Monthly Archive for April, 2011

Visions of the Past

A gentleman brought us a bottle, included in a wine cellar auction, that he had recently purchased. On the the label the original buyer wrote 12/29/65 and the price. The label also includes the name of the winemaker at the time, Stan Hill.

Black Muscat was made from the grape of that name – I doubt if anybody still makes it – fortified much like a port or sherry, fruity and aromatic, but not aged. We sold it for the staggering price of 1.55. It was reasonably popular but tastes change.

The bottle, and I assume all this collectors wines, were very well kept. The label is clean and there has been no ullage, or evaporation. I am sure the rest of the wines were in top condition.
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This just in from a Facebook reader – it is still being made and two producers are Kalyra and Quady, there may be others.

Early in the Growth Cycle – 4/26/11

This is a photo taken from the upper level of our north side vineyard looking south. The river is beyond the tree line and the winery is beyond that, in fact it can barely be distinguished.

Taken April 26 you can already see the different blocks by their subtle variations of green. In a few weeks this will be a solid canopy of green. This view inspired our artist for the watercolor image above which now forms part of our Santa Barbara Winery label.

Pinot Noir 4.22.11

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Thanks to the rain we seem to have a bumper crop. Of course it is not over yet, there is still the question of flowering and we haven’t quite finished with frost. We were lucky, this year, many in the valley suffered frost damage. The Joughin Vineyard which we are now managing, suffered severe damage. Joughin supples us with some of our most interesting small lots – Lagrein, Primitivo and a few others. The vines will come back but the harvest will be substantially reduced.

After flowering, which should occur towards the end of May, we will need to cut some of the grapes to balance the vines – which we do every year but this year may be more drastic.

Cycling and Touring

These two couples from Des Moines Iowa have the right idea. They bring their bikes in a Samsonite suitcase from home, unfold them and are ready to roll. We spoke to them briefly – they love going to France and touring the wine country – which they do every year, but also love touring California’s wine country. Their MO is to stop at a scenic vineyard and enjoy wine that was grown right next to where they are sitting. It was a beautiful day, beautiful view and a great wine!
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Open House at Lafond Winery Saturday, April 16

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It was great weather and we had an enormous turnout. Mirella put together one of our best Open Houses with her selection of cheeses, strawberries, fresh from the field, and, of course, delicious Tacos prepared her brother Juan. Not to be neglected in all this, of course, was the wine.

These are only four of the photos we posted on Facebook, all were taken by Pablo our official in-house photographer.

With the warming weather a trip to the vineyard is always rewarding, you can almost see the vines growing at this stage.

Wine and Cheese Pairing at Santa Barbara Winery – Saturday April 16

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Vineyard Pinot Noir 4/12/11

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Warm Days & the Pinot Noir

Taken Tuesday April 6 the warm days are making the vines grow rapidly. You can see the grapes in their almost prepubescent form. Click image to enlarge.