Thursday, May 29, 2008

Polishing Up

Last week we bottled more Red Fusion and prepared our White Fusion to bottle this weekend. Because we believe in non-interventionist winemaking, we rarely filter our reds. Also, our reds are usually aged for more than a year, so they clarify naturally over time through settling then racking.

However, because most customers don't like any cloudiness in their white wines, we usually give our Chardonnay and White Fusion a lite "polish" filtration. This means we use filter pads with spacious pores to allow all the best aroma and flavor components to pass through, while catching those that make the wine look dirty. The result are brilliant wines that are beautiful to hold up to the light and just look at.

Setting up the filter itself can take some work and concentration, as you can see. Each of the 40 white filter pads must be oriented perfectly, then the whole filter assembly is screwed shut as tightly as possible, or wine will leak all over the floor or squirt out the edges. That's why it's really nice to have a guy that weightlifts regularly as my assistant winemaker!



Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fun at Oyster Sunday

We all had another great time at our Oyster Sunday this year! I never get tired of cookin' them up for all our guests, especially those who've been a little chicken to ever try one. All I can say is you really need to see what a good barbequing can do to an oyster.

One of our special guests was Kay LaFleur. She brought along her friends Lee Anne and Sue from Minnesota and kindly emailed this photo of her and I, along with thanks for a fun afternoon. Thank you, Kay, for the photo! (Note to all of you readers: I love getting your photos!)

If you’re wondering who the older guy with the thick Swiss English accent was, his name is Paul Keller, a special guest from Switzerland. Besides being a good friend of our assistant winemaker, Markus Niggli, back home he is a wine steward, wine competition judge, and was even once the biggest Chateau Mouton Rothschild collector in Switzerland.

Pretty much immediately after his arrival in Lodi, Markus put him to work pouring our wines at ZinFest and Oyster Sunday. He said he thoroughly enjoyed describing his simple, but overwhelming passion for wine and travel over and over again to hundreds of people.

And if that weren’t enough, Paul also worked Monday and Tuesday at the winery, helping with filtration and moving barrels around. In the evening, we could see he was tired and looking forward to a glass of fine wine and a good steak. Afterwards he was perfectly content.

If Paul isn’t the perfect example of the expression “will work for wine,” I don’t know who would be!



Saturday, May 3, 2008

Our 1st Fusion Friday of 2008!

We had a blast at our First Annual Fusion Friday. Thank you for everyone that came out to join us. I thought you all would love to see some pictures. We want to thank Scooter's California Grill & Catering for providing some great appetizers & Rhondda Nunes & the Rockin' Blues Xpress for Rockin' the Blues for us. Join us later this month for another extravaganza! Steve will be BBQ'n some oysters and some Italian Sausage for us all. This event is Sunday, May 18th from 12:00-4:00pm. Hope to see you all there!