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!
Looking for something to pair with your Cuvaison Chardonnay? Try this Poached Salmon with Caper-Butter Sauce recipe, and let us know how it turned out!
Pull out the July edition of Food & Wine magazine and look for a feature on Cuvaison’s 2007 Chardonnay, Carneros! If you don’t have the magazine in front of you, here is what Food & Wine’s expert panel had to say about our 07 Chardonnay.
|In the Carneros region, characterized by a morning fog that keeps grapes from quickly heating up and afternoon breezes that lower leaf temperature and dry the morning dew, this cool- climate wine delivers clean and balanced flavors with pronounced fruit nuances. Light lemon curd aromas and a crisp citrus flavor produce a bright and penetrating acidity that elevates this wine from Chardonnay mediocrity. - Anthony Giglio|
|A lot of California wines billed as cool-climate styles don’t really deliver on that promise, coming off hot, fat and tropical regardless of their source vineyards. Not so with this clean, balanced, Carneros-grown bottling, which skews toward the citrus end of the vast Chardonnay flavor spectrum. Its aromas of lemon curd are bright and penetrating, as is the acidity, which really distinguishes this wine from the mass of flabby, buttery styles out there. – David Lynch|
|This sustainably made wine and solar powered winery will turn anyone into an earth-loving hippie. Cuvaison was one of the early pioneers in this cool climate corner of Napa Valley, planting its first grapes there in 1979. The ripe, peachy and flowery nose gives way to a medium-bodied and good textured wine. Juicy, frosty acidity holds it together. A wonderfully light summer wine that’s perfect to pair with a white- fleshed fish, such as cod or halibut. – Daniel Johnnes|
To read more about the expert panel go to: http://www.foodandwine.com/promo/classicwines/
Need a place to recycle your wine corks?
Cuvaison has partnered with Yemm & Hart, a recycling company that converts cork into self-sustaining products, to create a recycling program that promotes the education and collection of corks!
Why recycle wine corks?
There are 13 billion (yes, billion!) natural cork wine stoppers sold into the world market each year. At present, the majority of them end up in landfills. Cork is ideal for recycling. It is biodegradable, renewable, energy efficient, sustainable and 100% natural.
What are recycled wine corks used for?
Recycled wine corks can find a new life as shoe soles, fishing rod handles, bulletin boards, place mats, flooring tiles, building insulation, gaskets, packaging materials, under playground equipment, and even as a soil amendment in compost.
What makes natural cork environmentally special?
Natural cork is made up of billions of cells. This gives cork its buoyant, elastic quality as well as the ability to absorb and retain nearly 9 grams of C02 throughout the life of the cork. And, with 13 billion corks sold each year worldwide, cork is an important source of C02 retention.
Where can I send my corks to be recycled?
Make Cork Recycling a Way of Life! Drop your corks off at either one of our Tasting Rooms OR ship them directly to Yemm & Hart:
|Wine Cork Recycling|
|Yemm & Hart Ltd.|
|425 North Chamber Dr.|
|Fredericktown, MO 63645|
Last Saturday was a beautiful day for the Grand Opening of our Carneros Tasting Room! The Ambassadors of the Napa Chamber of Commerce came out to help us celebrate our 40th anniversary and Grand Opening! Come check out our new Tasting Room, if you haven’t done so yet!
Yesterday was a beautiful morning for a marathon! Over 3,000 people from all over the country showed up to our Carneros Winery and Tasting Room location to start the race!
While everyone is a winner, special kudos go out to Eli Rodriquez of Whittier, CA who won the race with a time of 1:09:25 beating Ed Baker of Palo Alto, CA and Tesfaye Dirba, of Ethiopia. On the women's side it was Julia Malon Stamps of Miami, FL with a winning time of 1:22:01 just edging out Lisbet Sunshine of San Francisco and Christine Keenedy of Los Gatos, CA.
A lot of excitement for 7:00 in the morning!
The Grand Opening of our Calistoga Tasting Room was a success! As the party was coming to a close, we were able to take some photos:
It’s always interesting when you give a winemaker a large pair of scissors. Check back for some video of our Winemaker, Steve Rogstad cutting the ribbon!
Our 2 delicious Zinfandels: 2007 Bald Mountain Zin & 2007 Brandlin Zin, Mount Veeder have just been Released! And they are on Special! Mix and match to receive 25% off 3 bottles or 30% off 6+ bottles. The perfect pairing for your next summer soiree; our Zinfandels go great with BBQ, burgers, tri-trip and anything else you can throw on the grill!
Here is what our Winemaker, Steve Rogstad has to say about these Zins:
2007 Bald Mountain Zinfandel
The Bald Mountain Vineyard vines offered little fruit for picking, but what they did give us was stellar. This is classic, 100%, old-vine Zin. Rife with crushed berry, black cherry, raspberry and notes of sassafras and licorice, it warms both heart and palate. The wine shows off a bright core of red fruit matched with the jammy concentration we come to expect from this well-drained hillside vineyard. Limited production.
2007 Brandlin Zinfandel, Mount Veeder
An exceptional vintage for Zinfandel the 2007 Brandlin Vineyard eeks out everything it can get from these octogenarian vines. Boysenberry, huckleberry and blueberry jam generously spiced with hints of cardoman and cinnamon stretch across the palate and linger through the long, silky finish of this mountain top Zin. Just 8 barrels of this rare wine were produced.
The Napa-to-Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon is sold out, but you can still come to our Carneros location to cheer the runners on to a good start! Meet us there at 7:00 AM on Sunday, July19th!
“Runners from all over the country will travel to this wine-themed race which starts amongst the vineyards at Cuvaison Carneros Estate Winery in Napa and finishes in front of City Hall in downtown Sonoma.” For more info go to http://www.napa2sonoma.com/site3.aspx
You might even catch a glimpse of Jenny Craig’s own Valerie Bertinelli! Valerie is supporting the Napa-Sonoma marathon! http://www.jennycraig.com/successstories/blog/valerie
Here are some photos from last year. There is nothing like beautiful scenery to pump up runners for a Marathon!
Our traditional Calistoga tasting room just had a makeover! Still warm and intimate, it’s a contemporary take on the classic tasting environment with tree shaded picnic grounds.
Just like our Carneros location, our Calistoga tasting room re-design was built with the environment in mind! The cabinets are made from fallen logs, we used natural stone products like grey slate floors, and we reused and recycled all the existing materials that were in the tasting room!
Come check it out at our Grand Opening July 11th and enjoy a little down home bbq!
Please join us for the Grand Opening of CUVAISON’S TWO Newly Designed Tasting Rooms!
Great estate wines, fun food, fresh ‘green’ architectural design, wine games, special offers, chat it up with our engaging president & winemaker, and more...
Calistoga: Saturday, July 11th, 4–8pm | 4550 Silverado Trail, Calistoga
Our traditional Calistoga tasting room just had a makeover! Still warm and intimate, it's a contemporary take on the classic tasting room with tree-shaded picnic grounds. Come check it out, and enjoy a little down home bbq.
Carneros: Saturday, July 18th, 4–8pm | 1221 Duhig Road, Napa/Carneros
Our Carneros tasting room is surrounded by the rolling waves of our sustainably farmed estate vineyard; one of the best views in the valley! Come see the cool eco-friendly design and get your Asian fix with dim sum and more!
>>> RSVP by July 6th for the Calistoga Opening
>>> RSVP by July 13th for the Carneros Opening
707.942.2460 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at B O T H locations, (bring your friends!)...and expect the unexpected...
Our Carneros tasting room is in the center of the rolling waves that make up our estate vineyard. It is arguably the best tasting room view in the valley.
That’s why our architects, Gould Evans | Baum Thornley (http://www.btarchitects.com/), constructed the massive frameless glass doors, to ensure your view would not be obstructed! Terrace seating is available too!
But did you know that our new Carneros tasting room was built keeping our sustainability integrity intact? Our architects call it ‘Smart Design.’ Reclaimed redwood and certified sustainably-grown cedar line the tasting room walls and ceiling, storm water is directed to our irrigation ponds to be re-used later, we maximized the use of natural stone products like grey slate, and we used cross-ventilation to ensure natural temperature control.
Our reclaimed redwood is mostly old growth wood, meaning it can only be found from fallen trees on personal property and logs discovered in lakes or rescued from barns or old buildings.
For insulation we used recycled denim insulation, an environmentally-friendly option that costs an additional 25%.
Come check out the view inside and out...at our Carneros Grand Opening July 18th from 4-8pm!
If you didn’t get the chance to listen to The Job Radio Show on 960am (San Francisco Bay area’s Working Radio) last Sunday night, you missed a very special interview! Larry Olson of The Job Radio Show interviewed Joelle Kurrus, Special Events Manager here at Cuvaison, on how she leaped into the Napa Valley wine industry.
“Every once and a while it’s good to get inspired by a real life success story. Someone who followed their career dreams. Joelle Kurrus left her life in Connecticut to follow her passion of wine in Napa. Listen to Joelle as she gives us a lesson in taking chances.” - thejob.podbean.com
Joelle is our Special Events Manager here at Cuvaison and along with putting on fabulous events, she holds a designation as an Advanced Certified Wine Professional from the Culinary Institute of America, Greystone.
Click to listen on thejob.podbean.com under the June 18th, 2009 post!
We've just recently learned of some great ratings on our Chardonnay!
Look for our 2007 Chardonnay Carneros in the August issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 92 points and an Editors Choice rating. The August issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine will also give our ’07 Chardonnay 92 points and a Best Buy rating: “Slice a late summer Bosc pear over puff pastry and bake it, the tart will taste a lot like the scents and flavors of this chardonnay. Though tightly built, the wine broadens into the finish, refreshed by a bristle of acidity. Decant it for roast veal with chanterelles.” Yet another reason to Chill Out with Chardonnay!