators, end posts, pencil rods, drip tubing, support posts, trellis wire and plant the vines along with the protective grow tubes. Among other things!
Now for the fun part, we watch closely and wait. For years. And years. It takes at least three before we get any grapes from the vines and then, in this case with Sangiovese, another two to three before we bottle and sell the wine made. So with a little luck, lots of love and some hard work, just think, five years from this writing we will be sitting on the patio overlooking this new section of Sangiovese vines and sipping what it has given us in love returned.
There's an old joke in the family; "I am half Irish, half Italian so I argue with myself!" That said, every year we try to figure out what to drink on St. Paddies day. I never was one for gimmicks when it comes to drinking. Make my margaritas on the rocks, my wine not in a sangria and for the love of God laddie, leave the color of my beer alone!
This year we are heading over to a friends place and along with us a few bottles of Viognier which will go great with corned beef and few bottles of red, which probably won't, but who cares. By the end of the meal, I'll be too full for beer and need a glass of red wine to digest the rest of day with. I will probably slip a pint of ale in there somewhere too but when it comes to festive meals, wine is never an argument around here.
So here's a cheers to you all on St. Patrick's Day!