Sunday, March 23, 2008

Budbreak for Coral Mustang Vineyard!

Well, the growing year has begun- the first sign of leaves began about a week ago with the Grenache and has moved into the Tempranillo and Zin. The few vines of Bordeaux varieties in this vineyard have some pretty fat buds, but no leafing yet.

This is always an exciting time-seeing the vines come back to life. This is also nail biting time because a good frost right now can cause a lot of damage to the new growth. There are 'backup' buds, but the fruit is not as good even if it is a good way for the vine to perpetuate the species. Today the temperature is in the high 70's-hard to believe that there could be more cold- I have to keep telling myself that it is still only March!

This last week was a hectic one for the Mustang Winemaker. It was the first bottling run for the new winery in Hopland that I am a part of, as well as a QUICK trip to Pasadena for Family Winemakers of California. Both events went very well, though all seems like a blur now.

Bottling took three days with Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and Merlot bottled for different clients- this means label, bottle, corks, foils change with each wine. Settings for these changes take time and can be frustrating to get each package just right, but a great team makes it seamless. May will be the next bottling run- the 05 Reserve Tempranillo and the 06 Vista Creek are on tap to be bottled at that time. This will happen on a brand new line that is going in now- yippeee! I will send pics when all is setup.

Pasadena- met a lot of great people for possible distribution of Coral Mustang. It was also time to do a little catching up with people that I only see on occasion- trade ideas, plans, broker names, how big the kids have grown. Not as much time to do that as I was back on a plane two hours after the event was over at 6pm.

Just before I started writing this blog today, I voted in the American Wine Blog Awards-

There are some great blogs out there- found a couple more to add to my feeds to attempt to stay up to date with the latest and greatest. Check this site out and vote! This blog is not in the running as I did not have enough posts-but look out next year, here I come!

Until Next week- Cheers from the Mustang Winemaker

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Feels Like Spring!

Let's hope this is just a breather before more rain- we are starting to move below average for the year. But it is still early and as a winemaker you learn not to make any predictions this early-weather, crop load, quality- Mother Nature can do so many things between now and harvest!
But for now I am thinking about those days when I can catch some rays and drink.........yes, pink wine. Better yet, St. Patricks day is coming and a perfect pairing with corned beef and cabbage- yep, Rose'- it will be there on my table! And if you are in need- I can supply it- While there, sign up for the newsletter where every month is a wine special only for subscribers.
Now for wine news: a couple of weeks ago the preliminary 2007 Grape Crush Report came out. It is full of numbers; number of tons crushed, comparison numbers, cost numbers- for anyone into stats this is the grape publication for you, Being somewhat of a statistical geek I read this to see where the state of the grape for wine. You can find out how many tons were used for other grape products as well, but too much info for me. My big interest the last couple of years is to see what is happening with Tempranillo. To my delight there were approximately 1200 more tons harvested this last year compared to 2006. That means about 76,000 more cases produced if it all went to wine- not bad. And if I figured it right it was about a 25% increase from the year before- woohoooo! The word is out- Tempranillo is making the news. In fact there was a recent article in the Ukiah Daily Journal about Tempranillo -
March is a special month for me- it is my birthday month. I like to try to celebrate the entire month, try something different, learn something new. It is also the month that the Family Winemakers of California does an annual event in Pasadena and the Mustang Winemaker will be making her debut there this year. This is a great time of year to talk with retailers, restaurateurs, brokers, and distributors because this is when they do their purchasing- the big holidays are over and time to restock!
It is tax time and I hear the IRS calling my name- so until next week, cheers to good food, good wine and good friends- the Mustang Winemaker

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