It was a lot of fun working with my Father this year on processing our Turn in the Road Sauvignon Blanc.
Big day, started at 4AM, didn't finish up till 10PM
It was a lot of fun working with my Father this year on processing our Turn in the Road Sauvignon Blanc.
Yes, my hair is getting long!
Here’s a vineyard update from our Zin and Petite Sirah locations! Send me your questions regarding the 2012 Harvest and we’ll get some conversation going.
Delicious Sauvignon Blanc
Check out our video on bottling the, “Turn in the Road” Sauvignon Blanc.
Tasting Room – Yes it’s happening, we’re building our “Tasting Room” out in Petaluma, CA. Tim and I have been working on this structure since last summer and it’s finally nearing completion (it’s tough for two guys to build a tasting room from scratch).
Man Cave Brew – It takes a lot of bad beer to make a good wine (It’s a saying we have in the wine industry), well we’re hoping it also takes a lot of great wine to make a great beer. Recently we placed the first order for Rizomes (hops) that we’ll be planting on the Bar 11 property and eventually we’ll be producing beer and wine right off the property from hopefully 100% family grown ingredients (hops, and barley for the beer and obviously grapes for the wine). Our first batch of Man Cave Brew is in bottle and currently in the final stages of lagering.
Day at the Ranch!! – In the coming weeks we will be finishing construction on a new bocce court as well as a new horse shoe pit, upon completion we will be inviting everyone, family, friends, kids, and all to the property for a day of pic-nicking, games, wine and maybe some Man Cave Brew as we christen the new property, release some new wine, and get to meet many new friends.
I’m going to give you all the full run down on this wine, from the winemaking to the aging and all the way to the bottle.
Harvested on the 2nd of October the grapes came into the winery at close to freezing after being harvested at night. In the past I’ve whole cluster pressed our SB right to tank and got things rolling but this year I decided to do something a little different. We decided to de-stem and crush the SB this year, done more for red wines then white wines, and let the SB sit on the skins over night in our same half ton picking bins. The next day we pressed it to tank and started fermentation. Fermentation lasted nearly 50 days (about a half a degree brix/day THIS IS VERY SLOW, and fantastic for the wine). We then aged the SB in tank on it’s lees stirring bi-weekly. The wine was bottled un-filtered and un-fined on March 30th and we’ll soon be releasing it to you.
Tasting Notes: The aromas on this wine are very strong in honey dew/melon, with pear and lemon zest. The mouthfeel is stellar, rich and textured, the extra skin contact added a fantastic element of structure and viscosity without overpowering the natural acidity.
Snows Lake Cabernet Sauvignon
Well, it’s been a while since I posted a video on the site and here’s a quick one detailing the process of Rack and Return …. I’m up at Paradise Ridge winery this week putting the finishing touches on our Sauvignon Blanc as well.
Great day at the winery!!!
Here’s our feature in Mutineer Magazine, if you haven’t read the interview yet…. Well shame on you, get on down to Barnes and Noble or a Copperfield’s Books and get yourself a copy; however if you don’t have the time here’s the transcript:
What People Drink: Timothy Keith
What did you drink with breakfast?
Ritual Coffee in Napa if I’m going out, and Dunkin Donuts brand from home.
What’s the first wine that really blew your mind?
Well, I could say Carlo Rossi Senior year of High School but I don’t think that’s quite the spirit of the question. For my Grandfather’s 88th birthday he and I shared a ’95 Far Niente Cab, I wasn’t even 21 yet, but that moment, that wine, in that company, it was an experience… The bottle was corked… Just kidding.
Where did you get your start in winemaking?
Well, through college I was always making wine, I graduated in 2004 and started doing internships in Napa, Oregon and New Zealand but it really wasn’t until 2007 while working for Green and Red Vineyards in Napa that I really think I started making wine. That was really the first year I started to conceptualize the craft a lot more, thinking of style, technique and what I can do to guide the wine in the direction that it should go.
What are you drinking when you aren’t drinking wine?
In the cocktail world I tend to flip between Hendricks and Tonic or Knob Creek with a couple of rocks… I do enjoy Ginger Beer and Whiskey. I grew up in Oregon and live in Northern California and you’d have to be crazy not to enjoy some of the best craft beers around; Sonoma Springs Noma Weiss is a favorite.
Why did you decide to branch out and start your own label?
Sticking it to the man? Just kidding. It was always the real goal, even while I was working for other wineries in the back of my mind it was always there; just the moment to seize was lagging. 2010 was the year and I’m not looking back.
How do you see micro wineries contributing the future of wine in America?
Well, it’s a tough question to answer because defining a “micro winery” is tricky; are we talking home winemakers making there one barrel a year or custom crush facilities that can range in size but allow smaller guys like myself the ability to produce their 2000 cases a year using there equipment? I think either way the micro winery, the microbrewery, the small producer is always going to be the soul of the industry. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a young brewer starting out that says he wants to be the guy making Coors Light one day, much the same you’re not going to find a young winemaker saying she’d like to make boxed wine. Truth is the industry needs both and everything in-between to survive and thrive. The economics of this business are not friendly to small producers, the odds are stacked against you but it’s the perseverance of the small producer that keeps people passionate about what they’re drinking, and that is ultimately what pushes the entire industry forward.
What the last spectacular wine list you ordered off of?
Who’s carrying my wine these days? Lately I have been cooking at home more often then not but every time I go to ZuZu in Napa I always walk away pleased with their selection of small producers, foreign and domestic, at manageable prices. Also wines ability to transform due to your mood, environment and memories makes the wine and wine list there so good for me. I’ve got some really great memories there with friends and family…
What do you look for in a wine list?
Small producers, range of price-point and regions. I love a wine list that can have a focus i.e. single vineyard, Rhone varietals but not just from the Rhone, have a take or a concept I guess, sadly you can tell when one’s been just chosen by what a distributor has to offer and that’s the worst. I get queasy when I see the same label pop up as the only Zinfandel or only Sauvignon Blanc available.
What are your go-to food and wine pairings that you prepare at home?
Slow cooked meat dishes and red wine, for me preferably Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, or Petite Sirah… Always drink Sauvignon Blanc while cooking. Hamburgers and Napa Cabernet Sauvignon are great together; taco night is strictly reserved for beer though. We’re nearing spring, or at least it feels that way, and I’m getting all antsy in my pantsy for breaking out the barbecue again.
What do you find exciting in the world of American wine right now?
Chaos… The wine industry can be utterly chaotic and in many ways I thrive more in those conditions. Everyone has a take these days and it pushes things toward extremes and I think that’s where great things happen. I worry though that in people’s push to be esoteric they just become pretentious. I do single vineyard wines because I think if you can express what the vineyard is giving you then you’ve made a quality wine, but I’m not going by a formula, if the wine is above or below a certain alcohol or acid level then so be it. But what makes me most excited is that my generation is making it clear that the status quo and the old stand bys aren’t going to be good enough, old name recognition is losing it’s cachet and I think that benefits someone willing to adapt.
Just some good ole boy, making some home brew.
We try to get 3-4 batches of beer in a year, and this year I think we’ll double that amount as we start to branch out into all different sorts of alcoholic/foodie processes… Here’s one of our first “All-Grain” Beer Making batches. If you’d like the recipe and the step by steps on how to brew this Amber Ale as well just drop me a line.
Tim Keith – (707) 478-1725
So, I’m at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa and thought right now would be a good chance just to write a quick blog entry and let everyone know what’s going on these days.
The Wines: First off, we are nearly sold out of our 2010 “Grandview” Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc and our 2010 “Quartz Block” Zinfandel. This came as a big disappointment to some of our new accounts in San Diego but such is life and our desire from here on out was to make those wines available to our soon to be coming tasting room (More on that to come). We just released our 2010 “Vista Luna” Petite Sirah and if you’re in the San Diego area the first place you can order it is Bacchus Wine Market and Tasting Room Coming soon will be the release of our 2011 “Turn in the Road” Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc which I am very excited for and then in mid August we’re anticipating the release of our “Haystack Peak” Cabernet Sauvignon.
“The Tasting Room”: If we were talking in person I would have put “The Tasting Room” in air quotes because in reality, it’s not a tasting room, it’s our home office for the Leaf and Vine project, but we’re a winery and calling our office a tasting room just makes more sense to me… Tentatively were looking at March 25th to throw a party releasing the Petite Sirah to the public (even though you can already buy it)… So keep your calendars open!
………….. lastly “What else will 2012 bring?”: In the coming months keep your eyes open for a feature in Mutineer Magazine another Winemaker Dinner, Barrel tastings, and many more crazy ideas that I constantly think of (literally while posting this I thought of trying to do a “Pop Up” tasting similar to that of a “Pop Up” restaurant. And of course we’ll continue to post more videos, blogs and anything else we can think of to make things fun and always changing.
So send in more questions, remember to tweet at myself @EHWineCompany and my Father @LeafandVine … Lets make 2012 even more memorable than 2011.
Cheers!!! Drink and Eat,
Tim Keith – Leaf and Vine – 707-478-1725