Today I am in survival mode. We survived Thanksgiving with daughters, grandchildren, and turkey. But most of all, we survived our fall wine cruise, accompanied by 46 wine club members, friends, and Andy and Anjie. We had a wonderful experience in Croatia, Montenegro, Sicily, Italy, France, and Spain. The wine, the food, and the people made for great memories that will last a lifetime. Europe is a history lesson and I am amazed by the architecture of buildings that last for centuries. It’s the historical home of civilization. Our pre-cruise visit to Croatia was especially touching to me. We had a chance to visit the island of Hvar where my grandfather was born. Believe it or not, it was loaded with olive trees and grape vines! At a winery by the name of “Caric”, I met some wonderful people, but they had no relation to my grandfather, Louis Caric. I visited his hometown of Dol. It was a very nice emotional experience.
We finished the 2016 harvest the day we left for the cruise. This year, we had plenty of grapes of exceptional quality. We had a few challenges during harvest that were heat related but we survived thanks to the canopies on our vines. Our Italian varieties were exceptional. I was really impressed with the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. For something new, we picked Pinot Grigio for Sparkling Wine, something to look forward to. For this, our last shipment of the year, we have selected wines for the coming holidays.
2013 Sparkling Rosato: We took our traditional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay based sparkling wine and added small amounts of Barbera, Freisa, and Muscat Canelli, which added pink hues and a little Italian spice. Residual sugar was maintained at a level that is considered brut. The result was a touch of color with lots of flavor for a wine designed for fun. It has been a hit.
2012 Riserva: We are revisiting this one due to its recent rating of 90 points at Wine Enthusiast. It was nice to see our Toccata wines score. This one keeps getting better with age. It has more Cabernet than Sangiovese, its two main components. I tasted a couple of super-Tuscan type wines on our trip in Italy and found them to be lacking a little bit. Personally, I don’t think it was the Sangiovese but the Cabernet that they were blending with that wasn’t up to par. Our Valley View Cabernet has continued to score well with several recent 90+ scores in Wine Enthusiast and others. Serve with prime rib, lamb chops, or holiday ham.
We’re looking forward to the holiday season of giving. It’s a reminder to all of us of the great gifts that we’ve already received, but also a time to give to others. All the family here at Lucas & Lewellen Vineyards wishes you all a Merry Christmas celebrating our greatest gift, and a New Year filled with tomorrow’s joys.