My uncle once told me, “Life is like a roll of toilet paper. It goes faster at the end.” It’s at this time of the year when many of us pause to look back at the year that has been and look forward to the next. But it seems like I did this just last week. Life just keeps on going faster and faster.
My two big memories of 2023 are claiming another big honor from Cal State Fair and a stellar harvest. We earned our fifth ‘Golden Bear’ this year winning the Golden Winery Award for the third time. No, it doesn’t get old. Sharing the accolade with our growers and staff remains one of my most joyful and rewarding experiences. This was followed by a terrific harvest. I don’t think we saw a triple digit temperature for the whole month of September. Calm, cool, and collected we slowly took in the grapes that were ripe while patiently waiting for the others to catch up. They did, and we put the pedal to the metal for the last three weeks of October and finished the harvest on November 6th. Ripening late in the season has provided the young wines with a tremendous amount of color and I anticipate the 2023 vintage will be noted for its quality.
We begin the new year with the Barbera from the Dick Cooper Vineyard along with our Lodi Tempranillo. This will be our first Tempranillo from the Miravet Vineyard. Markus Bokisch still farms the vineyard, and we are delighted with the change. The SME wine is the “Z” Zinfandel from the Massoni Ranch, and the SME II selection is the Tannat from Ron Silva’s vineyard in Galt. All four wines are hearty reds that will help you weather the upcoming winter. 2024 will also see two new products. The first is a red wine from the Alvarelhão grape, a Portuguese variety that is very similar to Touriga. We have also spent the last three years producing a brandy that we will release in the first quarter of 2024.
I trust your holidays have been enjoyable and best wishes for a happy and healthy new year.