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Happening @ Woodworth in October

Category: Newsletters  |  Permalink

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.

Barrel Construction

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

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Winter Barrel Tasting & Pick Up Party

Category: Upcoming Events  |  Permalink

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.

RSVP for the Event Here

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Happening In August @ Woodworth

Category: Newsletters  |  Permalink

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.  (,



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 : 

2012 Black Dog


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.





We hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter.  If so, please forward to a friend.   You can check us out online at or join us on Facebook at

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July Pick Up Party

Category: Upcoming Events  |  Permalink

Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

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.

RSVP for the Event Here


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Happening in June @ Woodworth

Category: Newsletters  |  Permalink

Published: Friday, June 12, 2015

Happening in the Vineyards...







'May Grey' slipped right into 'June Gloom' seamlessly this year.  Up until this week it's been wet and cool in the mornings.  This week, however, we're looking at hot and dry all day every day. 







As you can see, the grapes are set and it looks good for the 2015 vintage.  The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are going into veraison .  If you look close at the picture on the right, you can see the Pinot starting to turn red.  We finished netting to keep the birds away and, so far, haven't seen many bees, so yea!







We've got golf ball size avocados on the trees and this week we had the helicopter out to spray for thrips.  So this is the time of year that we just wait and watch everything grow and hope for the best.



Latest Competition Results...

We've had some great competition results so far this year.  As you know (or maybe not know), we haven't had a Merlot varietal since 2009.  It was great.  We finally were able to produce another and we released our 2012 Merlot last month.  We just won a Gold Medal (scoring a 92!) at the LA International Wine Competition, one of the largest.  Merlot is one of the best food pairing wines, so I hope you get a chance to try it soon. 

As a note, the Reserve Wild Bandit won a Silver and the new 2012 Black Dog won a Bronze at this same competition.

We also just found out that our 2012 Pinot Noir has again won a Gold Medal at the 13th annual Pinot Shootout.  There were 497 Pinots from all over the world in the competition.  Not only did we win a Gold, we were in the top 40 wines invited to pour at the Pinot Summit in July.

if you are a Pinot lover, and haven't tried our 2012, or have tried it and liked it, you may want order some or pick some up.  We are selling out really quickly this year.  It looks like we only have another month or so of supply.


Avocado Basics & What Wine Goes With Guacamole?

Its summer and 4th of July is coming up. That means hot dogs and hamburgers, but it also means guacamole and chips. Demand for Avocados has really increased over the last ten years, probably from the popularity of guacamole. For many years it was something exotic that you only had when you came to the Southwest.

Avocados came to California in 1871 and to this day about 90% of the US crop is grown here. Gary and I grow Haas avocados, which is the type most usually found in grocery stores. Haas are very creamy and have a higher oil content than other varieties.

The cool thing about growing or buying avocados is that they don't ripen on the tree. That gives a lot of flexibility to when you pick, and flexibility on choosing ripeness in the store. You can buy ripe avocados in the store to use now, or buy less ripe to use a few days or a week later. They will ripen on the counter in a few days and then you put them in the refrigerator to hold them. If you need to speed ripen, put them in a paper bag with an apple.

Since its guacamole season, the question is how to pair wine. Purists will say that guacamole only goes with margaritas or beer, but that's not quite true. Natalie MacLean (author of Red, White and Drunk All Over) says the following: "I put them in a category I call Green Wine Stalkers because their natural compounds don't marry well with many wine styles." She suggest a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio . The acidity of those wines will cut through the sweet fattiness of the avocado. Herc's Field Blend would be perfect because of its crisp acidity and citrusy notes.

Now that you know what wine to pour, it's important to have a great guacamole recipe. The best place to find recipes for avocados, especially guacamole, is Try the Roasted Corn Guacamole or the Margarita Guacamole.  They have chefs from all over coming up with some yummy things. Remember, California avocados are the best. 


This Wine is Corked!

A couple of weeks ago we had some people over and I opened a bottle of our 2012 Pinot. It was not good, in fact, really bad. It really surprised us. It's been a long time since we have opened a 'corked' bottle of wine. It was particularly disturbing because it was one of ours. We opened a second bottle and it was fine. How does this happen?

A corked wine does not mean a wine that has tiny particles of cork floating around in the glass. Corked wine is a term for a wine that has become contaminated with cork taint.

Cork taint is not simply the taste of a cork. It is caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA (trichloroanisole). TCA is formed when natural fungi (of which many reside in cork) come in contact with certain chlorides found in bleaches and other winery sanitation / sterilization products.

While unpleasant to taste, cork taint is not harmful to humans. Corked wines smell and taste of damp, soggy, wet or rotten cardboard. Cork taint dulls the fruit in a wine, renders it lackluster and cuts the finish. Sometimes it is barely noticeable and other times it knock your socks off the moment you open the bottle.

(Wine Folly)

It occurs naturally in cork. It used to be that 8-10% of bottles of wine were 'corked'. Today several advanced QA/QC procedures and treatments are in place to render cork less susceptible to developing cork taint. But it can still happen. Now it's more like 2 - 3%.

The fact that it doesn't occur much doesn't make it less disturbing when you find it. If you open a bottle and think its 'corked', take it back (or send it back if you are at a restaurant). It's common enough that there should be no questions. The chances are that the next bottle is just fine.


July Pick Up Party...

It's time for members to pick up their July shipments.  Join us for wine, appetizers, live music and friends in Old Town Temecula.  In fact, make an evening of it and try out one of the great new restaurants after you pick up your wine.  Slow Traffic will be playing some great country rock music and we've got some yummy appetizers planned, so don't miss this fun time! 


Date: Saturday, July 18

Time: 4pm - 7pm

Place: Temecula Valley Cheese Co, Old Town Temecula






Woof Notes...



Gary and I hope you enjoyed this month's Newsletter. If you did please forward it to a friend.  If you received this from a friend and would like to be on the mailing list, you can sign up at MAILING LIST.

Check us out at and join us on Facebook at

Gary & Marlene















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