End Bin Blowout Next Week

Another picture of boxes.  These are in our cellar at home so you get a little peak inside our collection.   The boxes though won’t be going into our cellar we’ll be having a End Bin sale next week.  Figuring out allocations is always hard but we usually do pretty well in selling just about everything with just a little left.  It’s a hard thing to figure out but we have a few good brokers who are willing to wait for direct sales to end and then step in and take what ever is left over.

I try to leave just two cases of each wine.  One for us that will go into our collection and personal cellar and one that will go into our library to replace any problem bottles that might be reported in the future.  On a few occasions I’ve been down to just a few bottles we end up keeping but usually I can get us at least a case for our use.

When ordering season is over and we’re down to just a few cases of something I send a note to our storage facility to send everything they have left of that wine.  I always say ‘everything’, because it’s a good way to match up inventory.  It also cuts down on phone tag with the warehouse: “You said send 3 but there are only two here, what do we do?”. “Send everything.”

On some items we will have more than two cases left and when that happens I have a blow out sale.  I’ll do that next week on a few items.  I reduce prices 25-50% and we sell them off by the case, shipping included, first come first serve.  We’ll have about 5 cases of Sessen to sell as well as two cases of Harvest Moon Special Reserve and two cases of Split Rail Syrah.  Not a ton of stuff but great for bargain hunters.  I’ll post the sales here and on Facebook.  Usually the people on Facebook get the update faster so if you’re not a friend or fan there, do it now!

Availability Update

After receiving the latest inventory sheet from our storage company I’ve update availability on the Wine tab.  Usually I do a pretty good job keeping up on things but a few items did get away from me.  I thought we would have enough of the 2008 Special Reserve Cab to do a Library Release in the future but it looks like we will not after all.  The 2007 Eaglepoint Syrah also got lower faster than I was expecting and I’ve now listed that as sold out.

There are also new notes for two wines that will be released in the Spring and are now being offered to our Futures club.  There are also new notes for the 2006 Uvas Creek Cab which will be a Spring Library release.  For fans of our secret ‘Sessen’ wine, that too is now sold out.

Harvest is Finally Done

We’ve had a couple of years where the last task of the year was on Thanksgiving weekend. Usually we had one small lot to get into barrel. This year our last task was yesterday. We had two lots to go into barrel which ended up being 40% of our 2011 production.

I’m actually really happy with the wine we’ve made so far. No problem lots like last years Pinot Noir and the Harvest Moon Cab, Peacock Cab Franc, Crimson Clover and Mourvedre lots I’m really liking so far.

Stefania and I have a lot of blogging and picture to catch up on. Now that we finally have some down time we’ll try and get those up over the next few weeks. Today we have a pig in the Caja China for Millie’s birthday and lots of great wine planned for tonight. It feels like an end of harvest party and I’m enjoying it!

Harvest is Upon Us

It has been a combination of getting used to the new blogging tool and being really busy that’s limited our writing. Neither Stefania nor I are really comfortable yet with the new blogging interface so we’re not writing much. Hopefully we’ll pick it up some in the next few weeks.

We did get to Vegas and had a fantastic time at Rock and Roll Wine.  Train was much better than I expected.  The concert was a blast and we partied and hung out in the cabana all night.  The next day we swam and sunned and watched the football games outside.  If you can make it to Vegas next year for the event, it’s highly recommended.

Offer letters have gone out and orders are humming in.  Almost everyone seems to want more Haut Tubee and I don’t think we’ll have enough to go around.

We’ve also been out checking on all the vineyards.  It looks like Pinot Noir will be first up this Saturday, then the Crimson Clover vineyard next weekend.  Stefania and I will be in the winery Friday getting everything cleaned, prepared and ready to go.

We’ll try and pick up the blogging some more as we harvest and work over the next few weeks.

Fall Release

Stefania is working away in the office on offer letters for our Fall Release. Letter will start to go out on the 15th. We’re expecting that the wine we have available will sell out very quickly. It could be as fast as two weeks. I’ve just updated the Wine section of the site with details on the three wines being released.

2008 Stefania Cabernet Sauvignon, Harvest Moon Vineyard, ‘Special Reserve’, Santa Cruz Mountains

Mailing List Price: $44 per bottle. Total Production 66 cases.

2009 Stefania Syrah, Split Rail Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains

Mailing List Price: $36 per bottle. Total production 96 cases

2009 Stefania Haut Tubee California

Mailing List Price: $20 per bottle. Total production 145 cases


2006 Stefania Syrah, Eaglepoint Ranch, Mendocino County:

Mailing List Price: $38 per bottle (Total cases available: 12)

This Years Weather

Early in the year there was a great deal of talk about the weather.  It was a cold and very wet spring.  We had unusual rain in May and June.  There was concern for the harvest this year.

The basic rule about the weather is that the spring effects quantity, summer effects the harvest date and fall effects quality.   The wet cold weather in the spring did effect quantity for us.  In our higher vineyards like Chaine d’Or we had really poor fruit set and quantities will be way down.  At another high vineyard, Split Rail, the quantity was effected so much that we won’t harvest any grapes this year.  The other lower vineyards will have smaller than normal yields but not as drastic as the high altitude vineyards.

The summer started cool, and we’ve not really had any heat waves.  I took the picture above from the top of Communication Hill in San Jose.  It should look familiar, it’s the same view you see on our labels.  That’s what summer has looked like all year.  Fog in the morning, sunny during the day, with highs in the 80’s.  That’s perfect.  Too hot and the grapes will shut down, too cold and sugars will not develop.

Right now I think we’re in for a late harvest.  Like 2009 and 2010.   It looks like it will be sooner than 2010 and that’s good, but we’re not worried.  We are used to waiting into late October.

So far quality looks really good.  We’ve had clean vineyards for the most part with mildew pressure only in the higher vineyards.  The clusters and berries look good.  A few more weeks of weather like this and we’ll head into fall in really great shape.

There’s still alot that could go crazy.  Too much heat, rain at the wrong time, or a number of other things could effect quality.  If, and it’s always a big if, we have a normal fall though we should be looking at an excellent quality, low quantity year.

Futures Update

The last of the 2008 Special Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Magnums were spoken for this weekend. The magnums usually go very fast and this time was no exception. Futures ordering will continue until July 15th. We’ll send out one reminder after this coming weekend. The allocation amounts are set up so that we will not run out of anything else but magnums are so limited that we can’t allocate them to everyone and they have to me first come first serve.

Futures Offer Out

Our 2011 Summer Futures email just went out. There are two new wines in this release. First up will be a new Syrah from the Split Rail vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains. This is a site we started working with in 2009 and it will replace the Eaglepoint Ranch bottling for us starting with this release.

We are also doing a special release of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Harvest Moon vineyard. We’ve used the Harvest Moon vineyard since 2006 as part of our Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2008 we selected three special barrels that we bottled as a ‘Special Reserve’. Usually we think that the Harvest Moon wine benefits from the addition of other vineyards. For instance the Chaine d’Or vineyard brings structure and acidity. The Elandrich vineyard brought texture and red fruit. In 2008 though the vineyard was complete on its own. We don’t think this will be the only ‘Special Reserve’ we ever do, but it will be pretty rare. There were none in 2005,2006,2007,2009 or 2010.

We are also releasing the 2009 Haut Tubee. The general release will be this September and we will have complete details on the wines leading up to that.