Tag Archives: Vintage Notes

Unfulfilled Post Ideas from the Past Three Weeks!

Normally I don’t write many posts due to having no inspired thing to write about. The past few weeks I have had a TON of ideas but no time to write. Instead, I have decided to put some of them down to a single post and if anyone is very interested in one of them I’ll fill that thought out.

1) Harvest Update- we are about 10-18 days away from bloom! This is incredibly early and the weather over the next three weeks will go very far towards setting the tone of this harvest. Minimal frost to date as well for such a early harvest so things are going well so far.

2) Why is it not possible to find a family friendly restaurant with good food? Do foodie parents of young children not need good food outside of Napa? Maybe that makes me a snob but a recent weekend vacation to Monterrey, CA really opened my eyes to how spoiled we are here. Our favorite (pre-child) restaurant which shall remain nameless for this post had a sign posted outside. “No strollers, no small children!” Really? I’m tempted to never go back even after my son is grown just because we felt so discriminated against. We settled for a very kid friendly restaurant that used too much salt and baked fish in white wine sauce included a carton of cream and a stick (at least) of butter completely negating my healthy choice of the fish in the first place. The second night we were directed by the hotel concierge to another restaurant where the serving of lasagna I ordered could have easily fed a small village. Can some chef with kids do something about this travesty???

3) Almost 6 weeks to go until my MW exam. I’m busily tweaking my answer style, doing timed tastings and re writing answers from previous exams. I look back over the past 4 exams I’ve sat and I can almost tell where I went wrong on some of the wines. I remember how they tasted to me and my thought process. I can’t believe I went Germany instead of Alsace on a set of three wines, two of which were so clearly Gewürztraminer and Riesling. Why didn’t I just say Chardonnay on the last wine on Paper 1 last year. It certainly tasted like Chardonnay but I talked myself out of it since I thought I had found a set of Chardonnays earlier in the exam. I hadn’t and ended up getting three wines wrong all because I over thought the exam. This year my plan is to not over think, don’t second guess, relax and show the examiners that I do, actually know this stuff! Wish me luck!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Vintage 2013: Budbreak

The air is warm now and the slightly tangy smell of sulfur dusting is beginning to permeate the valley.
My weather update says it is 84 degrees today. After a super dry January and February we’ve seen a little bit of rain at the end of March and beginning of April. It was much needed and the vines are soaking it and the sunshine now right up. The Cabernet in front of the winery on the Tokalon vineyard are almost 4″ out already! It will be harvest before we know it. In the meantime, we’re watching for frost over the next few weeks although the forecast is currently not calling for any over the next few days. My husband and I are being brave and have put a few tomatoes out already. The winds have been very gusty but so far the tender little shoots seem to have escaped damage. If the weather stays like this it is on track to be a beautiful spring and a promising vintage.

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