We have a wonderful restaurant here in Paso, Thomas Hill Organics. I was recently invited to a private pairing. Wines from four different wineries were paired with food that the chef made. Each one of us also had the opportunity to talk to the journalist that were visiting the area. The other wineries had their wine makers there, and I was the only one that was an owner. Everyone was so engaging and it was an excellent atmosphere for the journalist and all of us. The seating arrangement was intimate, and the exchange wasn’t just about us, but about the pairing of the food. How food changes the taste of the wine, and how all the different aspects of the dish change the taste of the wine. I was the first one there, so here is what the seating arrangement looked like before everyone got there…
Our first course was paired with an Albarino. It truly is a seafood lover wine.
Salmon, jalapeno peppers, olive, tomatoes, and wafer slice of watermelon. It was so delicious!
This was paired with our Zinfandel. This is a prime cut of grass fed beef, topped with a clove of garlic. Polenta is the side dish for this course. I usually don’t eat beef, but I was surprised how well it paired with the Zin.
“Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity” Marty Neumeier
One of the biggest aspects of branding is making sure that people are aware that you exist. This has been an issue for a long time, but we are working hard to change all that by getting out there, and engaging with people that enjoy wine.
Recently, I was at our 2nd annual charity dinner. All of us on the Pleasant Valley Wine Trail, host a dinner at Hartley Farms. We hired Trumpet Vine Catering, and we were very pleased with their food. We pair the foods with the wine, and sell tickets for people to join us “Under the Estella Sky”. We then gave our money to the Pleasant Valley School, so they could have computer equipment. Here are some photos of our shenanigans after the party…
Then, I was off to Petaluma for a Polo Match, and pouring wine…
Pouring wine in Pismo…
Pouring wine in Fresno for Wine and Wishes…
This next month, is full of pouring at more events, and meeting more people. We love being out there and engaging with an audience that enjoys wines!
“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.” William Blake
There’s something magical about harvest season when you live in wine country. It’s a current of electricity that runs through the everyone and everything. I always think of Dr. Seuss. Ya know those giant machines that come in to clean up after “It 1 and 2 and the kids? Well, there are grape. Picking machines driving on the roads at this time, and Dr Seuss is at the forefront of my thoughts…I kind of giggle like a child when they get in front of me. I can take it for a mile or so, but then I have to pass them, but not without waving like a deranged lunatic. It is just exciting!!
We don’t use machines to harvest our grapes, we have to hire people. My husband as well as our winemaker get out in the field and pick with all the other people working in our fields. Just this past week we have already processes several tons of grapes, and pressed them. So, the fermentation process is already starting for the 2017 wines. I believe the Merlot for this year has already been picked, destemed, and pressed.
These were photos of the grapes before some of the fruit was dropped. We have to drop fruit so the healthiest grapes will get the most water, and the best sunshine. Depending on the variety, canopy may have to be cut back to get the right amount of sun, or less sun. We want to pick at just the right amount of Brix, which is the sugar content in the grapes, too high, and the wine is too sweet, you want just the right amount to make great wine.
We try to maintain a sustainable vineyard, and keep the dropped fruit for compost. Once the grapes are pressed the must will be used for more compost to mix back into the soil and boost the soil with microbes that recondition the soil. Our ducks are always in the vineyard taking care of the slugs, and soon we want to introduce babydoll sheep and chickens. The sheep will help with the grass and cover crops, and the chickens will take care of the insects in the vineyard. The chickens will also give us fantastic eggs to eat. It all makes for better wine every year. A wine that you can enjoy and feel good about drinking. We look forward to getting closer to becoming more biodynamic!
“Jazz does not belong to one race or culture, but is a gift that America has given the world.” Ahmad Alaadeen
Just a few weeks ago I attended the San Jose Jazz Festival, and it rocked! I was pouring wine in the “Blues” section, and other were pouring our wine in the VIP section. Here is my booth…
I was just so excited to be a part of the festival, and the city was just buzzing with energy. Since I was a vendor, I got to go behind the scenes, you could feel the city waking up…
This was the longest amount of time that I had ever spent in San Jose, and I loved it. Additionally, I visited the San Jose Museum of Art, St. Joseph Basilica, and did some people watching at a cafe.
One of the most exciting aspects of the whole trip was going to the Mayor’s Brunch, and he even thanked us at the brunch. A view from the rooftop at Scott’s Seafood, and the crowd coming in that day.
We donated 25 cases to San Jose Jazz Festival, and all the pours that were sold went to the festival, so we were happy to help.
“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character.” Henry David Thoreau
One reason why I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog is because I haven’t been able to keep up with my own life.
Honestly, I need a vacation!
Recently, I have been gone just about every weekend. A few weekends past, Sunni and I went to Los Angles. OMG! So, in Los Angles double yellow lines are only suggestions to the people that reside in the area. If you are a visitor in the area of Los Angles make sure that you remember that it is like driving in the wild, wild, west. If you’re in the fast lane, you better being doing at least 70 MPH. AT LEAST…wink, wink.
When I am done working at a venue, I like to take a little side trip to learn something. This particular time, it was going to Mission San Juan Capistrano. Sunni and I rented the head sets, and were off on our adventure through the Mission. It was so beautiful and informative. Here are some photos of our adventure…
We had our first on site wedding, and reception. We got some photos of how the reception area looked, so we are pretty excited to share with you all. The lovely couple are school teachers, and they decorated the reception hall themselves.
This is our outside area, my husband just got the lights working that same day. The island features two matching fountains. There are several tables and chairs, and usually we have the umbrellas up, but they didn’t need them for the evening. The patio area is 3500 square feet of space.
The interior space is 1700 square feet of space. They did an excellent job on decorating the space for their reception.
We have another one on the calendar. So, we are ecstatic to help others on their way to a bliss filled life!