Nearing Sauvignon Blanc Harvest

Sauvignon Blanc harvest in Napa Valley is only days away!  Winemaker Joel Aiken takes us into the vineyards to tell us how he knows when it’s time to make the call to pull in the grapes.

Nearing

 Blanc Harvest

Harvest 2012 Update: Verasion

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Verasion in the vineyards is well underway! Verasion is the process of grapes ripening and sugar levels rising and from this shot taken in the Morisoli Vineyard on Saturday, you can see that the cluster is almost completely colored up. The photo shows an example of what is a typical cluster for this year, large and healthy-looking. Note that even though the cluster is fairly large, there is still plenty of space between the berries for air movement and for filtered sunlight to get in which helps color development. According to Joel, it looks like this season is about two weeks ahead of last year at this point, and the weather forecast is for continued warm and sunny days. Stay tuned for more harvest updates here as we head towards Harvest 2012!

A Debut for Palisades View

Those of you who follow this blog know that for several months we’ve been hard at work finishing up the event space at our guest house, and we couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. We’re calling it “Palisades View,” and now that it’s done we’re happy to spread the word about what a stunning location this is for wine country events. Surrounded by breathtaking views of the Palisades Mountain range, and studded with mature oak and olive trees, Palisades View is truly a one-of-a-kind space. We took some recent photos from the last week or two and dropped them into a video slideshow to show guests what they can expect when they visit.

Click below for a video slideshow:

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A Great Night with Total Wine & More

This week 55 managers from Total Wine & More stores from around the country made their annual pilgrimage to Napa and Sonoma to meet winery principals, tour vineyards and taste new releases. For several years it’s been our pleasure to host the group for an afternoon of tasting Amici wines, and we always enjoy our time with this consistently fun and gracious group of people. This year, when we heard that Total Wine & More was giving us a coveted slot on Wednesday night to host the group for dinner, we were delighted.

The temperature in Calistoga topped out at 96 degrees on Wednesday afternoon, so as the buses groaned up our steep driveway and the store managers filed out, they couldn’t wait to get inside the cool winery, where we tasted and discussed current and upcoming releases. We finished off our tastings with a side-by-side exploration of barrel and stainless fermented Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet which everyone found fun and educational.

The party really started when we walked down from the winery to the guest house grounds and were greeted by course after course of magnificent food from Chef Lars Kronmark (Senior Instructor at the Culinary Institute of America) and Chef John Fink (chef-owner of The Whole Beast). The Palisades Mountain range lit up in fiery oranges and purples at sunset, and the balmy evening was so pleasant that no one wanted the gathering to end. We said our goodbyes to our friends new and old as they got on their buses en route to their hotel, and are hoping for a repeat of this great night next year.

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Guests are greeted with a glass of the 2011 Amici Sauvignon Blanc

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Discussing current and upcoming Amici wines.

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Samples of barrel-fermented and stainless-fermented Morisoli Vineyard Cabernet await tasting.

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Chef John Fink and Chef Lars Kronmark discuss the evening’s menu.

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Everyone enjoyed the views of the mountains at sunset.

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Chef Fink serves his delicious fresh-caught roasted salmon

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Relaxing and enjoying the balmy evening.