Archive for Tim Keith – The Winemaker Series

2012 “Turn in the Road” Sauvignon Blanc


Terroir: “Turn in the road” Vineyard located in the Big Valley AVA of Lake County.  At elevations over 1400 ft the warm day time conditions and cool evenings are perfect conditions for ripe Sauvignon Blanc flavor yet retention of crisp SB acidity.

Winemaking: Harvested on the 18th of September the grapes were de-stemmed and sat on the skins for 24-36 hours.  The next day we pressed it to tank and started fermentation.  Fermentation lasted nearly 40 days.  We then aged the SB in tank on its lees stirring bi-weekly.  The wine was bottled un-filtered and un-fined.

Tasting Notes:  Lemon peel and grapefruit, intertwined with honey dew, pear and melon.  The mouthfeel is rich and textured without losing its natural acidity.

Spring Recipe #1


Spicy Vindaloo Wings with Sauvignon Blanc

Recipe by Erin Jimcosky

Photography by Phil Jimcosky of Food Aperture

India and Portugal aren’t necessarily two cuisines I think about being on the same page. One uses things like linguica and bacalhau, the other uses ajowan and amchoor, and they never seem to meet. Thankfully, somewhere along the line the tastes of Portugese spice traders and denizens of Goa came together to create vindaloo. For those of you not in the know, vindaloo is a glorious addictive tart and spicy dish that is often made with lamb, goat, or chicken. While these wings are decidedly non-traditional, they are a delicious riff on an old favorite.


Leaf & Vine Sauvignon Blanc works spectacularly well with vindaloo, especially in the form of these Spicy Vindaloo Wings. The Sauvignon Blanc cools the heat while balancing the spices with fresh flavors of melon, pear and lemon. Give it a try, but be warned they are not for the faint of heart.


Spicy Vindaloo Wings

1 ½ c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. kosher salt

24 chicken wings

1 recipe Vindaloo Sauce


Heat the oil in a deep, heavy bottomed pot to 360F to 375F.  Dredge the chicken wings through the flour and fry a few at a time until they are golden brown. Drain the wings on a towel and keep warm until serving. When all of the wings are cooked, add them to a large bowl with the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately with a side of cucumbers and thick full fat yogurt.


Vindaloo Sauce

2 Tbsp. cumin seed

1 Tbsp. coriander seed

2 tsp. garam masala

2 tsp. mustard seed

1 tsp. turmeric

½ tsp. sea salt + a little for the onions

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

3 Tbsp. butter

1 medium yellow onion, diced

6 large garlic cloves, grated

1 c. malt vinegar

1/2 c. chicken stock

1 Tbsp. tomato paste

3” fresh ginger, peeled and grated


Warm the butter in a pan and add the onions and a sprinkle of salt, cooking until caramelized.  Combine the cumin, coriander, garam masala, and mustard seeds together in a skillet and toast until fragrant, then remove from the heat and allow the spices to cool. Grind into a powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Combine the toasted spices with the salt, turmeric and cayenne in a bowl, stirring to incorporate.  Set aside.


When the onions are cooked throughout, stir in the tomato paste, garlic, and ginger then allow it to cook for a minute.  Turn down the heat and add the spice mixture, stock, and vinegar to the onions, and reduce by 1/3. Be warned, there will be a powerful smell from the vinegar, it may burn your nostrils a bit, so don’t stand over the steam. Remove the mixture from the heat and pulse in the blender with the spices until smooth (be very careful of the splattering sauce, this kind of burn can very painful). Return the mixture to a pan and keep warm until it is time to toss the wings.


Set aside while you prepare the chicken wings.


Erin Jimcosky is a freelance food and travel writer, pens the Hungry Mutineer column in Mutineer Magazine, and is the Editor in Chief for CRAFT magazine, which debuts in June of 2014. When she isn’t in the kitchen, she can be found irritating young winemakers and working in her kitchen garden.

Follow her on Twitter @hungrymutineer.


Phil Jimcosky has done everything from food and product photography for Mutineer Magazine, Anchor Distilling, St. Suprey, and Greater Purpose Wine to location shoots in Spain, but his real love is in photojournalism. When he isn’t in his home studio he can be found chasing down the perfect image on the streets of Washington DC.

Check him out at:

Follow him of Twitter @foodaperture

Panama Dinner

Panama Menu

2012 Sauvignon Blanc | Lake County

Turn in the Road Vineyard | Unfiltered
Lemon peel and grapefruit, intertwined with honey dew, pear and melon.
The mouth-feel is rich and textured without losing its natural acidity.

Paired with Panama’s Dungeness Crab and Avocado Fresh, local
Dungeness crab in half an Avocado with our creamy lemon and
lime vinaigrette

2011 Cabernet Sauvignon | Lake County

Snows Lake Vineyard | Unfiltered
Vibrant aromas of raspberry, mulberry, lavender and cocoa with hints
of licorice, white pepper and olive. Rich, full and velvety texture with layers of fruit and silky tannins leading to a supple and rounded finish with
crushed rock minerality.

Paired with Panama’s Parpadelle Pasta Shiitake and portabella
mushrooms, greens and Bombay Sapphire gin cream sauce

2011 Zinfandel | Amador County

Quartz Block Vineyard | Unfiltered
Black pepper, anise and molasses with brambly blackberry and vanilla.
The mouth-feel is balanced with a lengthy finish.

Paired with Panama’s Snake River Farms American Kobe Flat Iron Steak Port wine reduction, sautéed green beans, baby carrots and a wild mushroom, yellow onion sourdough bread pudding with thyme, garlic and a pinch of Cayenne pepper.


Processing the Turn in the Road

Harvesting and Processing the 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.

Vineyard Update!!!

An Update From Quartz Block and Vista Luna

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.

Bottling Video for “Turn in the Road” Sauvignon Blanc

Turn in the Road Sauvignon Blanc

Delicious Sauvignon Blanc


Check out our video on bottling the, “Turn in the Road” Sauvignon Blanc.

Getting Things Going!!!

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.


2011 Sauvignon Blanc – Winemaking and Tasting Notes

2011 “Turn in the Road” Sauvignon Blanc – Lake County, Big ValleyRegion  

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.    


Spring Time Video!! YAY!!

Rack and Returns

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!!!

Mutineer Magazine


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.