We gave Harvest 2009 a fitting farewell last Saturday. Under perfect fall skies we gathered the Taft Street family, including growers and other folks with ties to the winery; and had ourselves a party! We built a fire pit and started a fire with a load of oak and a couple of old wine barrels and let it roar for four and a half hours. Then we loaded the grill with a full sirloin, New York and filet (58 pounds total) and cooked. We gathered on the crush pad between tanks filled with new wine and watched the moon rise. We also enjoyed several bottles of Taft Street wine. A good time was had by all.
The harvest went quite smoothly, and for us at Taft Street it couldn’t have gone much better. All our grapes came in before the mid October rainstorm, and indications point to excellent wines. Some of our custom crush clients had grapes hanging and there was some problem with rot, but the good weather which followed the storm helped salvage most of the grapes. Things are slowly getting back to normal at the winery, with 14 hour days a thing of the past. Attention is now focused on following fermentations, getting wines into barrel, and cleaning equipment.
October was a busy month for everyone. While Evelyn and her crew were making wine, Mike Martini changed his cellar outfit for something a bit more presentable and worked with our distributor in Florida. I hit the Boston and New York markets, and then was off to Denver to catch their first snowfall of the season. Next week I’ll visit Florida, and the following week will be in the Phoenix area. We are seeing an increase in sales activity in most of our markets – a hopeful sign.
November is always a big month in the Tasting Room. This weekend we will participate in the Wine and Food Affair, when more than 150 wines in the Russian River Valley, Dry Creek Valley, and Alexander Valley offer wine pairing with specially prepared foods. I’ll make smoked sausages, which we’ll pair with our 2007 Russian River Valley Zinfandel Cobblestone Vineyard and our 2006 Dry Creek Valley Syrah St. Emydius Acres. Kaitlyn reports October was our best month ever in the Tasting Room – kudos to Kaitlyn and her staff!
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, we have decided to promote two wines which go especially well with turkey and all the trimmings. Until Thanksgiving we will offer six bottles of either the 2008 Russian River Valley Riesling and/or the 2008 Mendocino Gewurztraminer for the price of five. On top of that we will through in free shipping! The Riesling won a Best of Class at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair; the Gewurztraminer a Gold Medal at the Mendocino County Fair. It’s time to act now to gussy up your Thanksgiving table.
We note with sadness the passing of longtime Sonoma County resident and musician Norton Buffalo. Norton’s music graced innumerable Taft Street parties and that tradition will continue. R.I.P. Norton Buffalo.
All for now. My blog will be around the 15th of the month.