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Well, fasten your seat belts harvest is a comin. We have had a very cool growing season this year and the fruit is almost two weeks behind "normal" but we'll get there. The berries begin to sweeten and red varieties turn red during a period called veraison (see Wikipedia for more information).
This year we began to see red berries first in Tempranillo (you know the Spanish word for early is temprano) during the week of July 20. Other varieties followed and we were off to the races!
Berry sampling will begin soon and before you know it – HARVEST.
I read recently that a winery in Russian River was making a plea for customers to not only buy local produce but also local wine. They asked how could a wine steward in a California grocery store wear a slow food t-shirt while directing a customer to Pinot noir from southern France (at least the label said Pinot noir).
There is a lot to think about here and some obvious questions are; where is the local border (different place for different products?), should I limit my market to local only (sort of depends on question one, if local is the US then fine), should I buy a fun bottle of Prosecco to celebrate the 4th of July and what kind of wine (peaches too) do you buy in Alaska?
I think this is a pretty important discussion and I would like to get your thoughts.
I am going to try my best to send out short messages to stay in touch with you all (can I call you Gappers?). The overall theme will be that wine can be an enjoyable part of your life. You won’t hear about cigar box aromas here! I bought some of my first wine making equipment at a shop in Berkeley called Wine and The People. A very Berkeley name but I think a good summary of the idea that wine belongs to all of us and not to the critics.
The early spring was cool and wet (yes, the grapes are fine) but now the heat is beginning to bother me. My plans are to put a little salmon on the grill and open a few bottles of cold Sunset. In case you need someone other than me to tell you that would be a good idea the 2009 Sunset just won a gold medal at the Orange County Fair.
You didn’t need that did you?
Two alternative ways to serve wine to restaurant consumers have recently stimulated conversation in the wine industry. One method presents a carafe of wine and charges customers by the number of ounces they consume and the other has wine served from kegs.
In both cases I think (hope) the idea is to remove some of the pretentiousness from wine and give customers a glass of wine that doesn’t require a credit check. At least for the time being, we still put our wine in bottles but we applaud any innovation that demystifies the consumption of wine.
We have always held as our goal, the presentation of honest wine at an honest price. Consuming wine should not be a test of your sensory skills
or a reflection of your bank balance, it should be a pleasure.