One of the occupational hazards of winemaking is being asked, repeatedly, what the vintage is like before it even happens. It’s like a college freshmen pretending to know what he’ll major in…hmmm, Electrical Engineering, only to matriculate with a degree in Abnormal Psychology 6 years later.
So, like Carnac I’ll try and get straight to your most burning questions:
Answer : When they are ready.
Question: When will you start picking the grapes?
A view of our 2009 Pinot noir, clone 115. The fruit has finally colored up and is uniformly dark, always a promising sign…
Actually, the other super cool omen that harvest is about to begin…
I snapped this photo of a Red Tail hawk diving through the Pinot this foggy morning and it reminded me of the other Red Tail that signals harvest…
Yes, it takes a lot of good beer to make good wine and this morning’s sighting of the Hawk foretells a pending harvest of excellent quality. The sparkling wine makers have begun pulling in the first loads of fruit, which typically start about two to three weeks before we get going. Pinot noir is coming on fast and we could start pulling that in as early as the 8th of September, though I suspect most of it will be the week or so after. Chardonnay will start in earnest the week after that and continue through most of October.
Of more interest will be the Brandlin harvest on Mount Veeder. Given the relatively cool growing season we would expect the Cabs off the mountain to be quite late, but some years, when the cool air settles into the valley at night, it stays warmer up in the hills and the vines push through a bit earlier. As I follow the weather forecasts, like a hawk (sorry, couldn’t resist), the early trends seem to be favoring this phenomenon, which could put the Cab fast on the heels of our Pinot Noir.
Next week the harvest interns start arriving from the four corners of the earth to scrub and polish the winery in preparation for harvest! I will be keeping you all updated via our amazing new blogosphere with even better photos then can be had from my cell phone…
Saturday, September 26th
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
$72 per person
|Sip Spanish Cava with delicious breakfast treats as you enjoy the morning views of our Carneros vineyards
Watch as Chef Ciado of San Francisco prepares a delicious lunch of authentic Spanish Paella
Shop fabulous exclusive harvest party wine offers
Win fantastic prizes
Dress wine country casual
Space is limited!
Call us now to make your reservation!
1-800-253-WINE (9463) or email email@example.com
New Location: Carneros Tasting Room /Winery - 1221 Duhig Rd, Napa, CA 94559
Listen to what guests are saying about our new Carneros Tasting room!
“Stunning, I love the glass, the views, it’s beautiful. Best new winery in Napa Valley”
“Absolutely gorgeous, can’t get much better than this”
“I love the construction it totally looks sustainable”
“When can I move in?”
“Beautiful and elegant, very, very nice”
“Beautiful location absolutely gorgeous”
Every year and a half we have three day meetings with the principals of our sister wineries from South Australia (Chapel Hill) and Argentina (Finca Decero) and the owner (Thomas Schmidheiny) and members of his team from Switzerland. Tory, Steve and two of our directors, John and Jon joined us in comprehensive discussions as wide ranging as individual and group marketing, winemaking and viticulture techniques, comparative tastings and the global economy. We always schedule some time for visiting local wineries and this year it was Gantenbein and Georg Fromm www.frommwineries.com for tour and tastings of their excellent Swiss wineries.
After the meetings most returned home but Steve was off to Spain to visit some of their wines while I continued my travels with importer visits in Sweden and Denmark. Market visits usually entail meetings, visiting restaurants to gain new placements and what the rest of the world calls “Wine and Dine”, (we call them winery dinners). One night it was in Malmo, Sweden’s top restaurant call Vendel. vendelatsturehof.gastrogate.com. The chef constructed an exceptional menu that that showcased our Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Merlot and Brandlin Cabernet. I also hand-carried our Bald Mt Zin and Espiritu dessert wine. If you do your math you’ll see there were seven courses.
The second night (after more market work and meetings) was at a seafood restaurant out along the coast. As patrons were seated Richard (my importer and friend) and I would visit the table and offer them a taste of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. We where both pleased that we’d lost none of our old restaurant expertise from our previous careers and sold 15 bottles of wine.
Friday morning I took a train from Sweden, over the straight to Copenhagen for meetings and lunch with Ole, our Danish importer. Ole like most of my associates, become dear friends over the years but I have too little exposure with them due to distance and expense of market visits. We ate at a coastal village that was the old site of the ferry departure area to Sweden before the bridge was completed over 12 years ago. We dined on traditional Danish food with a modern touch and another exceptional meal (with a bottle of Cuvaison Pinot Noir).
After lunch Ole dropped me off at the Copenhagen airport for a quick flight to Frankfurt, Germany. Having never visited the German wine regions I planned a quick three night, two day visit to the wine regions of Rhinegau and Middle Rhine. I stayed at Breuer’ Rudesheimer Schloss in Rudesheim (ruedesheimer-schloss.com) and quickly made friends with Susanne and Heinrick Breuer. Their Inn and restaurant was a perfect place to enjoy lovely accommodations and great food and wine. Heinrick stays busy with the management of their top rated winery “Georg Breuer”, and still finds time to work at the Inn and restaurant at night. Susanne never stops with managing the Inn and restaurant as well as directing guest like me with itineraries. She even found time to take a group of us guests on a four hour tour and hike of the surrounding vineyards and into the next town in the middle Rhine.
Join us on August 13 in our Carneros Tasting Room when the Napa/Sonoma chapter of Women for WineSense will host “Wine on America’s Table – Celebrating Diversity: Matching Wine with Ethnic Cuisine!”
|Ever stumped on what wine to pair with Baba Ghanouj, Pakori or Ceviche? Be stumped no more! Join us on August 13th at Cuvaison Estate Wines' Carneros Tasting Room to learn about pairing wine with ethnic cuisine.
|And, of course, there will be opportunities to win prizes when you buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items (think big, think Magnums!) -- all proceeds benefit the Napa/Sonoma Women for WineSense General Scholarship Fund.
Silent auction prizes include
BEEHind the Vine: Cuvaison
The WinoBee recently interviewed our President, Jay Schuppert, to chat about what’s happening at Cuvaison.
Read the full story to learn about Jay’s journey to become President, the reason for 2 tasting rooms and the remodel, Cuvaison’s sustainability efforts & cork recycling program, Jay’s favorite Cuvaison wine (and non-Cuvaison wine), & why he prefers cork over synthetic or screw caps!