Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
Happy New Year - a little late! It is already February and all of the Italian variety vines have been pruned except Nebbiolo. We prune the Nebbiolo last because it breaks bud and comes out early and is very susceptible to frost. Late pruning delays the bud push. I truly believe that pruning is probably the most important job that we do in the vineyard. It’s a selection process that most people just don’t understand. Someday, ask me to explain it to you! We still have a month and a half of pruning to do. In the meantime, we are doing a little weed control, fertilizing, and vineyard repairs.
Over the past few days I have spent some time with Megan. We just bottled the Moscato di Santa Barbara and the Moscato di Arancia. They may be sweet but they overwhelm you with flavors and are just plain refreshing. We picked the grapes a little early so the wine would not be too sweet and lose the acidity. The Pinot Grigio is next in line but it is still a month or two away from being bottled. Pinot Grigio is not only one of our best Toccata whites but it has become one of the most popular whites in the marketplace. Most of our Pinot Grigio grapes end up in St. Helena wines.
Sole Bianco: This white blend was put together with two objectives in mind. The first is that it must be delicious. The second is that it must be priced to buy two bottles instead of just one! It should be fun to drink. This one has a little bit of spice that comes through nicely from a German variety counterpart. Enjoy with a grilled cheese and sweet potato fries!
2017 Sangiovese: Sangiovese is to Italy what Pinot Noir is to California. The 2017 is a vineyard blend of our old vine Brunello clone and our young vine Sangiovese. It is bright and flavorful with hints of herbs, spices, and berries. It has the true Sangiovese terracotta red color, and it is smooth and lush enough to be a cocktail wine. Its primary role is to wash down pasta.
2016 Barbera: Nasty black in color, jammy from full ripe tannins, and bold - it might pass for an overripe Napa Valley Cabernet! This one needs a lamb chop, a steak, or a pork roast. It leaves a good impression. The vines are over 40 years old and of a unique clone that I don’t know much about other than with all of its ripeness, it still can be quite high in acid. As a result, we love to let it fully mature on the vine to make a smooth and approachable wine.
All the miners in our wine club are starting to pack their bags to go to Wickenberg, Arizona for the Winter Wine Round-Up. Please include your lanterns for the hay ride. For those of you who are left at home, we have already booked the Rancho de los Caballeros for March 2021. Book early because it sells out early. And for you heartthrobs, I hope your Valentine’s Day reminded you that you should celebrate it every day.