Toccata - A Little Bit of Dust from the Dirtman
We’ve been doing some recent traveling, starting with the Lucas & Lewellen Wine Cruise. The weather and the shipping line treated us well and we seemed to be either in front of a storm or just behind one. Boston was still upset about sad recent events but we launched towards Canada and found the people, the food, and the countryside all to our liking. I was taken with the importance that Canada plays in U.S. history. At one time, we almost went to war with our big neighbor in the north. Our wines made it to the ship in time and they were enjoyed by all. The best part of the trip was our club members and their friends and family. If you tried to put a really nice group of people together, you would have a hard time surpassing this one. After the cruise, we were off to Ohio for a little bit of wine business and visiting my in-laws (and outlaws!) Can you imagine that Jill’s family is just as nice as she? And then on to Southbend, Indiana to a reunion with a bunch of old guys. It was great being back at the home of the Fighting Irish and, after fifty years, it was fun but surprisingly emotional. Notre Dame is a special part of what I am.
In the meantime, the grapes are pushing towards another harvest. Believe it or not, it happens every year. At this point in time, it looks like a normal sized crop.
2011 Pinot Grigio: The number one seller in volume of Toccata. Grapes grown in Los Alamos make it one of the best balanced wines of its type. This first cousin to Pinot Noir has become a top selling white wine, second only to Chardonnay in California. Who would have thought this fifteen years ago? We continue to sell most of our Pinot Grigio grapes in St. Helena. At this point in time, we need to take aim at states like Texas, Florida, and California for more sales. Served chilled - it’s a great summer cocktail, especially for the girls!
2010 Nebbiolo: Recently I joined a small Nebbiolo association based in Napa. Today, there are only about 200 acres of this grape in California. At one time, there were more but they weren’t that successful. This wine is “The King of the Italian Wines” and it makes the Italians happy that we’re giving them the business! We are one of the few that have planted it in the right climate and soil, and have provided it with the proper canopy. It’s allergic to too much sun and needs a long growing season. The first grape out in the spring and the last grape out in the fall, it is noted for a speck of salmon in the color. The grapes don’t get as black as some red wines but it has huge tannins. You must grow the grapes and get them ripe or lay down in the bottle for years to achieve maturity in the wine. Ours is 100% Nebbiolo.
You missed the barbecue (although it’s next week!) Remember the Vineyard Tour in August - it will give you insights to the approaching harvest, and a view of the vines and grapes at a special time. Wear your boots and bring a hat and a thirst for fine wine!