In the vineyards and groves ...
Spring is definitely here. We have fog in the morning and blue skies in the afternoon. No (or not much) rain. It looks like El Nino was a bust for Southern California.
While we haven't had much rain, the rain we did have came with winds, so we had about 25 or 30 trees blow over. We decided to take the downed trees out and replace them.
We've done one pick of Avocados so far, getting the largest ones off the trees. We will pick again in another month when the smaller fruit sizes up. We had a good crop this year, probably around 120k lbs. Unfortunately, however, the prices aren't great because of a huge amount of Mexican fruit in the market now. We're hoping it will be better in a month.
We also picked the last of the Leucadendron this month. Glad that's over, cutting flowers is hard work.
The vines are growing really fast. We had bud break at the end of February and now the shoots are 2+ feet tall. Gary and Isaura have been shoot thinning and putting up the wires up for the last several weeks. It's a lot of work, but they finished it off this morning, and the vineyard is looking good.
Blessing of the Vines ...
It's time for the annual Blessing of the Vines. Join us on May 22nd.
We book up every year, so make your reservation soon using this link:
Pairing wine with spring vegetables...
The grocery stores and farmers markets are full of great spring vegetables. My garden, of course, has nothing planted yet, so I'm going to have to concentrate on summer veggies. Anyway, it's sometimes a challenge to come up the right wine when building a meal or appetizers around vegetables. Here's a handy chart for you to use.
A great new recipe for Wild Bandit ...
Our favorite chef, Patrick Bartlett has come up with a great recipe for our award-winning Wild Bandit. This interesting wine has won a Double Gold/Best of Class at the Women's International Competition and Silver Medals at the LA International, the Grand Harvest and from the Inland Empire Magazine.
The Mushroom Leek Tart is a wonderful combination of wild mushrooms, leeks & shallots, sour cream and Gruyere cheese in a puff pastry. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it?
Wild Bandit is a delicious blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Pinot Noir. The big, fruit, licorice and tobacco notes harmonize with the rich earthiness of the mushrooms and leeks. The butteriness of the tart shell, along with the cream and cheese, tames the wine's firm tannins and allows the layered notes of blackberries and black cherries to rise up and bloom.
To see and print the recipe, with step by step instructions, use this link:
There's an app for that ...
Here are a couple of new apps that you might enjoy. If you have a large wine cellar, or have been studying wine for years, these may be a little basic for you. If you are looking for a way to learn more, or find the right wine for what you are cooking while you are standing in the wine store, these might be for you. They are free, so no risk.
Demystify wines and grape varietals with Plonk (Android, iOS), a quick and elegantly designed guide that allows users to quickly learn about grape varieties and wines. Simple, color-coded tiles allow you to explore grape and wine varieties, reading up on their various traits, preferred food pairings, as well as recommendations of similar wine varieties. Users can rate and star particular wines and grape varietals, as well as mark particular favorites for easy reference down the line.
Hello Vino (Android, iOS) is designed to be your personal wine assistant. Rather than aim for the gung-ho wine enthusiast, Hello Vino is designed to assist the everyday wine buyer, suggesting the best wines for your food. Users can snap pictures of their purchases and add notes to their favorites. The app's extensive wine guide allows users to read up on wine and grape varieties as well. As a premium feature, users can scan wine labels to bring up tasting notes, ratings and recommended food pairings. Users can even call a California-based wine concierge for advice in choosing just the right wine for an occasion.
Woof Notes ...
We hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter. If so, please forward to a friend. You can read more about Woodworth, buy wine and sign up for the Newsletter at www.WoodworthWine.com
Please join us at www.Facebook.com/woodworthvineyards
Join us for the Blessing of the vines
Published: Monday, March 28, 2016
Blessing of the Vines...
Join us for the annual Blessing of the Vines celebrating the new 2016 vintage.
Enjoy an afternoon of wine, food, music and friends.
Date: Sunday, May 22nd
Time: 2 - 5pm
Location: Woodworth Vineyards, De Luz
Cost: $25 for Members, $35 for Non-Members
Your credit card will not be charged until the first week of May.
March 2016 Pick Up Party ...
I'm sorry but we have a full house for our March Pickup Party at Hotel Temecula, so we can't take any more reservations.
There is limited space at the site and the response has been fast and overwhelming. You will be able to pick up your March shipment at Crush & Brew beginning on March 11.
It's time for our March Pick Up Party.
Join us for a fun evening at a very cool venue.
Richard Beck and Chris Greer (Wine Club Members of course) purchased and lovingly restored The Hotel Temecula, using much of the original furnishings and fixtures. Built in the 1880s,The Hotel Temecula has a rich and interesting history. Learn about this great Old Town landmark and tour the grounds and rooms while enjoying Woodworth wine and some appetizers.
You will also be able to pick up your March shipment, and you are welcome to bring guests.
Date: Saturday, March 12
Time: 5 - 7 pm
Location: The Hotel Temecula, 42100 Main Street, Old Town Temecula
You can check out The Hotel Temecula and see some pictures and a great video at www.facebook.com/thehoteltemecula
Please RSVP below
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
Other Recent Articles
Happening In August @ Woodworth
Published: Thursday, August 20, 2015
August 2015 Newsletter from Woodworth Vineyards
June 2015 Newsletter from Woodworth Vineyards
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