Words of the Winery

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  • Gold! at the North Coast Wine Challenge!

    Not to toot our own horn, but…..


    2014 Moondance Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley - 91 points! Best of the Best! Gold Medal!

    And to quote the North Coast Wine Challenge Awards Announcement, “This is no small achievement. Our competition has the honor and distinction of recognizing the best wines produced from California’s prestigious North Coast wine region. This contest drew top-level wines and hand-picked top-notch judges to create a sophisticated and enthusiastic wine experience that is considered second to none. Wines judged here were considered to be a cut above the rest- simply put, the Best of the Best. A standing of this caliber truly showcases the level of wines you produce”


    Okay. We’ll take that!

  • There's a New Kid on the Block

    MOONDANCE CELLARS / ORCHARD STATION
    December 2016


    There’s a new kid on the block with the first name of Howell. The last name is Mountain. Yes, with a name like Howell Mountain one is bound to be big and bold, even a little spicy, yet pleasantly approachable, with a rich softness that brings to mind dark cherry and blackberry fruit. Like his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon cousin, Howell finishes with a memory that seems to last forever. Unlike Cousin Cab though, Howell is blended from his Bordeaux roots of 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 1% Malbec. As friendly as Howell is, he has his limits. He is only one barrel. We like Howell Mountain so well that we chose Howell to celebrate Moondance Cellars’ 25th Anniversary.


    Since the release of a 1990 Howell Mountain Merlot, David and Moondance Cellars have traveled a long road. With it’s beginnings in a garage in Sonoma, Moondance is truly a “Garagiste” winery. As part of the very first collective tasting room in Sonoma (Mayo), Moondance was recognized as an almost cult-like brand. All that changed when David grew the brand to 8,000 cases represented in 15 states. Traveling along that long road, David joined five other small wineries, and founded a second multi-winery tasting room in Sonoma Valley known far and wide as “The Best Damn Tasting Room- The Wine Room.” Then it was on to the historic old winery building in Glen Ellen, called Jack London Village. Too many miles driving to and fro, too much production as a buzz-kill, and the tantalizing prospect of welcoming guests to taste the now highly acclaimed, award winning (and very expensive –LOL), wines of Moondance Cellars and Orchard Station at the home winery, brought us to the present. The winery has grown from 8,000 cases to less than 1500. The smile is back on our faces, and 25 years ago seems just like yesterday.


    Do you like the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc? End of Vintage Sale
    30% off 6 or more bottles
    Wine Club members are enjoying an Anniversary / Holiday discount of 30% off of the 2014 Howell Mountain, and the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons on this
    December Wine Club selection.
    www.moondancecellars.com
    707-823-0880

  • Summer is for Sauvignon Blanc

    Just for the fun of it.
    Give them a swirl. Compare the color. Compare the aromas, and then the flavors of the 2013 and the 2015 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blancs

    How can a wine made from grapes of the same vineyards and crafted in the same methods appear, smell, and taste so different from each other? To begin, it can be due to the different conditions of the growing season.

    While the 2013 vintage was mild and long providing extra hang time for the fruit to develop more ripe aromas and flavors of apple, peach and grapefruit, the 2015 season, still immersed in an unrelenting drought was warm and dry, resulting in wonderful aromatics of pink grapefruit among others, and the mineral edge of condensed and acidic flavors of key lime. The double edged sword of the stress from low moisture in the soil not only contributed to the exceptional flavors in the grapes, but also created a survival of the fittest situation on the vines. The crop was small, but superb.

    The 2013 Napa Valley Flash Détente Cabernet Sauvignon is sold out, but the next vintage is in the barrels awaiting bottling, a little rest, and then release. You might look for it in your September wine club selection.

    Next trip to Sonoma County…

    Bring a picnic, a few friends, your pup, or even your children for a visit. The property is fenced, the view is charming, the horses are friendly, the horsepower is thunderous, and the wine…..well, you know about that. Just please give us a call when you are coming.  We’ll throw out the red carpet and put on the dog.

    Lets party!

    We wish all could join us. But know that all can’t
    We’ll party and cheer, And do things we shant.
    A picnic and lunch. A game and some such
    Live music and wine, Some beer and sunshine.
    Bring friends and your pup and be ready for fun. We’re ready to host you and have fun by the ton!

    SATURDAY, July 9th 12-4.  PLEASE RSVP BY EMAIL REPLY OR  707-823-0880

  • If a bud breaks, is it broken?

    It’s been a beautiful Spring for Winter.  Warm temps, plenty of sunshine, and now a rainy month in the forecast is just what the vineyard doctor ordered.  And No, bud break is not a broken bud.  Bud break is the beginning of the grape growing process.  This year it is early, which is okay. As a matter of fact it’s great as long as Mr. Frosty doesn’t come for a visit. Those little baby buds are susceptible to even a kiss of frost.

    Last year (2015) bud break was early. Then came the frost, which destroyed some buds, hence a less than abundant crop. —Down 25% in Sonoma.

    David has been in the wine biz a long time (24years), enjoying his good relationships with growers and grape brokers. That pays off in lean years. Because the crop was smaller and the quality was superb, there was a lot of competition for the best fruit.  Never Fear! We were able to snag the grapes we wanted, and needed, to offer exciting 2015 wines.

    Lets enjoy these familiar 2013 vintages while they last. But, lets also make room for the younger set, to be released later this year.

    For Wine Club Members Only:
    Take 50% off –THAT’S HALF PRICE!! – when you order a case of 2013 Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. Go ahead mix and match if you’d like.

    Don’t forget to visit us at the winery any day of the week.  Just give us a call before you come.  You just never know what you might find if you surprise us!

  • Another Autumn Already!  September 2015

    Tasting in the Wine Barn is working out! We hope that if you have not yet visited us at “home”, you will soon.  Bring a picnic.  Plan on spending a couple of hours tasting the wines, petting the horses and dogs (we have a new pup named Mike!), and for you car guys - inhaling Corvette and Nova aromas.  Just call us.  We’ll open the gate.

     

    If you can’t make it out to the winery and find yourself in Santa Rosa on the historic Railroad Square, you can find our wines at Cellars of Sonoma.  Cellars is a wine bar right in the middle of the very flavorful and historic area just west of the highway.  Cellars features wines of only 8 small family owned wineries.  There is live music most nights, and wonderful food pairings available too! 

     

               Most wineries have a bottling line with automated stainless steel equipment, or they have a truck show up housing that line.  We don’t have either.  We have friends. For us this time it was - eat your Wheaties, roll up your sleeves, take an Aleve or two, and have a damn good time bottling the wine you take home.  40 or so local wine club members made short work of bottling, and enjoying, the new Malbec.  Our favorite and talented Kevin Brennan (played with Van Morrison in Ireland) blew our minds once again, this time with his acoustic guitar, and friend Trevor on an antique stand-up bass. What a day!  Amazing music, picnic, friends and wine!  --and we got all of the Malbec bottled!

    Speaking of Malbec….

    2013 Malbec, Alexander Valley

    Have you discovered this varietal yet? Well, if not, let us introduce you.

    Because Malbec has little resistance to poor weather conditions and pests, it has previously been thought of as only a blending grape to enrich the 5 great Bordeaux wines. Argentina now leads the world in producing fine 100% varietal Malbec wines.  But here in California, and especially in Alexander Valley, where the warm days and cool nights are the perfect nursery for this delicate grape, we are producing Malbec wines, which are finding their way onto menus and lists as equal alternatives to the higher priced Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs.  Moondance Cellars’ Alexander Valley Malbec is easy to love.  It has wonderful aromas of coffee and cocoa (let’s just say mocha), and flavors of blackberry, plum and raspberry.  Pair it with leaner meats such as bison or ostrich (really?), blue cheese, and rustic flavors of mushrooms and cumin spices.

    P.S. If you are so inclined, you might carry a toothbrush.  Rich red wine usually means lovely red teeth!

    ONLY 4 BARRELS MADE