What Happens In The Wineries During February & March
While we are sipping our favorite wines in the comfort of our homes, out at dinner, an event, with friends and family I thought it would be interesting to find out what the winemakers are doing at press time, while we, forgive the cliché (or is it a pun?), enjoy the fruit of their labors:
Stolpman Vineyards (Los Olivos) will be planting more Sangiovese and Trousseau. Also; for the first time – they are bottling a sans soufre (no sulfur added) whole cluster Syrah – and hope to get it in bottle early so the 2017 will go under cork by early February.
A Valentines weekend launch of the 2017 Rosés will be happening at Buttonwood Farm Winery and Vineyard in Solvang. Guests will also enjoy a new look in the Tasting Room as they begin to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Farm and the 35th of the Vineyard in 2018.
In Paso Robles the Alta Colina Vineyard and Winery has a lot going on: block print t-shirt making during Vintage Paso Zin Weekend, Rosé release to members in February for the first time, Valentine’s Day Reverse Wine Dinner with restaurant Il Cortile, bottling of whites and rose, and hand-pruning the estate Vineyard.
Hoi Polloi Winery (tasting room in Downtown Newhall) will be bottling four 2016 Syrahs from locations North to South: Hoppe Kelly Vineyard, Russian River Valley, Sonoma; Alta Colina Vineyard, Adelaida District, Paso Robles; Larner Vineyard, Ballard Canyon, Santa Barbara County and John Sebastiano Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County.
Pagter Brothers Winery (shares tasting room with Hoi Polloi) are planning on spending a lot of time “working” on new blends. They have many different varietals in the barrel for that year and want to come up with some creative new wines. They’ll also be looking at new bottles for the different styles.
Villa Creek Cellars, also in Paso Robles, will be having a wine, picnic and bird watching guide – a person, not a book – for an event in early March. They plan to set up a chic vintage picnic area for both wine and bird lovers.
Local winemaker and namesake of Stephen Hemmert Wines will be checking So2 levels and malolactic fermentation along with lab testing each wine, trying out various oak samples and finding what works the best for each varietal. Then comes blending to find out what will make the wine as good as it can be. Racking wines is next, to clarify and, of course, washing and cleaning barrels.
Cantara Cellars in Camarillo will be expanding their offerings to include microbrews and spirits.
Paso’s Vines on the Marycrest is having Chicago’s favorite son, Grammy Nominee this year, Robbie Fulks performing on the evening of March 17th. Dinner, wine, and an all-time great.
In February Byron Blatty will be bottling at least two brand new wines for their spring release. A Rosé of Grenache that’s 100% LA County fruit as well as at least one new red blend that is Grenache, Syrah and Merlot (also LA County). It’s their unorthodox take on a GSM.
Paso’s Vina Robles will be featuring live music at their hospitality center every Saturday from 1-4pm during the month of February. Also during February and March look for the release of their 2017 Sauvignon Blanc in a newly refined package with bold blue capsule and subtle label illustration changes.
At Golden Star Vineyards and Winery located in the High Desert, the Vineyard will be in full pruning mode. The 2018 vintage will bring the much anticipated arrival of their Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, 337 clone. In the Winery, they will be preparing for the first release of an Estate Malbec from vines planted in 2012. While in its bloom and after 24 months on French oak, it is a window to the future potential of this varietal at Golden Star Vineyards.
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), Level 1 Sake Award from WSET, was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com
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