Blog » Posts tagged 'Wine Tasting'

What is Millerandage and what does it have to do with chickens?

What is Millerandage and what does it have to do with chickens?

Millerandage (also known as hens and chicks, pumpkins and peas, and shot berries) is the condition in which grape bunches contain berries that differ greatly in size. This can be caused in a particular vineyard in a particular year by conditions at the time of fertilization of the grape flowers.

Now many people have never seen grape flowers. More’s the pity. To rectify that wrong, here’s a photo of flowering from this year. Not too showy, but the end result is magical!

Back to Millerandage. It also is a characteristic of some clones of some varietals. Chief among these is the old Wente clone of Chardonnay. Millerandage results in lower overall yields, … Read More »

Sniffing barrels (better than sniffing glue…)

Sniffing barrels (better than sniffing glue…)

A few months ago Melissa and Ken and I sniffed through a bunch of new barrels we had chosen for the upcoming harvest, and I thought I’d take a few minutes to share some random thoughts about barrels. I have spent lots of time in my career doing barrel trials; I used to travel to Burgundy and Bordeaux several times every year to seek out new coopers, select barrels, and fill containers to bring back (Jackson Family Wines had a slightly larger travel budget than little ol’ Ancient Oak has!).

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I’d love to chat with you all more about this … Read More »

Sonoma Sustainable

Sonoma Sustainable

In January 2014, Sonoma County Winegrowers announced it would become the nation’s first 100% certified sustainable wine region. The goal of the Sonoma County Sustainability Program is to preserve agriculture and multi-generational family farms that are practicing sustainable farming, defined as being 1) socially responsible in their relationships with their employees, neighbors, and community, 2) environmentally conscientious with their farming and winery practices, and 3) economically viable as a business.

[caption id="attachment_3090" align="alignright" width="300"] Ken, Lucy, Austin, and Melissa Moholt-Siebert with the new Kubota Tractor, on Siebert Ranch[/caption]

 

Most of Sonoma County grape-growing is done by small farmers: 80% of the county’s vineyards are fewer than 100 acres … Read More »

Neighborhoods of the Russian River Valley

Neighborhoods of the Russian River  Valley

Just as a city has a certain character, but within the city individual neighborhoods have characters of their own, so it is with the “neighborhoods” of the Russian River Valley.  Farmers for generations have identified many of these regions, but in the last ten years or so the Russian River Valley Winegrowers have engaged in a more in-depth study of their characters.

Winemaker Greg La Follette has been instrumental in this endeavor. He and owner Melissa Moholt-Siebert recently attended a tasting of three Pinots from each of the five currently-described neighborhoods, with an all-star panel of winemakers: Ashley Hertzberg of Bacigalupi Vineyards, Jen Walsh of La Crema Winery, Eva Dehlinger of Dehlinger Winery, … Read More »

Vineyard Spotlight: Siebert Ranch

Vineyard Spotlight: Siebert Ranch

Siebert Ranch is the home vineyard for Ancient Oak Cellars.  It is a 31 acre ranch just outside the northern boundary of Santa Rosa, and on the eastern edge of the Russian River Valley AVA, as the hills rise to the Mayacamas. In 1956, Henry and Elizabeth Siebert bought the property, which had once been a part of the San Miguel Rancho, owned by Marcus (Mark) West and his wife Guadelupe Vasquez, who was the niece of General Vallejo.  The adobe for the rancho, and the school that they founded, were located less than two miles north/northwest.

In … Read More »

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