Jeff's Letter from March 2024

Here at the winery we are beginning to see the first harbingers of spring. The daffodils have emerged from their winter slumber and...
daffodils to illustrate JEFF’S LETTER FROM March 2024

Jeff’s Letter from March 2024

Here at the winery we are beginning to see the first harbingers of spring. The daffodils have emerged from their winter slumber and the quince has started to bloom, both events lend some color to what has been a rather dreary start to the new year. No complaints. We need the winter rainfall. This is especially important here in Amador where many of the vineyards are still dry-farmed meaning they receive no irrigation during the growing season and depend solely on the winter rain to replenish the soil moisture. Bud break will be here before we know it. In the meantime, optimism for the 2024 vintage has already started to build. The growing season in 2023 has left plenty of healthy wood and the workers pruning the vineyards are remarking about the girth of the wood and size of the buds they are pruning to for this season. In the winery we are preparing for our second bottling of the new year and at the same time we are keeping close watch over the last three lots of 2023 wine that have yet to complete the malolactic fermentation. When the last load of grapes rolled into the winery in November our busy time was just beginning, but it looks like we will be able to come up for air in early March.

Further good news. We just learned that for the seventh time in the past eight years we were awarded “Winery of the Year” at the Dan Berger International Wine Competition. Rather than look to wine related publications, Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast and the like, for third party endorsements of our wines we enter wine competitions. We prefer to have our wines evaluated by a panel of judges and not a single taster. We also prefer that the judges evaluate the wines in a blind environment where they don’t have even a suggestion as to the wine’s identity. Furthermore, in competitions there is no conflict of interest in reviewing a wine from a winery that advertises in the judge’s publication. Our performance at the Dan Berger competition speaks favorably to our consistency of wine quality over the years. A summary of the medals earned is attached.

The March Wine Club releases are three hearty reds and our second edition of Pinot Noir from the Russian River. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Alicante Bouschet will help ease the winter chill into the rearview mirror and the Pinot Noir will smooth the transition into the warmer spring temperatures. This may be the last Alicante Bouschet to be a wine club selection. The 2023 crop yielded a scant two and a half tons (enough to be an SME2 selection but no more), and the future of the vineyard has an ominous dark cloud on its horizon. It may blow over but then it may not.

Despite the inclement weather of late winter the tasting room is open and the first post NFL weekend would be a good opportunity to visit and try the March General Release wines; the Grenache from Paso Robles and the 2023 Rose. Look to see you soon.

– Jeff

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