Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Mahalo Grille Winemaker's Dinner,Weekly Winery Work and the Unified Wine Symposium

The Tasting at Mahalo Grille went splendidly. I went over and tasted with Barry Jennings, the GM & Regional Operations Manager, one day. He liked the wines and wanted me to meet and taste with their head chef, which I did a couple days later. Our wines are going to be on the permanent wine list and the Chef has created some special dishes to pair with our wines for Mahalo's first Winemaker dinner Wednesday, February 22, 2006! Both Michael and I will be there! It really is exciting to see our neighboring restaurants embrace Livermore Valley wines!
So today I need to get a few marketing pieces together and top the '05 Quail Creek Cab Sauv and the '05 Rabolli Zin. All the '05's have completed ML(malolactic fermentation) and I will adjust all the SO'2's this week. I did a pH reading with my own equipment last week. I sent a sample to a neighboring lab for a double check. I had read pH of 3.55 on one sample. Their reading was 3.70. Big difference! I guess I will pull a few more samples and try to figure out why the discrepancy. Makes a difference as far as how much SO2 to add to reach .5 - .8 molecular.
The Unified Wine Symposium is going on this week in Sacramento. I was going to go with Michael for the day tomorrow, but now it looks as if I am going to send Michael on his own. For those of you that haven't been......Everything you could ever dream about in winemaking is there! And the Parties...!!!!! Our next purchase for our winery is a sorting table and bin dumper. I am looking forward to the year we won't be adding something! I may try to head over to Weimax Wines & spirits in Burlingame instead and do a winetasting and make my son's basketball game. Gerald Weisl, the wine merchant at Weimax Winess & Spirits is also a judge at the San Francisco International Wine Competition (where we have done quite well in the past) contacted us and requested a tasting! Fun! Fun!
Drink more wine!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Reports, Mahalo Grille and flushing the fat?!

Hi. Just delaying the inevitable! Have to do the yearly ATF F 5120.17 Report of Wine Presmises Operations due today. My husband took the Grape Crush Report with him to work (also due today) either because he had a look at the 5120.17 form or because he didn't want to hear me complaining or maybe he was just being nice! Gave me time to do a blog though. Maybe.
Need to get it done before 1pm. I have a tasting a Mahalo Grille today. Hopefully they will add our wine to their list! Wish me luck! I also have to get over to Gene's and deliver wine and set up a tasting to do there on an upcoming weekend.
I ended up getting a touch of the flu yesterday. Thankfully much better today! I am also trying to add a few things to my diet to help flush the fat?! and help the liver operate more effectively? Green Tea, carrots, and flax seed. Staying away from grains and legumes for now. Anyone out there have any experience with this? I have yet to check out the web site fatresistancediet.com.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

02 Beyer Ranch Zinfandel and Black Diamond Wine Exchange

Hi all! Just came back from a day of skiing at SquawValley. Stayed two glorious nights. Went over to the Black Diamond Wine Exchange and found out they have 6 bottles left of our 02 Beyer Ranch Zinfandel left! Give them a call if you are looking for some and they will gladly ship or better yet head on up to Squaw Valley and PLAY!
Met two very lovely people at the Black Diamond Wine Exhchange from Washington DC. Both are pilots and fly to Oshkosh every year. I asked if they new Sally Ryan (a dear friend and awesome woman who hosts a camp called Sally's Alley in Oshkosh where I had tented a few years). They not only know her they have been flying in with their Navion and camping in Sally's Alley every year! They also go a week early and help park vintage airplanes. Margie also volunteers at the Air and Space Museum and they are both WINE LOVERS! They bought some of the Zin while they were there.
It was nice going to Squaw with just my younger son and his friend. My older son stayed home with the flu and my husband stayed in sympathy. When we arrived home I found both of them on the couches covered with blankets. They are spending the day watching 3 football games (now on their fourth) and a movie.
I am off to the dog park with T-Bone! cao for now! Rhonda

2002 Beyer Ranch Zinfandel
Double Gold, Best of Varietal, SF International Wine Competition
Gold, Orange County Fair
Gold, Calfiornia State Fair
Gold, Alameda County Fair

Sunday, June 19, 2005


Wood Family Vineyards
Wow! What a day! We bottled 1,115 cases on Friday, June 15th! We started out with a late start. Mokelumne Mobile Bottling called at 5:30am (they were supposed to arrive at 5:30 for set up) to say they hadn't left Lodi yet and were having problems getting a light to work on the trailer. How about if we switch it to Monday? My response was to keep working on it and we will see how it plays out. At 7am they called and said they were on their way. Instead of starting a 8:30am we estimated a 10am start. I got on the phone and started calling all my friends to let them know.
10 am we did start! The '04 Chard and then the '03 wines, the Cab Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, McGrail Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Syrah (only 30 cases) and Zinfandel! Whew! What fun! The best part was having all these smiling faces around me (and of course the WINE)! When we finished one varietal we had to open a bottle and try it! YES! Everyone was smiling double!
The mobile bottlers were awesome and everything went smoothly.
Thank you to all my friends and family! Release party in August!

Friday, March 11, 2005

Old Vine Zin

Beautiful Day.
Just received the wine lab results from the 04 Zin. It is not H2s, Mercaptans, or Disulfides. Just as I thought. Ml funk.
We are taking over all the farming and fruit from the Rabolli Vineyard! Planted around 1918! We are paying Wente to farm it to our specifications. Pruning today! We decided to farm just over 14 acres of the 40 there. We are taking a risk, but we believe it will be well worth the reward.
We hired David Gates (vineyard manager) from Ridge Vineyards to consult on the farming. I am excited!

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Wine in the Cellar

Wood Family Vineyards
Off to the winery again today to finish topping. When I top the wines I always take a look in the barrel to see the surface of the wine and check for clarity. I smell the barrel and take an ear to the bung hole and listen for any fermentation sounds. Of course I take a sample and slurp and take notes on characteristics. It can be a long process, but I like to know the wines in each barrel.
Soooo...last weekend a guy (winemaker) from another winery (He custom crushes) and a freind/business associate from Pleasanton in to taste. I join them up with another couple and we taste all our wines and everyone is real happy. The winemaker likes the Zinfandel (double gold Best of Varietal, SF International WIne Competition) but prefers a different style Zinfandel. As he starts to describe the style Zin he prefers I start thinking about our '04 Zin in the barrels from Rabolli VIneyard. (planted around 1918, head-pruned and dry farmed) and since I was getting ready to top it anyhow I thought I would treat them to a barrel sample..
So I pull a sample (having just tried it 3 weeks ago) I know it hadn't finished ml fermentation yet and I had innoculated it with ml bacteria 3 weeks ago along with adding ml nutrients. As soon as he (the other winemaker) tries a sample he starts saying I need to add Copper. I smell it and it is stinky. I am not quite ready to come to the conclusion that it is H2S and as I try to tell him it may just be ml funk, he says it is not only H2s, but it is mercaptans and disulfides as he looks at his friend with the look like ....I know all and will tell you about it later. Rather than get in to a lengthy discussion in front of my customers I decided to let it go and steer them in another direction. The Cab Franc (which they bought lots of).
After they are gone, I do what I should have done before. I listen to the barrel and it sounds as if (what is that candy you used to put it your mouth and went popping like wildworks?) That is what it sounded like. I am surprised we couldn't hear it from the cellar floor!
I pulled out my H2s kit and checked. I don't believe it is H2s. Just to be sure I sent off a sample to the Wine Lab.
Lesson to be learned: The know it alls sometimes don't really know it all. Hmmmmmmmm , Is this something new to anyone?
Cao for Now!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Squaw Valley Ski Trip

Wood Family VineyardsWe just arrived home from a quick ski trip in time to watch the super bowl. I promised the boys I would take them on one trip this year with their friends. We loaded up (with 13 week old T-Bone) and headed out Thursday night to our Deluxe Studio condo at the Squaw Valley Lodge. We arrived and unloaded about midnight. It was a great two days of skiing and I was able to a little business as well. I am pleased to say that PlumpJack Balboa Cafe will continue to carry our Zinfandel on their wine list and Black Diamond Wine Exchange will be carrying our Cabernet Franc and our Zinfandel!
Today I am excited to head out to the winery and top wines and pull some samples to get ready for the final blending trials!
I will report back!
Until then....In Vino Veritas!