Friday, June 30, 2006
Friday, June 23, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Friday, June 16, 2006
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
In the Spring/Summer 2006 issue of Gene Hiller Magazine, Château Julien is the suggested red wine out of two wines listed in the magazine. The Private Reserve Merlot, representing the highest quality produced, is the favorite in the magazine.
Gene Hiller is the finest men's clothing in San Francisco and the Bay area. If you would like to know more about Gene Hiller, please visit their website.
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Lockwood Valley Vineyard
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Well, about a month ago the standards have changed. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau (TBB) on Tuesday, May 2, 2006 set into stone in the Federal Register changing the minimum content requirement from 95% to 85% for vintage date statements on wine labels with state and county designations.
Now you may be asking, what does this really mean to wine? In the past (well before May 2nd) when a wine label said a vintage year (1990, 1991…2000, 2001, etc.) it meant that 95% of the juice in that wine came from grapes harvested in the year that is displayed on the label. Now, only 85% of the juice has to be from the vintage year of vintage printed on the bottle label.
The Wine Institute argues that the change would benefit U.S. winemakers and American consumers, saying an 85 percent vintage date regulation would lead to “improved taste appeal and quality perception of many wines. Young reds would be smoother and less ‘green’ and would be more consistent across vintages. Older white wines would be fresher and fruitier and more consistent across vintages as well.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
I know that here we always try to bottle the best product humanly possible. We will just have to see what future vintages bring. Is this change good for the wine industry? Does it hurt the grape growers? Does it lower the wine standard in the U.S.? Good points on either side, however I highly doubt that U.S. wine will hurt from this.
Monday, June 12, 2006
In today’s world where gas prices seem to be unforgiving, trying to figure out what to do this summer with your loved one is a bit more difficult. I know that when I try to plan a vacation or weekend getaway the cost of gas is pretty much the deciding factor on which places I can go and which places I will just have to wait till next time. I think that it’s important to get away at some point in our busy lives, but to do so without breaking the bank is hard. Something that I have done recently with my girlfriend is to just go wine tasting. If you are reading this blog, then you have some interest in wine, so why not go out and taste wine at the vineyards where they’re made. It’s pretty inexpensive as most wineries do not charge to tasting. In most cases there is a bus that will take you to each of the vineyards and then back to your car. Here in Carmel Valley the public bus system, MST (Monterey Salinas Transportation), has a bus line dedicated to taking wine enthusiasts to all the vineyards in the Carmel Valley. Of course the favored spot on the tour is Château Julien, I can’t really lie there… If you were thinking about what to do, I say grab your love, friend, family, whomever and hit the vineyards for an enjoyable wine tasting experience.
If you have any suggestions or comments about wine tasting in your area just do a search in good for “wine tasting”.
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Lockwood Valley Vineyard
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At this stage of the vineyard, the vines have grown quite a bit. It's beginning the summer months where traditionally there is longer sunlight exposure and drier conditions. Walking the vineyards we look at the lenght of the shoots. Since bud break was approx March, it appears the shoots (therefor canes) have good healthy growth. Look at the color of the leaves: nice bright green, no yellowing. Look for any signs of mildew (grey powder). The canes and leaves are free of mildew, because we are very diligant in sulfuring (a naturally occurring, environmentally correct, friendly, stable, nothing-Sierra-Club-wrong with it) compound. It was a very wet spring, so the big challenge this year, so far, is preventing mildew. (Causes sriveling of leaves and/or berries). Flowering on clusters, and fruit set are also important.