Happening in January @ Woodworth
Published: Friday, January 08, 2016
Welcome to 2016 ...
It's January in the vineyards and for the first time in a few years, it really feels like winter. The temperatures have been in the 50's and 60's, we've had wind, rain and overcast skies. I'd almost forgotten what winter was like in SoCal.
The vines have been pruned and with the colder weather, we're hoping for a nice long rest.
Did I mention the winds? Well, we definately had some and collected about 4 tons of avocados that were blown off the trees.
Get a bottle of wine for Christmas?
I, of course, think wine is a great gift. I like giving it and getting it. However, occasionally you get a bottle that's just not good. You don't need to toss it. That bottle can still help create a great meal or drink. Here are some ideas from Epicurious.
OVERLY SWEET RIESLING
Rieslings can be honey sweet or bone dry. Bad Rieslings, however, nail you with one flavor: sugar. They're way too sweet for the dinner table but don't make the cut for dessert, either. Luckily, with a little added sharpness from mustard, you can use Riesling to braise a chicken. After browning and removing chicken, add the wine for reducing and scraping up the brown bits. In the pan, add a high-quality Dijon mustard, shallots, garlic, and, of you've got it, dried porcini powder, which gives the braise a deeper flavor. Use this link for the recipe: Chicken in Riesling
Chardonnay can pick up lovely buttery, vanilla notes when it ages in an oak barrel. But holding the wine too long in oak can cause a sawdust flavor. If you can't drink that chardonnay try making a white Sangria. There are lots of Sangria recipes, but this one looks great. White Sangria
Big zinfandels can be fruit bombs, You have two glasses and you're done for, and then all you taste for the next two days are those two glasses of wine you had. If you can't drink it, cook it-that is, cook down the red wine in a short rib braise or even for a dessert course (think poached pears). Short Ribs
TANNIC CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Know that pucker feeling you get when you drink red wine? Those are the tannins, which help give wine structure and the ability to age. When a wine is too tannic, it can taste like a mouthful of cotton balls. If you don't want to use the wine in a braise like you would with a zinfandel, you can transform a cabernet sauvignon into a vermouth by infusing it with some seasonal spices. Simmer the wine with fall spices like cloves and cinnamon, then add a neutral grain spirit like Everclear. Strain, transfer to a bottle and keep refrigerated. Negroni
In the news...
Pierce's Disease hitting Napa/Sonoma
Pierce's Disease is a deadly disease of grapevines. It is caused by a bacteria, which is spread by xylem feeding leafhoppers known as sharpshooters (Blue/Green or Glassy Winged). Symptoms include scorching of leaves, and entire vines will die after 1-5 years. Pierce's Disease has been around for 100 years or more, but hit California in a big way through infected nursery stock in the 1980s.
In the 1990's Pierce's Disease hit the Temecula Valley Wine Country hard, spread by the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter. The Wine Institute estimates that about 25% - 40% of the vines were either killed off or were destroyed during that time frame. Many winery owners weren't sure if the Temecula Wine Country would survive. However, aggressive containment measures resulting from $millions in research by universities, USDA, etc., as well as a rethinking of some farming practices, have allowed Temecula Wine Country to contain the threat.
Wine & Vines Magazine is now reporting that there is a 'huge' outbreak of Pierce's Disease in Napa, Sonoma and the Russian River grape growing regions. While Pierce's is always around, it appears that the number of cases reported really exploded in 2015. It appears to be especially devastating to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
One theory is that this outbreak is being spread by the native Blue/Green Sharpshooter which has not been included in the rigid quarantines of the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter, which was responsible for the Temecula outbreak. Other researchers believe that the major cause is the mild weather of 2015.
A lot of research money is going into combating this disease and there are some promising results. We'll have to keep watching.
After Christmas White Sale ...
Buy 4 bottles (any combinations) of our 2013 Chardonnay, 2013 Sweet Sophie, 2013 Golden Maggie and 2013 Herc's Field Blend and get 25% off.
It's like getting a bottle Free!
Go to White Sale
Save These Dates ...
Taste of De Luz
Join Cheri Dixon (Dixon Estate Olive Oil) and meI at Temecula Valley Cheese for cooking demonstration with Olive Oil (and wine of course). Just $15. Thursday, February 4 at 6pm. Buy your tickets at Temecula Valley Cheese Co in Old Town Temecula.
March Pick Up Party
Club Members, join us for a special pick up party on Saturday, March 12, 5-7pm. Wine Club Members Richard Beck & Chris Greer recently purchased and restored the historic Hotel Temecula in Old Town. Tour this remarkably restored building and learn its history while enjoying wine an appetizers. Save this date, RSVP info will follow shortly.
2015 in Review ...
Winter: We had a freak snow storm in De Luz on New Year's Day but that cleared up and made way for a very warm January and February. So much so that we had shoots spouting up by the end of February.
Spring: Gary finished his barrel table project (yea!). The grapes were looking great, and we had a fun time at the Blessing of the Vines with almost 100 people.
Summer: Powdery Mildew and the Bees hit us hard. In 2016 we will be netting for Bees. We had a good time at the July Pick Up Party at Temecula Valley Cheese Co. Sadly, we lost our little buddy Hercules.
We hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter. If you did, please forward to a friend. You can read more about Woodworth at www.WoodworthWine.com or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodworthvineyards
Happening @ Woodworth in October
Published: Thursday, October 08, 2015
October in the Vineyards and Groves ...
October has been beautiful so far. A little warm, but that's to be expected. Unfortunately the avocados are suffering from leaf burn. It's a result of a build up of salt in the soil. We think that this time of year we get more Colorado river water and it has a much higher salinity. Avocados hate salt. The only help is to leach the soil with (you guessed it) more water. The salt builds up before you know it and then you are scrambling to get rid of it. The pictures below show what leaf burn looks like.
We need some cooler weather to help the grapes to start to go dormant. Will probably have to wait a couple of months for that to happen. They are starting to brown out a bit.
There are a few small signs of fall. Our liquid amber trees are just starting to turn. So pretty.
Roll out the barrel ...
A major component of making good wine is the barrel. We generally use French Oak barrels with a medium or medium plus toast. So, what does that mean and what are the other alternatives?
What types of wood are used?
Basically most wine barrels are made from French, American, Slavonian or Hungarian Oak. American Oak is relatively fast growing with wider grains and lower wood tannins. French White Oak has a fine grain and richer contribution of aromatic components like 'vanillin' and tannins. Often a winemaker will choose a French oak barrel from a cooperage that specializes in wood from a specific forest. French Oak vs American Oak allows for a more gradual integration of flavors because of the tighter grain.
Italian winemakers seem to prefer Slavonian Oak with its very tight grain, low aromatics and medium tannins. Slavonian oak tends to be used in larger barrel sizes that are reused for many more years before replacement. Hungarian oak is very slow growing with very tight grain that lends itself to very delicate extraction of flavors and aromas. Russian winemakers have begun using Russian oak and Canadian winemakers are experimenting with Canadian oak which has similar characteristics of American oak.
The porous nature of an oak barrel allows for evaporation and oxygenation but not at levels that would cause spoiling. A typical 60 gallon barrel can lose 5 - 6 gallons in a year through evaporation. This allows the wine to concentrate flavor and aroma and the small amount of oxygen coming through acts as a softening agent.
Barrels are constructed in cooperages. The traditional method of European coopers has been to hand-split the oak into staves (or strips) along the grain. After the oak is split, it is allowed to "season" or dry outdoors while exposed to the elements. This process can take anywhere from 10 to 36 months during which time the harshest tannins from the wood are leached out. These tannins are visible as dark gray and black residue left on the ground once the staves are removed. The longer the wood is allowed to season the softer the potential wine stored in the barrels may be but this can add substantially to the cost of the barrel.
The staves are then heated, traditionally over an open fire, and, when pliable, are bent into the desired shape of the barrel and held together with iron rings. Instead of fire, a cooper may use steam to heat up the staves but this tends to impart less "toastiness" and complexity to the resulting wine.
Winemakers can order barrels with the wood on the inside of the barrel having been lightly charred or toasted with fire, medium toasted, or heavily toasted. Typically the "lighter" the toasting the more oak flavor and tannins that are imparted. Heavy toast or "charred" which is typical treatment of barrels in Burgundy wine have an added dimension from the char that medium or light toasted barrels do not impart. This produces the "roasted" aroma in the wine. The toasting also enhances the presence of vanillin and the phenol eugenolwhich creates smokey and spicy notes that in some wines are similar to the aromatics of oil of cloves.
Probably more than you ever wanted to know, but it's interesting stuff. Maybe I'll be a Cooper when I grow up.
Speaking of barrels ...
It's time for our annual Winter Barrel Tasting & Pick Up Party.
Join us for wine, food, music and friends. We'll be tasting the 2013/14 reds in barrel along with some of our newly released wines. If you are a member you can pick up your November shipment and everyone has a chance to stock up on wine for holiday gifts and entertainment at special prices.
This is a great way to kick off the holiday season!
Date: Saturday, November 14
Location: Temecula Valley Winery Mgt, 27495 Diaz Rd, Temecula
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Bring some friends and use this link to RSVP: Barrel Tasting
A Rose' by any other name ...
People often ask me which Woodworth wine is my favorite. In all honesty, it's usually whatever I'm drinking at the time. I am, however, especially fond of our dry rose of Pinot Noir, Golden Maggie. It's a dry rose with wonderfully fresh fruit flavors and aromas.
There's a difference between old-world rose and new-world rose wines. Old-world rose wines tend to be dryer than new-world rose wines. Our Golden Maggie is considered an Old World rose.
How Are Rose Wines Made?
There are four main ways to make rose wines, bleeding, pressing, limited maceration and run off.
Saignée or bleeding is used to make the best quality roses. Juice is obtained by stacking up the wine grapes in a tank and letting the grapes' weight do the crushing. Since the juice is in contact with the grape skins only for a very short time, the rose wine obtained through this technique has a very palecolor -Rose wines made through bleeding are rich, fruity and have great freshness.
Pressé or pressing is the technique of pressing the red grapes until the juice has the desired color. Once the desired color has been attained, the winemaker stops pressing. Only the pressed juice is used to make the rose wine.
Limited maceration is the most commonly used technique for making rose wines. The grapes or, to be more precise, the skins are left in contact with the juice until the winemaker decides that he is happy with its color. The "wine" (or the juice) minus the skins is then transferred to another tank to finish the fermentation process.
Run off is the process involved when the winemaker removes juice from the tank of fermenting red wine; this juice is used to make the rose wine. The run off process results in a darker/more intense red wine (the wine left in the fermentation vat) and, in my opinion, a so-so rose wine.
We use a combination of the bleeding and pressing. Whole bunches of Pinot are put into the press and the weight of the grapes forces much of the juice out. We then press for the rest. The skins are in contact with the juice for a very limited amount of time.
Pan Seared Halibut with Nectarine Tarragon Salsa
Here's another great recipe from our favorite chef, Patrick Bartlett.
Here are Patrick's tasting notes for this recipe paired with Golden Maggie: "This delicate fish and fruit salsa allows the expressive, ever-so-slightly off dry brightness and subtle fruit notes of the Golden Maggie rose of Pinot Noir to shine without a hint of competition. The salsa's tarragon bridges beautifully with the fennel-scented risotto." Sounds pretty darn good, right?
To get a copy of this recipe with step by step instructions and pictures, use this link: Golden Maggie While you are there, pick up a couple of bottles of Golden Maggie.
Hot off the presses ...
Here are some recent California vineyard and winery news articles that you may find interesting.
California's Vineyards Pressed To Turn Less Water Into Wine
Pressed to make improvements in the way they use water, others in the wine industry are thinking just as hard about how to reduce and conserve. At the University of California, Davis, a research winery will be upgrading its existing rainwater capture system this winter. READ MORE
Lake County will rise again
Three local organizations - the Lake County Winegrape Commission, Lake County Winery Association, and Lake County Wine Alliance - have come together to form Lake County Rising to help rebuild after the devastating fire. READ MORE
Napa Valley Vintners Answers Top Five Questions Regarding the 2015 Vintage
Winemakers are giving high praise for the quality of this year's Napa Valley wine grape harvest, according to the Napa Valley Vintners (NVV) nonprofit trade association. Most vintners in the region have brought in their grapes and as attention turns more fully to the winemaking process, the NVV has answers to some of the most common questions about this year's vintage in the making: READ MORE
Sonoma County vineyard owners lauded for water conservation
Two top state regulators came to Wine Country Friday to applaud 41 rural landowners, including the owners of seven vineyards, for signing voluntary agreements to conserve water or add water to coho salmon-rearing creeks in the Russian River watershed. READ MORE
Woof Notes ...
We hope you enjoyed this month's newsletter. If so, please forward to a friend. You can read all about Woodworth Vineyards, or book a private tasting here in the vineyards by going to www.WoodworthWine.com
Join us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/WoodworthVineyards
Winter Barrel Tasting & Pick Up Party
Published: Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Roll Out the Barrels ...
It's that time of year again. Time for the Winter Barrel Tasting and Pick Up Party. We will be tasting the 2013 Reds in barrel along with some newly released and not-yet-released wines.
There will be food and music, so bring your friends and enjoy this annual event. It's a great way to kick off the holiday season.
Members will be able to pick up their November shipments and everyone will have a chance to stock up on great wine at special prices for holiday entertaining and gifts.
Please RSVP below.
Happening In August @ Woodworth
Published: Thursday, August 20, 2015
In the Vineyards...
July and August were pretty hot here in De Luz. Also the bees were out in full force and did some real damage to our Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The pictures below tell the story.
We were several weeks ahead and the Pinot and Chardonnay were picked by the first week of August. The Merlot was picked one week later and we will be picking the Syrah in a few days.
We have a great crop of Avocados for the 2016 harvest. So much that Gary and Isaura have been spending the last month propping up branches with 2 X 4s to keep them from breaking. So now we can all worry about a strong El Nino that washes the trees down the hill. Oh well, always something.
To Age or Not to Age, That is the Question...
We were at dinner at a friend's house a couple of weeks ago. He is a very accomplished chef. In fact, I'd need an entire Newsletter to take you through the incredible menu that night. Anyway, he brought out a bottle of 1966 Charles Krug Cabernet for us. That inspired an entire conversation on aging wines. Which wines age well, why, how, etc. So, I came home and did some research. Here's what I found.
About 90% of the wines made today are made to be consumed within 2 years, and the vast majority of wines purchased today are consumed within 48 hours. Given that, here are some tips for how to tell if a wine will age well and how to do it..
1) Sugar content and alcohol: A high percentage of sugar and alcohol slows the aging process, keeping the wine chemicals from reacting too fast and becoming unbalanced, or worse, turning to vinegar.
2) Tannins: Highly tannic wines are generally great candidates for aging. You know the wine you're drinking is tannic when it gives your mouth a dry, puckering sensation that can be very unpleasant. But as tannins age, they bind to each other, losing their astringent quality and making the wine supple and smooth.
3) Structure: Tannins don't mean good aging by themselves. They need the proper acidity and fruitiness to back them up.
Varietals that age well:
Riesling: A wonderful candidate for aging. A good Riesling can go on improving, growing rounder in flavor, virtually forever.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabs from Bordeaux, California, and many other places have the bold richness needed to age well.
Chardonnay: It depends. A rich, buttery Chardonnay doesn't have the structure to age well and will fall apart within a few years. But acidic Chardonnays with rich mineral tastes can very well improve with aging.
Fortified wines: Port, Madeira and the like age wonderfully because their high quantities of sugar and alcohol act to slow down the aging process, meaning that they can open well after even hundreds of years.
Pinot Noir: Professional opinions vary. This grape, so unpredictable on the vine, is unpredictable in the cellar too.
Syrah: Most Syrahs age well, but only up to a limit-about 10 years.
Merlot: Merlot is a very forgiving wine. Many bottles taste great young, but will still benefit from some time in the cellar. So Merlot is a great varietal to experiment with-try a variety of ages and see what suits your tastes.
Zinfandel: Like Cabernet Sauvignon, many Zinfandels have the potential to age to greatness.
Varietals that don't age well:
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, and most Rosés: They don't have the structure necessary for good aging.
Wines under $15: They're made to drink now.
Champagne: Though some champagnes can age well, becoming rounder, softer, and less bubbly over time, most are not meant to. If you're holding on to a 20-year old bottle from your wedding, you probably won't like it.
So, if you have a wine to age, how do you do it?
All wines mature fairly quickly in a typical household (68-72F, frequent changes in sunlight and humidity), and shouldn't be kept more than five or six months in these conditions. Beyond six months (sometimes sooner, if there were very hot days inside), most wines will begin to deteriorate.
Finer wines that require aging need to be kept in a place that is constantly cool (50-60F), dark, damp, and without excessive vibration. Do not store wines in your refrigerator for an extended length of time; though it's a constantly cool temperature, there is little humidity, so your corks will shrink and the wine will spoil.
Since not everyone has a wine cellar, you will need to find a place that is as close to these ideal conditions as possible. The most important thing is constant cool temperature-wines do not react well to extreme variations. Dampness is also important, but you should be OK if your storage area is not overly dry, and you are sure to keep all bottles on their side, so that the wine stays in contact with the cork, thereby keeping the cork moist and expanded to hold a tight seal. If the cork dries, air gets in and destroys the wine. (VintageCellars.com, WineWeekly.com)
New Recipe for Black Dog ...
Our favorite chef, Patrick Bartlett, has come up with another winner to pair with our 2012 Black Dog. Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Blackberry Bourbon Glaze.
Sounds pretty amazing, right?
Here is what Patrick says about the pairing: "The Woodworth 2012 Black Dog is a beautiful blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot. The Syrah harmonizes with the smokiness of the bacon, and the rich blackberry bourbon glaze draws out the big berries and cherries swirling in thei wine. Amazingly, this dish causes the wine to dig deeper into it's flavor profile, creating a rich, more bold tasting experience."
To get a copy of the recipe to read and print out, use this link to the Black Dog Page. When you are on the page, click on Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin :
Save the Date ...
The year is flying by and, before you know it, it will be time for the annual Barrel Tasting. We have a tentative (almost final) date of Saturday November 14. So, put it on your calendar and we'll get the confirmation out to you next month.
The Barrel Tasting is a great way to kick off the holiday season with wine, food, music and friends.
We'll see you there!
Woof Notes ...
Several weeks ago we lost Hercules, our cool-little-dude dog. Herc showed up on our patio about 9 years ago. At the time the Vet told us that he was at least 7 years old, so he had a long and adventurous life. He definitely had a 'tude' and quickly became my little buddy. We have no idea where he came from, but from the very first day he decided this was home and he made sure that we understood that he not only slept in the house, but also in the bed. We miss him, but are glad we had him for so long.
Herc finally got his own wine last year and here are a few of his Woof Notes.
It's Time to Pick Up Wine and Party!
Pick up your July Shipment and join us for a fun time of wine, food, music and friends at Temecula Valley Cheese Company. There will be great wine (of course), yummy appetizers and live music from Slow Traffic.
Date: Saturday July 18
Time: 4pm - 7pm
Location: Temecula Valley Cheese Co, Old Town Temecula.
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