Happening in the Vineyards...
Spring is here! The vines are growing really fast and we did our initial spray for powdery mildew. The bees showed up one night last week and are busy pollinating the Avocados. We finished harvesting Leucadendron and were able to pick our first bucket of Protea.
The big thing that happened this month is that we grafted Pinot Noir on to 4 rows of Chardonnay. Grafting is a really interesting process. When we pruned in January, we saved some canes with buds. They were kept in a cool environment in a box of sawdust. We then cut off the Chardonnay vines at about 3 feet high and the buds were grafted on to the cut Chardonnay vines. Here is a video that goes through the whole process.
Pinot, (And Other) Awards...
Gary and I had a great time at the 12th annual Pinot Summit in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. It was at the Golden Gate Club at the Presidio...what a gorgeous place! We came home with our Gold Medals and managed to surprise a lot of people that So Cal can grow good Pinot. I had to make up a map to show where we are since no one could believe it. Here are some pictures from the event. Check out the view overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.
Since 2011, our little (very little) winery has won almost 70 medals in international competitions. In 2013 &14 alone we have won 40 medals. I think it's pretty amazing considering we only have 10 wines. You gotta love that De Luz micro-climate. If you are interested in seeing a list of the awards from the past few years, use this link: MEDALS
I recently had a dinner party and ended up with several different wedges of cheese left. Usually I just wrap them up and they eventually get eaten or thrown out. I ran across an article and recipe for Fromage Fort and it is the best!
Fromage Fort is translated as 'strong cheese' and it is a blend of whatever odds and ends of cheese you have with some wine, maybe some garlic, pepper and herbs…whatever you feel like. Softer cheese makes it creamy and harder cheeses can benefit from a pat of butter. You can age it for up to a week. You can spread your bread with Fromage Fort and put it under the broiler, or if it is soft, use it as a dip for breadsticks or crostini. The recipes are more like outlines, so basically you just wing it. My favorite way to cook.
Here is a recipe from 'Food and Wine' that you can use as a guideline. Again, just about anything goes.
Put about 1/2 pound of cheese pieces in the bowl of a food processor, add 1 garlic clove, about 1/4 cup of dry white wine and a big grinding of black pepper. Salt is usually not needed, but taste the mixture and add some if it is. Process for 30 seconds or so, until the mixture is creamy but not too soft, and then pack it into small containers. The fromage fort is ready to use now, either served cold or spread on bread and broiled for a few minutes. Broiling will brown the cheese and make it wonderfully fragrant.
Try your own version next time you are left with extra pieces of cheese. The great news is it's great with a lot of different wines.
Blessing of the Vines...
It's time for our 5th annual Blessing of the Vines. Join us to kick off the 2014 vintage when we ask for a successful harvest and the safety of the workers. Celebrate the new year with good food, wine, music and friends in beautiful De Luz.
To get your tickets use this link: BLESSING TICKETS
I'm resurrecting a Woof Note from a couple of years ago. This always makes me smile.
How many dogs does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter. If so, please forward to a friend.
Gary & Marlene
Join Us for the Blessing of the Vines
Published: Monday, March 24, 2014
Blessing of the Vines..
It's time again to kick off the 2014 vintage with good food, wine, music and friends. Join us for the 2014 Blessing of the Vines.
Get your tickets below!
Happening Now at Woodworth ~ February 2014
Published: Saturday, February 15, 2014