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Stormageddon

Santa brought me just what I asked for this year… RAIN! Here in Napa we got drenched in December, 'Stormaggedon' as we cheerfully refer to it. And as the threat of flood hit the area, we all just smiled and gave thanks for the needed water. You didn’t hear a single winemaker complain about the weather. We’re crossing our fingers that 2015 brings continued weather blessings to our valley.

The new year always makes each of us all focus on being better in the coming year. I am all for making professional improvements, just not a fan of making personal resolutions. Resolutions feel negative while improvements sound positive, right? I hope to personally improve on increasing the amount of water I consume. And that should also help me enjoy an extra glass of wine?

MKMXmas

I work really hard to make improvements each and every vintage. As winemakers, you might think that we do the same thing every year. However, it is important to experiment in both the vineyard and the winery. The vines are dormant now, awaiting pruning.  But plans are in place to continue & expand our third year of experimenting with pre-bloom leafing. We have found that pulling leaves prior to bloom to actually allow the berries to lose their inherent green character earlier has been key to keeping our Sauvignon Blanc tropical when grown in heavier soils. Additionally, we did several experiments during fermentation to improve on a good thing and our 2014 Sauvignon Blanc has our winemaking team excited. It’s absolutely delicious!

The last of our 2012 reds are finally ready to go into the bottle after finishing their two years of barrel aging. Our Cabernet Sauvignon will debut its new ‘Estate Grown’ designation on the label, although since 2007, it has been entirely blended from our Yountville and Calistoga estates. The vineyards are full of different clonal selections that originally started out as experiments. Once spring arrives, my vineyard manager will make my dreams come true when he plants 2.5 acres of Malbec. We’ll start that experiment in a few years…

With all that said, winter is a great time to visit the winery! We have new wine releases to taste. You are unlikely to find a big crowd, our tasting room staff loves to spoil people and show off our historic barrel room. You might find me avoiding cellar work and hanging out in the visitor center. Reservations at your favorite restaurants – or ones you’ve been dying to try - are easy to get and your friends left in freezing parts of the country will be SO JEALOUS!