March 2023 Newsletter

We might say, “another year bites the dust.” But then again there is not a hint of dust to bite. As spring approaches and flowers and plants of all kinds awaken, there is shock in the forest and the vineyards. Its wet! Puddles and mud everywhere. Creeks and rivers carving their old routes through the valleys. The reservoirs are near capacity. And snow, for Pete’s sake, on the coastal hills. Its what we remember from the good old days prior to drought.

What does all of this mean when it comes to grapes and quality? As any farmer knows not to count the chickens before they hatch, we’ll see.

There is a new Cab in the house.  With just a few cases of the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon left, the 2021 is bottled, rested and ready to go just in time. The grapes are from the best of the best Napa Valley floor fruit of St Helena. As we bottled the 2 barrels with our friends and helpers, Kasey, Eric, Scott, and Tim, the aroma in the winery made us want to drink the air. We refrained instead pouring ourselves a glass or 2. In a one-word description of the wine “elegant” says it all.

Been to a ball game lately where during the 7th inning you stretched to “buy me some peanuts and cracker jacks…” ? The song remains and the snack is still tops, but one thing has changed since 1871 when Cracker Jacks were first sold on a street corner in Chicago.  There is no longer a prize in the box. Well, we are old school as you may have guessed.  So we have included a prize in your box of wine. You may have to dig a bit to find it, but that was always part of the fun.

As always, we hope you love our wines. Thank you so much for your support.

Please keep well and Enjoy!

Priscilla and David

June 2023 Newsletter

Nothing is certain about farming whether it is growing grapes or popcorn.

We’re ready for our dry summer sunny warm days. But June Gloom is holding strong in Northern California. That’s okay. After a super rainy winter season, green is still the color of the day. We’ll hold that 5th season (fire) off as long as it takes.

Also, thanks to that June Gloom, the grapevines are developing right on schedule. They are not fighting too much heat nor suffering cold nights. Its all looking good! There is moisture however, encouraging some growers to start the sulfur spraying a bit early. That too is a good thing unless you live right next to a vineyard. They spray at night to reduce “drift” when there is little to no wind. The sound of a tractor moving up and down the rows can interrupt even the soundest of sleepers. In the end, its all worth it.

The new 2021 Napa Valley Cab is rested and ready! We hope you love it. We do! In one word “elegant” Enjoy it now or lay it down. Either way, make sure you give it some air and then a big sniff. Ahhhhh. Now that is Cabernet Sauvignon!

In other news: The Orchard Station 2019 Russian River Chardonnay won big time at the North Coast Wine Challenge! Not only was it awarded a Gold Medal and Best of Class, it also scored 97 points! The competition included 1200 entries from Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake, Marin, and Solano counties. We enter these comps for bragging rights and there you have them! We will be pouring the Chardonnay and its Gold Medal winning partner, the 2021 Moondance Cellars Russian River Valley Pinot Noir at the tasting event June 17th at the Luther Burbank Center in Santa Rosa.

We can’t say often enough how much we have valued and continue to value your member and friendships. If at any time you have special requests or concerns, we hope you will share them with us. David is hosting tastings daily by appointment and hopes to see as many of you as possible soon.

There is a new Cab in the house. With just a few cases of the 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon left, the 2021 is bottled, rested and ready to go just in time. The grapes are from the best of the best Napa Valley floor fruit of St Helena. As we bottled the 2 barrels with our friends and helpers, Kasey, Eric, Scott, and Tim, the aroma in the winery made us want to drink the air. We refrained instead pouring ourselves a glass or 2. In a one-word description of the wine “elegant” says it all.

In the meantime, please keep safe, healthy, and most importantly happy!
Priscilla and David

Enjoy! Priscilla and David

September 2023 Newsletter

As written in the June newsletter, “nothing is certain about farming whether it be grapes or popcorn....”

“Truly Iconic Vintage” “A Throwback Crop” This year marks the 199th first official Sonoma County harvest. And what a hopeful harvest it is and will be. The early ripening varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, thanks to atmospheric climate change bringing a cold snap from April through July slowed ripening and harvest of those varieties to the latest in 41years! 

But slow ripening is a good thing in this case. Slow maturation leads to more intense flavors. So, if you happen to remember a Chardonnay or Pinot Noir of 1982 vintage, this year’s wine may bring back those “good ol’ days“memories.  We’ll all just have to patiently wait a couple of years to let these babies rest.

Then there are the slower naturally ripening varieties such as Cab, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah for which our fingers are crossed, and we’re knocking on wood that any inclement weather doesn’t rear its ugly head in the next 8 weeks. Grapes that take longer to mature may experience what growers call “mercy pink” and must be harvested as late as possible before seasonal rainfall threatens the crop, even sometimes before they are fully matured.

Then there is the wine.  David always suggests not to read our tasting notes before you taste the wine. The descriptions are usually the usually banal opinions of me (Priscilla). He’s right this time!  What does it taste like to you? Peach blossom? Green Apple? Cherry coke? Kumquats? Marmalade? Shoe leather? Pencil led?  It truly is a matter of acuity or sharpness of your own palate. How does it make you feel? What do you think about?  What memories does it bring back? And always remember that tasting too many wines at once does dull your palate.  That’s one reason we like to limit tasting appointments to 3 a day, allowing our guests to take their time to taste the wines and build those memories.

This Wine Club selection box includes a little something to enjoy and treat your tired wine tasting palate to a sweet surprise.  Ugar House Candy is a small family-owned kitchen making caramels in small batches using only the highest quality ingredients.  They’re yummy as they melt in your mouth.  www.ugarhousecandy.com

Have you yet tried shifting toward vegan or vegetarian choices when eating out and experiencing a whole new horizon? Again, that good ol’ palate makes a play on your opinion. But ours points us to La Bodega Kitchen.  Its located just up the road near Sebastopol. For starters try the beet ravioli or the pear tartlets (sometimes made from our backyard pear tree).  Both will blow your minds! The wine tasting experience there is also not to be missed.

Halloween is right around the corner.  This year we will not allow circumstances such as wild fires, viruses, or a harvest seasons with torrential rains dampen our spirits.  Let’s Partee!!!  Hopefully you have received a save the date (10/28) invitation for Wine Club members and friends. More deets to follow but it will be held at our neighbor, Carol’s covered horse arena. Costumes with sturdy shoes are recommended. The band is our favorite Kevin Brennan and the Claddagh band.  Some say he is a better Van than Van!  BBQ dinner will be cooked and served.

Thank you always for your support of our winery and for the friendships we enjoy. They both are what sustains us. 

Please keep well, safe and

Enjoy! Priscilla and David