We’re back to work.

We are back and operating again after harvest and the fire evacuation.

Weed whacking services available.  We’re also spreading fertilizer and cover crop seeds in the vineyard to help replenish the soil.  We hope to hear from you soon.

Harvest is here!

Harvest has started in our neck of the woods, and not just for the sparkling wine houses.  We’ve started to help pick some of the  Pinot Noir vineyards we tend.  Here are a few photos from last week:

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Preparing For Winter

We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! We have had much to be grateful for this year and are excited to see what this next season brings.

In the vineyards, we’ve been preparing for winter, by working the land in the rows between the vines.  This includes, tractor work, laying down hay to deter erosion on hills when the rains and wind come, and spreading seed for cover crop.

Here’s a recent article with more information from the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Report:

http://napavalleyregister.com/lifestyles/food-and-cooking/wine/napa-valley-grapegrowers-report-preparing-for-winter-in-an-el/article_3f6e623c-aa0f-5764-8faf-aa7807e90d5d.html

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Good morning, Russian River Valley

Harvest is over and we’re preparing the vineyards for winter before the rains come.

It’s always a good morning when you’re view includes hot air balloons.

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Pressing off the wine

It’s been a busy harvest season.  This morning we’re pressing off some wine.  The wine has finished fermentation and we’re pressing the grapes and draining off the wine.  Cheers!

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September = California Wine Month

It’s official.  The governer decreed it: September 2014 is California Wine Month.  Not every September, just this one as an effort to boost morale and let tourists know that we’re still here and we still have lovely grapes to harvest and wines to pour and sell.

Governor Brown includes a history of the wine industry in this State (and we thought he’d talk about economic impact):  http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18686

Below are a couple photos we took this week of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes ripening in the afternoon sun in St. Helena.  Cheers!

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Picking Pinot

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It’s a great feeling when you get to see a project through. That’s how we felt last week when we had the opportunity to pick a Pinot Noir vineyard in the Russian River Valley that we had started working in January of this year.

When you work with grapes, the job is to nurture each vine individually and manage the vineyard as a whole. When to pick the finished product – ripe grapes – is actually up to the winemaker. Whoever is purchasing the grapes is using them as the raw materials for a beautiful wine. The growing season, elements, geographical features of the vineyard, and vineyard management techniques will all have effects on flavor. But the style of wine (bursting fruit flavors, bigger wines with higher alcohol contents vs. more traditional lighter alcohol wines with more restrained characteristics that might develop more over time, etc) starts with when to pick – at what levels the acidity and sugar exist in the grape.

Pinot Noir is a thinner skinned grape that ripens before thicker skinned grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Here’s to the 2014 vintage, cheers!

 

Foraging – Pomegranates

Foraging for food is eating local, culinary nouveau – it’s so old it’s back “in” again. I’m always terrified of the prospect because I live under the assumption that I’ll be one of those who picks a pretty poisonous plant and literally dies of ignorance. Enter my better half, who grew up on a ranch, working and enjoying the outdoors.

Long story short, we’ve savored a number of sweet natural treats, exotic to me, mundane for him. Little treasures hidden in plain sight. This week: Granadas! Pomegranates!

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Earthquake

As you probably know two weeks ago we had and experienced a 6.0 earthquake in Napa Valley. The epicenter was in the town of American Canyon just south of the town of Napa at the southern end of the Valley. We’re up at the northern end of the Valley and luckily did not experience as much damage, but definitely felt the quake.

So, we weren’t hurt and our home is intact, just a bit shaken up (forgive the pun). In the southern end of the valley, especially near the old part of downtown Napa buildings of all kind were damaged. In a valley that now depends on tourism, especially this time of year, the worry now is that people are canceling their plans to visit.

We’re ok. Wineries are open for tasting and grapes are being picked daily now that harvest has started. It’s still an exciting time to be in the valley. Happy September!