Sunday, April 29, 2012

Spring at Charles Vineyard & Foursight Wines

The last few weeks of warm weather have really kick-started all the vines here at Charles Vineyard. The Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are always behind, but the Pinot Noir has a few inches of soft, green shoots. It's an amazing process to go from brown, dormant vines, to alive, rapidly growing vines with green leaves in a matter of weeks.

New leaves!
We're crossing our fingers for no more frost for the season, and have just done our first sulfur spray  to prevent against mold and other issues (virtually everyone does this in the spring, no matter what the farming philosophy). We're mowing the vineyard as we have permanent cover crops (no-till farming). Mowing also helps with frost as it allows the cold air to settle right down on the ground instead of among tall grasses, closer to the fruiting area of the vine.

On the rest of the property, we're starting to think about summer gardens and weed whacking all the little plants that will soon become sticker bushes. Bill Charles has tilled a patch in a sandy pasture and planted potatoes. This is the first time we've done potatoes, so we're all hoping they thrive! Last year's corn and soybean patch in the vineyard was great, but was stunted at the end due to a faulty garden timer. Oh well.

We're mid-wine club shipments right now, and we've just released all the 2010 Clone 05 Pinot Noir futures we sold last fall via barrels tasting. We also have a roster of new releases: 2010 whites, 2011 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir, and soon-to-be 2010 Clone 05 Pinot. (Check out the wines, here).

New 2011 Vin Gris of Pinot!
Our Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival is coming up again May 18-20, so we're prepping for that big event -- probably the largest we have here all year. On Sunday we're inviting all our winery friends, club members and customers to enjoy fresh oysters, hand-carved prosciutto, and a vertical of Pinot Noirs in the cellar. It's going to be an amazing day! My stomach is already looking forward to it. :) From 11-5, just show up!

We have some fun things in the works for summer 2012. We're planning some food & wine pairing weekends, plus some barrel tasting with the winemaker days (we'll send out an e-mail to those on our mailing list with dates). We always try to have something different and fun to do here at the tasting room, so come by and see what we're up to!

We will be closing the weekend of June 22-24, during the local Reggae Festival, due to ongoing issues during the event. If you were planning to come by that weekend, let us know. Hopefully we can schedule a mid-week appointment for you.

Happy (almost) May everyone! Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life at Conception: Could it Be Good for the Wine Business?

So my husband and I were watching the news the past few days, learning about the bill that just passed in Oklahoma declaring that life begins at conception. Putting aside my horror about this as a woman and the hilarious Daily Show skit about the proposed amendment to the bill, my husband astonished me by declaring "Hey, this could be great for the wine business."

His reasoning: if life begins at conception, then 18 can no longer be the legal voting age, and 21 shouldn't be the legal drinking age. It should actually be 20 years and three months to your first legal glass of alcohol. The wine business will gain millions more customers at an earlier age because, after all, if life begins at conception that we might as well consider that the countdown clock to adulthood, right? Right?

I'm just disappointed that this didn't happen in time for an April Fool's Day post. haha