Archive for the ‘Random’ Category

Winemaker’s Madeleine

Woke up to a crisp morning after rain yesterday. The smell of Autumn is in the air. Smells at the winery are reaching their seasonal end also. Thursday I pressed off my last wine lot of the 2014 vintage, the Cabernet I’m making with Marcel that we macerated for 37 days. Completing the work of […]

ALL Wines Deserve A Level Playing Field

Alice Feiring and I don’t often agree, but today she put up a lament that I sympathize with completely on the exclusion of wines she loves by “quality panels” in Canada and South Africa. The brilliant label pictured (love how they have used the bar code!) graces a wine that is unusual. Because it is […]

Stop Calling Wine “Juice”

I admit it’s a pet peeve of mine. I acknowledge that there are more important things going on in the world of wine, like the current schmoozing at IPNC, or maybe the lack of diversity on wine writer panels at the recent blogger conference. But please, I implore everyone! For the love of God stop […]

"Lies, Damn Lies & Statistics" – It Was Ever Thus…

As a consumer, or as a producer, how badly do you really want to know what is in your wine? Would you stop buying (or making) a wine you really liked if you found that it didn’t “stack up” against others in areas that had nothing to do with aroma, flavor, value, or age-worthiness? As […]

Rites of Spring

Here we are, a few days into spring, and the vineyard is still looking pretty bare, while the vines in Carneros already have a couple inches of growth on them. The crew finished pruning and tying at our Estate vineyard about a week ago. The young, cane-pruned Pinot next to the highway has started to […]

Calling Budbreak — Finally

Everything has broken bud at the Estate vineyard, at last–even the late-breaking Counoise. That’s young, cane-pruned Pinot 96 in the image above, where shoots are already out about two inches. We finally managed to get a little rainfall accumulation last week, nearly an inch last Thursday. You can also see in the image above that […]

“Industry” Guests

Taking a quick break from harvest (HARVEST!!!) to get a little rant off my chest. Dear “Industry”: Please don’t come into my tasting room, flash some sort of business card, announce that you are “in the industry” and demand a free tasting for you and your friends. Not gonna happen. We don’t give free tastings […]

Praise The Thoughtful Wine List

Today I feel like writing about semantics, because the words we use matter (“natural” wine, anyone?). A month ago Jon Bonné put up a piece on “The Bay Area’s incredible shrinking wine lists” where he commented: Years ago, restaurants like Square One and Zuni Cafe pioneered that balance of fancy and fun. Later came Nopa, […]

Do Proponents of “Natural” Wine Vaccinate Their Children?

This question occurred to me the other day as I was reading a Newsweek/Daily Beast article about the increasing number of measles cases in the US. Author Kent Sepkowitz wrote this little nugget regarding people who refuse to vaccinate their children: For these folks, and their 200-year-old forebears, vaccines are bad because they are not […]

Corks, & Cork Soakers

Yesterday I spent a couple hours chatting with a gentleman from Chalon-sur-Saône and his Irish friend. The subject of natural corks came up, in the context of my commitment to using them over screw caps. The French guy currently works for a respected tonnellerie but before that worked for a high-end cork supplier. He told […]