From the Ground Up
I can’t believe that it is already time to venture off to the Snake and Columbia River Cruise! I have always been a fan of Lewis & Clark and what they did in the northwestern United States. We will be accompanied by 38 adventurous club members. Adding this one to our plans reminds me of how successful was our getaway to the middle of somewhere, Wickenburg Arizona. It was a fun trip, mostly due to the people who came. Our stay at the Rancho de los Caballeros Dude Ranch was better than expected and we are doing it again next year with over 60 people already reserved.
Spring is definitely upon us. Today is probably the warmest day of the year so far with temperatures in the upper 80’s. The vines are reaching for the sky thanks to the abundant rain and perfect growing weather. The crop looks to be sizeable and the bud break has been even. Now we have more work to do - we’re always one day ahead or 30 days behind. It’s a busy time.
2018 Rosé of Pinot Noir: This wine is a continuation of what we have been doing with the past few vintages of Rosé. In 2018, we picked the Pinot Noir grapes sooner, resulting in lower alcohol and a little more crispness in the wine. We reduced the amount of Viognier by a percent or two. To me it has enhanced flavors, showing what Megan and Ian can get done at the winery. It is refreshing and ready to drink now - a stand-up wine.
2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, Valley View: This wine is the cause of all the changes that have occurred over the years at our Valley View Vineyard to achieve our goal of using the five main Bordeaux varieties in a bottle, like the great wines of Bordeaux. This vintage just scored 90 points in the current issue of Wine Enthusiast Magazine - and what a reasonable price! In the near future we are going to add a splash of Bordeaux varietal #6, Carménère, which will make us one of the few wineries in the world to use all six varieties in one wine. This wine fits the saying: “It melts in your mouth”.
2016 Cabernet Franc: The most pampered grapes we grow. The 4,000 vines for this wine are inside the fence of my yard and they receive more than daily attention. This variety is one of the few that is grown in some of the cooler regions of the country like Pennsylvania, Virginia, Ohio, and also in warmer regions like Tennessee and Austin, Texas. It seems to adapt itself to a variety of conditions. It has a distinct nose and flavor of dried fruit and a touch of herbaciousness that is pleasant. Although this bottle is 100% Cabernet Franc the variety also blends well, adding complexity to a wide range of red wines. We put small amounts in Hidden Assset, Valley View Cabernet, and Toccata Classico. This vintage is a good example of what this variety should be. Pair it with dishes that need a little livening up like roast chicken, pork roast, meatloaf - I like mine with Eggplant Parmesan.
I am feeling better these days. I am grateful for all of those who have been concerned. I am looking forward to seeing you all on the hill at Valley View Vineyard for our annual Summer BBQ. Enjoy the summer!