Monday, July 30, 2007

Fall Mailers are Upon Us.

Today I got my first two mailers of the 'Fall'. On July 30th. Fall comes earlier than the Christmas season now, at least if your selling wine.

I understand the desire to get them out early. Beat the rush of other mailers that pile up for people is a big consideration I'm sure. The main thing though I think is to get orders and shipping done and taken care of for small operations. The mailers I got were from Loring Wine Company and Copain.

Both are bigger than us of course, but I know both are all hands on deck during the September and October harvest season. With everyone working in the winery crushing grapes and making wine, there will be no one left to answer emails, fix shipping issues, or process credit cards.

Stefania and I will be the same way. During October we won't have much time to tend to the business side of the business, it will be all about making wine. Our Fall Mailer will go out early too. Probably just another few weeks or right around Labor Day. We won't start shipping until after we've wrapped up harvesting, that way we'll have time to deal with any shipping issues, but the gap between taking orders and shipping is a gap we need to get other things done.

We're not pushing it into July, but I can sure understand why Brian Loring and Wells Guthrie want to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Last Chance 2005 Eaglepoint Ranch Syrah

Stef and I stopped in last night at Unwined just off Almaden Expwy in South San Jose. It's a great little wine bar / shop about 4 miles from our home. They always have interesting flights of wine, nice small tapas style plates of food, and 2-3 tv's to watch sports (or Oprah) on.

We had the "Mendocino White's" flight and the "Unusual Red's" flight and a plate of cheese and salami. All very nice.

Unwined still has 4-5 bottles left of our 2005 Syrah Eaglepoint Ranch. We left them with some after our release party, so that I didn't have to carry an open case back to the storage facility. This is the very last available 2005 Syrah, everything else is gone or on restaurant wine lists. Unwined is selling it at release price of $35, so if you'd like to pick up one more bottle, give them a call at 408-323-WINE.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Los Altos Vineyard Update.

Millie, Stef and I completed construction on the Los Altos vineyard project Sunday morning. It's a small project. Eleven rows, about 175 plants on a 1/4 acre, but when combined with the Elandrich vineyard should make enough fruit for 3-4 barrels of wine in 4-5 years.

We're putting in Syrah on a 5 wire trellis system with 6 x 8 spacing. The plants will go in on Friday and Saturday and we'll finish up a few remaining tasks then. The site is about 500 feet from the old Page Mill Winery site and should be a great spot to grow Syrah.

The project was a little rough starting out. We wanted to start in early May, but the homeowner wasn't ready for us. That put a serious kink in the schedule. We have a little gap in Mid May through Mid June when flowering is going on to do construction on new vineyards. As soon as flowering completes though we have to stop whatever is going on and go 'green prune' and tie up the existing vineyards.

So right after getting in the end posts on this project we had to stop for three weeks as we took care of the other vineyards. Last week we were able to get back out and finish up. Stef should have photos soon.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Burgers and Bordeaux

Today we'll be hosting our 5th annual "Burgers and Bordeaux".

It was an idea 5 years ago to de-mystify wine in general and French wine in particular. Bordeaux was the perfect subject. Many new wine drinkers are afraid to try French wines, or find wine naming in general confusing. We work off a simple theme: We taste wines of each of the five grapes used in Bordeaux; Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. Then we taste blends of those grapes from around the world, including many Bordeaux's.

It gives every one a chance to taste each part of the blend on it's own and see what it brings, and how the sum of parts can be greater than the individual grapes. Many people are afraid to get away from varieties they know, and this is a chance to explore blends. It also is an easy environment to learn in and take some of the fluff away from wine.

The "Burgers" portion of the BBQ plays an important part in that. I hate that people obsess over the "perfect pairing". There is no such thing. Time, place, mood, preperation and a hundred other factors make the interplay of wine and food unique each time you do it. Forget about "perfect", go for "fun". What's more fun than burgers on the Forth of July? The burgers also let people know, it's ok to have wine, even great wine, with any food you'd like.

So we'll relax on this 4th of July with a casual BBQ, good friends, and good wine. No fluff, no pretense, no anxiety. Just the way we like wine.