Engaging with the wine community can be intimidating for people who may not be familiar with the often complicated terminology that goes along with it. One thing that I like to do regularly on this blog is to help make wine (and discussions about wine) more accessible. In the past, I’ve explained terms like “terroir” and “dry”. Today I’d like to talk about what it means for a wine to be “oaked” and “unoaked” – why do winemakers use oak and what does it do for the finished wine? Read More
When you think about November, the holiday that almost certainly comes to mind first is Thanksgiving. If you are in France or make your living selling wine, however, November also means the celebration of Beaujolais Nouveau Day on the third Thursday of the month. Beaujolais Nouveau Day began as a local tradition in the bars and bistros of the Beaujolais and Lyons regions of France. Under French law, Beaujolais Nouveau wine is released at 12:01am on that date, and over the last seven decades that day has grown into a holiday celebrated around the world. In this blog, I’d like to clear up some confusion around the difference between Beaujolais and Beaujolais Nouveau, and also explain the history of Beaujolais Nouveau Day – and why you may want to celebrate it. Read More
White Zinfandel is something of a “bridge wine” for many wine drinkers. Known for its relatively high residual sugar and unique pink color, the wine is one of the most popular styles sold in the United States today. This is due in part to a fortuitous accident; in 1975, Sutter Home was making a batch of White Zin when the yeast died out before the sugar was used up (known as a “stuck fermentation”). They kept the batch and sampled it, and it turned out to taste even better than the intended version. Read More
In October of 2014, we were finishing up the harvest in beautiful 70 degree weather. Then, barely two weeks later on November 14th, the temperatures on our vineyards plunged to minus 4 degrees. The entire region and parts of the Northwest experienced the extreme temperatures, and many vineyards were hit. Red varieties were especially hit hard – we lost around 30% of our reds. Read More
Last month, we took part in a concerted (and ultimately successful) effort to recognize National Pollinators Week in all 50 states. National Pollinators Week is part of the American Pollinators Protection Campaign, an effort to raise awareness surrounding the plight of pollinators like the honey bee.
You may not be aware just how important pollinators like honey bees are to the food supply, but they are integral to the survival of many of our most important crops – and they are dying out. Read More