We needed a break and ventured outside to catch up with Winemaker David Parrish on what's happening in the vineyard.
Right now, crews are going through the vineyard manually hand cutting each vine to remove last year’s growth and make way for this year’s new buds. It’s an exciting time as we say goodbye to last year’s harvest and prepare for what’s to come in the 2020 vintage.
Hand pruning takes a lot of time, but like most things, the effort is worth it.
For all other varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Petite Sirah, etc. the crew hand selects two of last year’s arms to stay into this new harvest. Everything else is cut away. The two arms are then tied down onto the wire to establish a grounding for new growth.
But, our dear Zinfandel, is a little different. Like you can see in the video, everything is cut back and creates a circular form around the trunk of the vine. Nothing is left on it. This is to keep all of the growth as close to the vine as possible for water and also to leave room for where the new growth will take place. Ideally, the crew is creating an outline for where they want this year’s growth to set based on how close each vine is to each other and where the sun will eventually hit the fruit on the vine.
If you’ve had our Parrish Zinfandel, you know that it is a much lighter style and body than a traditional Paso Zin. Winemaker David Parrish likes this style because it’s easier to drink and pairs well with a wide range of foods. The way it gets there is based on where the crews are selecting next year’s vines to grow and that happens right now.
We hope you enjoy this short video on Zinfandel pruning!
Friends, please know we have been thinking about you constantly as our world suddenly looks and feels so different. We hope you are well and are safe.
As you've heard us say many times, we believe that wine has the power to create connection and to make memories. And, I think we all need a little of that right now.
With that in mind, we are asking for your support of our small business. We have created a few promos to share our wine with you and to keep our team employed. Literally every bottle helps and we're humbled by your support. Here's the easiest way to head to our wine page.
Our current hours for our team to field calls and emails is M-F 9am to 5pm.
We are thrilled to share that we have a new Paired Flight and we cannot wait for you to try it! The Paired Flight is a seasonal showcase featuring three wines crafted by our family and three dishes crafted by our Estate Chef Samantha Eitel. She is thrilled to showcase our wines through her food.
Argentine Prawns and Soba Noodle Salad Paired with 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Sautéed Red Argentine Prawns nestled on top of an Asian Soba Noodle Salad with a Lemongrass Tamari Vinaigrette and Sesame Seared Baby Bok Choy
"This pairing made me speechless the first time I had it. The dish was perfect at complimenting the wine and making it shine." - Vanessa, Director of Wine Experiences
Braised Short Rib Paired with 2016 Silken
Silken Braised Short Rib with Cherry Wild Mushroom Bordelaise, Crumbled Big Rock Bleu Cheese, sautéed Broccolini topped with Crispy Shallots
"I love the 2016 Silken and to pair it with a tender short rib...delicious." - David, Winemaker & Owner
Bosch Poached Pear Paired with 2016 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Spiced Cider Poached Pear with Cabernet Raspberry Reduction and Chinese Five Spice Mascarpone Whip
"The pear is a beautiful way to finish the paired flight as it is elegant and I love the warm spices from the mascarpone. The Cabernet and pear end up balancing each other to make a clean finish." - Cecily, General Manager
We invite you to join us for this experience, which is available on Fridays and Saturdays from 12:00pm-2:30pm. We do recommend reservations, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. The experience is $50 per person and can definitely be enjoyed for lunch. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Hi everyone! Cecily Parrish Ray here. I wanted to share with you all my passion for our Cabernet Sourdough bread and the journey I’ve been on to make it for our tasting room. In 2017, my dad and I discussed what our hopes were for the new tasting room at our Adelaida Vineyard and one of those was baking our own bread.
Unsure how to go about this, one morning I stumbled upon an old Julia Child video featuring Nancy Silverton, who started La Brea Bakery. Silverton was crafting a sourdough starter from store bought table grapes. It dawned on me in that moment that we had a whole vineyard and I could use grapes at harvest to make a starter. But, there was one fact that still remained…I didn’t know anything about baking breads.
That changed with a serendipitous visit from Chef William Carter and his wife Katherine of Canyon Villa Bed & Breakfast to our downtown tasting room. He was the Executive Chef of the Playboy Mansion for 30 years and during that time he had begun baking artisan breads. I told him about the Cabernet Sauvignon starter I wanted to do and I asked if he could help me.
For six days in January 2018, Chef Wills worked with me in his kitchen where it smelled of delicious baked bread and my hands were covered in flour. He showed me the ropes of managing a sourdough starter from feeding to baking. He had taken some of our 2017 Cabernet grapes at harvest and began a starter from it. He gifted me with the starter for me to use at our new tasting room. He also taught me other artisan breads. including the focaccia we now make in the tasting room. It was a wonderful experience that I cherish.
I have continued to keep alive the original Cab starter, but in the Fall of 2019, I decided to try my hand at making my own Cab starter. Early on September 22nd, I rushed into the winery with a bucket and grabbed freshly picked grapes from the bins. It was busy season to start working on a side project, but I really wanted to see if I could do my own starter. I then began mixing flour and water with a cheese cloth full of Cabernet Grapes. It bubbled and popped. It smelled like sweet yeast. It took about 12 days for the starter to get to a point where I could begin to use it. I fed it for a while and then did my first bake with it to share with family on Thanksgiving. The bread turned out perfectly.
I now have two starters that I am keeping alive and we’ll see if I have time do any others. Regardless if I increase my starter family, I am happy that I can continue to bake Cabernet Sourdough for my family as well as the families that come in to our tasting room. It has been a lot of work, but it fits with the food program my dad and I envisioned for our tasting room and we hope you enjoy it!
It was so much fun that we're doing it again!
Mark your calendars for Friday, November 22nd as we host a wine & cigar pairing night. The owner of The Sanctuary in San Luis Obispo will join us with a selection of high-end cigars to smoke on-site or take home with you.
Tickets are $25 and include a glass of wine of your choosing and a decadent dessert made by Estate Chef Rachel Ponce. Cigars can be purchased individually.
Join us from 6:30pm-8:00pm.
You're invited for our new Fall Flight. Estate Chef Rachel Ponce talks about her creation of this exciting new wine and food pairing featuring:
Barrel Aged Berry Sausage and Butterfly Pea Flower Puree Paired with 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Homemade lamb and pork, barrel aged luxardo cherries, cilantro and juniper sausage on top of a creamy butterfly pea flower and cauliflower puree, garnished with dill, English pea's and feta
Smoked Salmon over Buckwheat Flour Pancake and Cacao Fig Mousse Paired with 2016 Zinfandel
Locally caught salmon, smoked on top of a buckwheat pancake, side of cacao fig mouse, garnished with chives, micro-greens and salmon caviar
Burrata, Roasted Tomato, Prosciutto di Parma and Pesto Paired with 2015 Silken
Homemade burrata, Italian herb-roasted tomato, prosciutto di Parma and drizzled with an arugula hazelnut pesto
You're invited to join us for Brunch every Sunday starting August 18.
Estate Chef Rachel Ponce has created two amazing options paired with our Bordeaux-style wines.
Monte Cristo $15
Smoked ham, swiss cheese and raspberry horseradish jam layered twice. Soaked in a smoked paprika custard and grilled. Served with side of mixed greens.
Summer Squash Shakshuka $18
Spiced tomato, summer squash, onions, garbanzo beans and black garlic stew. 2 poached eggs, topped with feta cheese and basil. Side of toasted bread.
Reservations are not required, but are encouraged and can be made here.
It's a busy time of year in the vineyard as crews are working with fruit set and the abundance of healthy leaves on the vines.
Winemaker David Parrish took us into the vineyard in this short video to explain the Mechanical Cultivation process. It's an important part of our sustainability efforts because it keeps us from having to spray anything on the vines or the weeds. It's an expensive process and not one that a lot of wineries are able to afford, but it does produce healthier vines which create better wines.
Click here to watch the video and don't forget to have your volume up!
Further explanation: Bare lines of vines, a coo of a pigeon in the distance, and the crackling of footsteps as a vineyard manager passes through the rows in the morning light. He has done this many mornings, but his steps stop as he notices something different. There it is…light green, soft, even a little fuzzy…it is a bud.
Each year we eagerly wait for bud break to occur. This is when the vines push open leaves much like other plants during the spring. Dormant vines awake when daylight and temperatures increase, which encourages the vines to pull up stored water and macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) from the roots to the limbs. This up-flow of water and nutrients push open the buds. You would think that after leaves push open that it would mean photosynthesis would occur immediately, but it does not. It takes the vine a little bit of time, leaves the size of about silver dollars, before that process begins.
One of the most important parts of bud break is that it is a measurable starting point for the vineyard. We can actually start the clock for when pivotal moments will occur. For instance, we now know we are about 150 to 200 days away from harvest depending on the grape variety. It seems like this then would mean that bud break itself is actually a markable date, but it’s not that simple. This is still farming, which means everything is variable. When bud break occurs depends on a few things. Each terroir is different. And you can probably guess, each variety of is different.
A cooler terroir means that bud break will be later, while a warm terroir like in Paso Robles, CA will have an earlier bud break. In Paso Robles, we have seen buds as early as February. Although for us this year (2018) we are running a little slower as we have had a cooler spring. Each year is different! Another factor is micro-terroir. The difference between locations of vines in a single vineyard will even come into play. A hillside vine will have bud break because of its elevation, but a lower valley vine will still be dormant. Lastly, varieties will have bud break at different times. In our Adelaida Vineyard, our Malbec and Cabernet Franc had bud break first, but the Cabernet Sauvignon hit the snooze button. As you can see, there are many variables that go into this and this is just one part of the vine cycle!
While there are variances in the cycle, one consistent thing is temperature. Vines are very dependent and particular about temperature. Vines prefer gradual temperature increases for bud break, but they don’t always get that. Sometimes they get awoken from slumber with a warming trend and then hit with a freeze. That is why vineyards have tall fans to help with frost protection. A freeze will damage the cellular tissue in the leaves and the leaves will then turn black. It’s awful. This then kills the growth for your year and can sometimes decimate a vineyard. Bud break is basically the infancy stage of the vine. You want to protect it because the leaves are soft and fragile at this stage, much like you would with a newborn (and well, we all know parenting doesn’t stop there). So, that is the one thing all farmers can count on is frost season and the need to be vigilant.
After bud break, we now watch as the leaves begin to grow (obviously). Photosynthesis will begin at a certain point and once that happens the shoots of the vines will really take off as the vines will receive something that they love, much like humans, carbs! Up next is flowering, so stay tuned.