Happy New Year! Let’s do our best to make it happy no matter what. Hope your holidays were enjoyable and fun and that you took time out to enjoy wine.
What kind of business has you starting over every year? Growing grapes. That’s the answer. The grapes are dormant and it is time to prune. Pruning is the most important thing that we do because what you do in January and February shows up in September and October. I think it is an art. It is a selection process, one where you look at the past and prepare for the future in the present. Each vine is different. It is a real challenge to get it right. We have 25 dedicated farm workers who can just do just about anything, and pruning is big on their list. It will take approximately 30 people from now until the second week in March to get the job done.
2020 Gewürztraminer: We are not big producers of Gewürztraminer. We have four acres in Los Alamos. The grape needs to be grown where the climate is cooler and it is considered one of the great grape varieties of the world. Not much is grown in California. I have grown it for over 50 years and think it makes outstanding wine with a combination of spice and floral flavors. This is a wine that you should enjoy sniffing. It has a great nose. Known by many as a great sweet wine, it is also made in a drier style, really known as the Alsatian style. It can be a cocktail and it is great with lighter foods and, believe it or not, it is great with tacos.
2019 Carménère: I have been accused of promoting this variety for six years! Now it is time to taste it. Great color, Bordeaux flavors, distinctive nose, and it is juicy. This is our first vintage and it is an exceptional wine. We co-fermented it with 15% “Clone 6” Cabernet Sauvignon and added 6% of an older vintage of Petit Verdot. By itself, the wine has a tendency to be thin. These additions were made to add structure. This one can be enjoyed young and is delicious on the finish. This one will surprise you as much as it surprised me! A new adventure with an old variety.
We are hoping for a Valentine Dinner. It has always been a fun event. Most women overdress but that’s ok with me. Continue to enjoy life and play safe.