Wednesday, January 31, 2007

What are you doing for Valentines Day 2007

How about Valentines Day in El Paso, Texas. Good friends of ours are the owners of Jaxon's in El Paso. This is our 4th (maybe 5th - who can count) winemaker dinner in El Paso at Jaxon's. Come down and meet Kate and Gary and their "Chief of Staff" Louise! This is one great dinner - Doggie bags for the sweetie? (Just kidding!)

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Can you tell the difference? One of these vines was planted in 1984 (Zinfandel) and the other was planted in 1997 (Sangiovese). During this time of year - they kind of all look alike!

Monday, January 29, 2007

The World in a Glass: Blood pressure and wine

"Do you have hypertension? Drinking wine may be OK. A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health showed that men with hypertension have a 30 percent lower risk of suffering a heart attack if they drink a glass or two of wine daily, according to an item on" and as published in the Napa Valley Register.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The effects of a 10 day freeze at the "Estate" The vines are fine the freeze broke the Ferrari

The effects of the winter freeze are evident on the gardens of the "Estate". The winter colors and those of the last blooming flowering plants have passed into the dull browns of frost and freeze damage. The real tragedy is the radiator of the 275-GTS, apparently it froze and upon starting today - sprung leaks everywhere. The cost of winter!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Grape Vine or Rose Bush

A head trained grapevine looks a lot like a rosebush this time of year. They both require pruning! Can you tell which one is the grapevine and which one is the rosebush. Picture (1) and Picture (2) below.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Auctions, Auctions and Auctions in Scottsdale

If you were wondering why the winery news was light last week, it was because of the car auctions in Scottsdale, Arizona. Nope, didn't add to the collection. The auctions of Russo and Steele, RM and Barrett Jackson were unbelievable. This auction normally tells me how strong the economy is - my economic barometer. Folks - it is stronger than you think.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Bobby and Beth in Los Angeles

Bobby Brower (our son) enjoy's the Holiday break from Fresno State to visit Hollywood. Are these stars in the making?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Pruning Begins for 2007

Fully 11 days behind 2006, we began pruning the Sangiovese in Carmel Valley on January 16th. The weather has tempered a little and finally we have daytime temps in the 50's. It will take about one week to prune these 4000 vines.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

What 20 degrees looks like in Carmel

Talk about cold! It is warm in the East and cold in the West! What's with that? Picture (1) was taken at the Petit Chateau on Saturday January 13th and picture (2) was taken on Sunday, January 14th, 2006. The ice pack is getting larger. The temp was 20 degrees on Saturday and 25 degrees on Sunday. The vines do not even know what is happening. Guess global warming has not started yet!

Friday, January 12, 2007

"Bravura" contains a small amount of 25 vintages

If you were in attendance at the Fall Winemaker Dinner - you witnessed the making of the final Cepage of "Bravura". The final blend contains a small amount of our 25 Reserve vintages from 1982 through 2006. This was an historic moment opening all these great old vintages.

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Good news! - As reported by Wine & Spirits Daily on January 11th ---- "Break open the Chardonnay. Scientists say they have found evidence that the pulp of (white) grapes are just a heart-healthy in laboratory experiments as the skin, which means white wine may be just as healthy as red.

The study, which appeared in the American Chemical Society Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry in 2006, challenges the idea that red wine is more heart-healthy (than) white wine."

Drink up the Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Friday's (January 5th) Wall Street Journal

Friday's Wall Street Journal brought back many fond memories of the Ferrari 275 Tour. We visited this incredible Wine Estate. Wall Street Journal quote - "Brunello Di Montalcino excites a very special kind of passion in some people. They don't just like this special red wine from Italy's Tuscany region. They love it" I agree, this was an incredible visit and those making the trec to Tuscany must visit.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Jessica Santucci is 7 year old

On Friday Januarry 5th, Jessica (our Granddaugher) and the oldest of our 4 grandchildren turned 7 years old. She is the daugher of Dan and Amy Santucci and reside in Pennsylvannia.

Friday, January 05, 2007

How each bottle of "Bravura" is numbered

Each bottle of "Bravura" is hand numbered with a bottle marker. This requires great coordination to number each case of wine containing the bottle numbers of each bottle. Obviously the low numbers will be the most exciting and valuable. This is the largest project of this nature we have ever embarked upon and the production department wants to kill me.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bravura - Wax Seal Application

Every bottle of "Bravura" is hand waxed. This means a very labor intensive process of applying a little wax to the top of the cork, then dipping the neck of the bottle into the hot wax just long enough to adhere to the bottle. Then to prevent the wax from running, the bottle is immediately placed in cold water to freeze the wax and prevent the wine from injury due to the hot wax dipping. Each bottle (3,584 total) will go through this process.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

More about our 25th Anniversary wine "Bravura"

On November 30th we bottled "Bravura". We bottled 3,584 bottles of 750ml, 100 - 3 liter, 2 - 6 liter, 2 - 9 liter and 2- 18 liter bottles. After more than two years work, Bill and Marta can finally rest that the wine is now safe and sound in its' permanent home, until you uncork the wine.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Competition just got bigger!

U.S. Wineries grow 11% in 2006. As of November 2006, the number of wineries in the United States has increased to 5,645, according to the latest Wine Business Monthly. This figure includes 4,383 bonded grape wineries and 1,587 "virtual," or non-bonded, wineries, and excludes mead or non-grape wineries.
Think your business is competitive?