As the fine weather continues, growers and winemakers alike are anxiously awaiting the weeks ahead. In the vineyards, veraison – the period when grapes soften and change color from green to red or yellow – has begun, indicating an early September start of this much anticipated harvest.
We just enjoyed our third concert with The Smilin’ Iguanas and had our biggest turnout ever! A very mellow time was had by all, and we look forward to our next event with The Rhythm Rangers on Sunday, August 26th.
The next big wine industry affair is the Sonoma County Wine Country Weekend, September 1st – 3rd. We’ll be pouring our 2011 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, our 2011 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris, our 2010 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, and our 2009 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. You can find us in the Russian River Valley tent!
Overall sales continue at a brisk pace, with particularly strong action in our California direct market and in the state of Texas. Our remodeled Tasting Room is getting rave reviews. If you haven’t been here for a while, there is no better time to try some of your old favorites and some new releases.
Be sure to check our my August recipe: Blackberry Rose Sorbet. See ya!
President, Taft Street Winery
The days are warming up, the vineyards are in bloom, and the feel of summer is everywhere. Growers are cautiously optimistic, and there is even talk of a good crop.
Our new twist on capping machine has arrived and is ready to start next week. It will be a busy summer in the bottling room. Our 2011 Russian River Pinot Gris was released last month; our 2011 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir is available as of today; and our 2010 Russian River Chardonnay and 2009 Russian River Pinot Noir will be released shortly.
Our newly renovated Tasting Room and picnic area has enjoyed a terrific opening month. We hosted the annual spring President’s Club party on May 19th, and over 100 members enjoyed wine and food in our new digs. This past weekend we opened our STREET MUSIC summer concert series with local favorite Bottle Shock. The response was wildly enthusiastic, and we can’t wait for the next concert with bluegrass band Blue and Lonesome – on Sunday, June 24th. May was our best month ever for Tasting Room direct sales!
The Tasting Room is not the only place we are selling wine. We welcome aboard Marc Batlin to our sales team in Northern California. Marc is based on the Peninsula, and will cover San Francisco to the Silicon Valley. Our friends in the South Bay will be seeing more of Taft Street.
With good weather finally here and our Tasting Room area all spiffied up, it’s a great time for a visit. Taste our new releases, play a little bocce ball, and picnic under the trees.
Be sure to check out this month’s recipe: Blondies.
President, Taft Street Winery
The skies are blue, the weather is warm and the vines are in that important stage of flowering. Warm weather appears to be in store for the next week or so, and growers are cautiously optimistic about this first critical aspect of the growing season.
In the cellar, Evelyn is waiting for our new screw capper, which will signal several months of bottling for custom crush clients. All our 2011 wines that would go into screw tops (Sauvignon Blanc, Rose, and Pinot Gris) are already bottled, so we will have to wait for the 2012 vintage. Evelyn and Mike Martini are in discussion with a number of growers concerning grape sources for the upcoming vintage. Demand is high and stocks are low, and prices are on the rise. Beware!
I just returned from a trip to Massachusetts, where our distributor – Café Europa – continues to do a bang up job, opening new (and good) accounts throughout the state. Mike Martini and Mosha poured our wines at the Sonoma County Vintners’ Association Tasting in Los Angeles, where they reported big crowds and an enthusiastic reception for the wines of Taft Street.
Kaitlyn and crew are gearing up for our spring President’s Club party, the first to be held in our newly redecorated Tasting Room. Later in the month we will begin our first concert series – A Little Street Music.
Be sure to check out my recipe for May: Sraracha Chicken Nuggets.
The season is quickly getting into gear. Come join the fun!
President Taft Street Winery
No doubt about it – we are in the thick of it. It is now raining lightly and we expect continued wet weather over the next several days. We enjoyed a picture perfect September, with day after day in the mid 80′s; but things changed quickly over the weekend. Last week was our busiest of the harvest, and this week we expect the hectic pace to continue. Most of the white grapes, particularly Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, have been picked. A fair amount of Pinot Noir from warmer regions is already in, but a large amount of fruit remains on the vines. Many growers are “spraying and praying.”
All the grapes we had under contracted are currently fermenting. While we didn’t always receive as much fruit as we wanted, the quality of the fruit appears excellent, and we are confident Evelyn will produce some knockout wines from the 2011 vintage.
Another Harvest Fair – another slew of ribbons. Our 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris won a GOLD MEDAL; and SILVER MEDALS went to our 2008 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2009 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes, 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir, 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and 2009 Russian River Valley Riesling.
It’s a busy month for everyone at the winery. Yesterday we hosted a reception for wine clubs in western Sonoma County. On Sunday, October 9th, we will have our fall President’s Club party – this time in our new picnic area. Two weeks later, on October 23, we will host our annual Harvest Party. Kaitlyn and Greg are in full party mode. I’ll be off to Colorado and Massachusetts for fall tastings, and the folks in the cellar have more than enough to do in the weeks ahead.
If you are planning on attending one of our upcoming events, we are looking forward to seeing you. Any time you are in the area you are more than welcome to drop in for a taste of two of our award winning wines.
Cheers to Harvest 2011!
President, Taft Street Winery