Monthly Archives: July 2013

New Directions

More than three years ago I set off on a quest to demystify wine for the average consumer through this blog. I answered questions, covered basic winemaking topics and threw in a little tasting or MW studying here and there. People wanted to know what a day in the life if a winemaker was so I spent a year writing about what was going on in the vineyards and winery. What I came to realize, after a year, is that I was writing about the same things the next year with minor tweaks depending on the vintage. Then I had a baby and changed jobs. This refocus of my life meant I had to neglect my writing for a while due to the age old excuse that there wasn’t enough time in the day. So here we are again, a little over a year from my most viewed post regarding why wine should not be compared to toilet paper. Not a terribly deep subject but an entertaining one nonetheless. I think in some way a fellow wine blogger of mine was correct when he (and I would give him the credit here if I could remember who it was) wondered aloud if we (the wine bloggers) were really all just talking to ourselves.

Anyway, now I find myself at a crossroads. Do I continue down the path that I have followed since March 1st, 2010 when I published my first post or do I take a new direction? I would like to open this for discussion to you, my readers. What do you want to read about? Who are you? Should I be covering more in depth winemaking information? More geeky vineyard stuff? Feel free to comment and let me know the details that Google analytics cannot. The future is in your hands!

Vintage 2013 – Veraison


Today I was out with Genevieve looking at Pinot Noir in Carneros. Imagine my surprise when we discovered the first Veraison of the year!!!! It’s only 10% right now but I’m still so excited! That means harvest is only 5-6 weeks away.

The weather has finally settled into a somewhat normal pattern with cool foggy mornings warming to hot, beautiful days and back to cool nights which are ideal for ripening. The next two months will be critical for determining the fate of this vintage.

Vintage notes – June 2013

This month had been ideal for wine growing until early last week when the wine country was hit with a late rainstorm which dropped over an inch of rain in some areas. While I enjoyed the change of weather personally, I worried about the increased disease pressure which comes with the increased humidity. After that the freak weather spun another direction when in the span of a few days we went from rainy and below 60 to high humidity and close to 100! I’ve been able to get out in the vineyard quite a bit the last few days.

The namesake Carmelite Monastery looking down on Monastery Block.

So far the season has been very good for happy grapevines. There seems to be an average to slightly above average crop and I am thrilled to see what the rest of the season brings. We’re hoping to get through the rest of the heat wave with no sunburn to the fruit.

In the winery we completed an amazing tasting today of every Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from 2000 through the new 2011 vintage that we just finished blending.


It was a delicious walk through the last 13 years at the winery complete with vintage reminiscing by Genevieve, Rich, and the rest of our team. It was super educational to me and one of those moments in life that I won’t forget anytime soon.