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Harvest Season

“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! 

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San Jose Jazz Festival

“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…

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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.

 

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Traveling, Pouring, and Having Fun

“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…

 

 

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Wedding Bells

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.

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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!

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Revamping of the Tasting Room

“You do not sell a commodity, you sell joy, gaiety, excitement. You aim at peoples hearts, not their minds.” Dorthy Draper

We have opened our bed and breakfast at San Marcos Creek, we have opened the villa on the hill, we opened our hall, and now we have revamped the tasting room.

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Seating area for guests that want to lounge. Copper topped boxes that were repurposed as little tables for drinks and magazines to look through while relaxing in the beautiful tasting room.

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This reception area will be replaced by a fridge that showcases scrumptious cheeses from our area, and homemade salami made by an Italian chef.

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Our beautiful Wine Goddess is a new addition, which was done by Anne Meyrick  She is a local artist that does some of the most magnificent works of art. The mural was preexisting, and we really like it. The furniture is new, as we wanted to add more of a classic look rather than a country look. We are pretty happy with the outcome. We are just finishing our outdoor lighting project, and the island is all done. The gardens area is next, and then our SMC Members Lounge. We are always looking for ways to improve the experience for our members of San Marcos Creek.

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Turkey Roast

Owning a winery means working all the time. My husband and I work 7 days a week. We love good food and good wine, so we always make time (at least on Sunday) to share our meals together. Last Sunday, I made a turkey roast. Having a crock pot is like having a helper in the kitchen. I can’t even tell you how often I make use of mine.

I have the All Clad 7 Quart Deluxe I like this one because you can brown the food before slow cooking the food. With this one you will need some high quality olive utensils. You don’t want to scratch the inside of the crock pot.

Anyway, I start my process by adding all the herb and spices I want on a plate. IMG_9660

I use about a teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt, garlic powder, coarse ground, oregano, parsley leaves, cumin, and basil. Add your turkey on the top of the herbs and spices and roll it over them.

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Keep in mind that you can edit the herbs and spices that I have added, and add your favorites. After you are done, you want to brown the turkey, add olive oil in the crock pot, and the brown should be at 400 degrees. Make sure you give the crock pot time to preheat. Add your turkey roast, and wait for it to brown on each side. You will want to flip it around with your wooden utensils.

After it’s brown, you can add the gravy to a measuring cup, and add a cup of white wine. I usually add wine to my crock pot instead of water, because it adds more flavor. Now, you are going to leave it to cook. I set mine on low for 6 hours, and then it will automatically turn to “warm” for you.

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When I got home I made rice, and peas to go with the turnkey. We had a French Viognier to complement the meal. I was too hungry to take a photo of the plated food. LOL! Enjoy!

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Give Us The Gold

“Nothing is impossible. With so many people saying it couldn’t be done, all it takes is an imagination” Michael Phelps

We have been giving everything we have to the winery. San Marcos Creek Vineyard and Winery has not even been known to the people of the county of San Luis Obispo. We have attended events, entered contests, given blood sweat and tears to every single day.

We finally got a little pay off from this journey when we entered the Los Angles International Wine Competition. We got 2 gold medals!! We scored a 95 out of 100 points, and Best in Class. Our Cabernet Sauvignon has been described as velvety smooth, fruit forward with dusty tannins.

Here is our bottle wearing her hardware…IMG_9635