Bird netting party recap.

Saturday we hosted a party for 25 people to celebrate finishing bird netting our vineyards, and finishing new hardwood flooring in our house. We wrapped up the flooring at 5 PM Friday and moved all the furniture back in place, including the bar.

This is the only time all year where there is really no labor to do in the vineyards. Once the netting goes on, we just wait and take measurements of sugar and taste the grapes until they are ready to harvest. That’s one reason August in vacation month in Europe. If you have vines, it’s the time of year you can be away from them.

The party got off to a little bit of a bumpy start when I cut my finger making anchovie bread. But friends Kenneth, Wes and Sissie stepped in and took over running the bar and opening the wine. I had smoked a pork butt and beef brisket for 24 hours over old wine barrel staves as the main course.

There was not really a wine theme for the party, just bring something good. Some of the highlights for me were 2003 Copain Syrah Garys’ Vineyard, 2003 Kathryn Kennedy Syrah Santa Cruz Mountains and 1987 Ridge Cabernet Santa Cruz Mountains. We opened 27 bottles total. People ended up hanging out in the cellar all night again.

I did get to sit and talk with some of our 20 something friends for a long time. First with Eric and Johanna and then Jessica and James.

One of the reasons Stefania and I like to have these big events is to be able to introduce people to different wines in a casual fun environment. Somewhere where it’s really easy to learn and ask questions while you enjoy yourself. Too many wine events are way too serious and intimidate people. We hope after people come to our parties they have confidence to say what they like and don’t like in wine.

Anyways; Eric, Johanna, James and Jessica all said how much they really liked being able to taste so many wines and learn so much at our parties. They also said how easy it’s made it for them to start drinking wine more on their own. Eric and Johanna have even started wine touring in Carmel and Napa.

That made my night. We’re making wine because we love to share wine with people and we think too many people treat wine and the ‘wine lifestyle’ too formally. We want our wines to be fun for people, and we want them to have fun when they drink them. It made me feel like we’re doing it right!



Getting started at Stefania wine.

Day one of our Blog.

Today our web designer finished his first draft of our new website, so I’m finally forced to actually start our blog entries. I hope to keep a good update of this years harvest season and winemaking, which should be underway in just a few weeks.

It’s been a busy week on the winemaking front. We’ve had our notice up at home on the front door for two weeks now and the ABC came and did an inspection today of our office. Checking to make sure our permits were up and the posting was visible. I hope it went fine.

Our barrels are all getting marked as well this week and I exchanged messages with John at Hallcrest to make sure we are ready to go with the 15 or so barrels we’ll need this year. Mostly we are using old wood so I needed his help in rounding up good older barrels.

I also got the contract for Cabernet Sauvignon from Martin Ranch. We’ll be using that fruit with the Merlot and Cab from our vineyards to make a Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet. That was the last grape source I needed to round up, so am really glad to have that done.

More soon I’m sure!

Cheers, Paul