Hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving! What wine did you choose to have with dinner? Was it your choice or brought by guests? Do tell, please! How about those Black Friday sales, did you join the chaos or avoid it as I do?
We are back in Walla Walla, unpacked, laundered and settling into our routines; Germany a spectacular memory. I am a life-long night owl, hard as I try to get up early and function it hasn’t stuck. We arrived home Sunday night after over 24 hours of plane travel and the hour’s drive from Pasco to Walla Walla at 6:30 PM PST (+ 9hrs for Germany’s time). Our bed was the most wonderful, comfy piece of furniture ever invented; we were in it within an hour, asleep before we were horizontal. Pitch dark, and I was laying awake at 1 AM considering what options I might have at that hour. Our cat, Dragon, heard me tossing and turning so put up a ruckus wanting into the bedroom to be with us after missing us for two weeks. It took some doing to quiet him and myself, but it happened. A few hours later I was again blinking in the dark room, clear headed and refreshed; it was only 4 AM. Attempting to stay still to let my Hubby sleep was more difficult than I could have imagined. Half an hour later he was awake too! What the heck?
After several days of this we have managed to sleep in until 5:30 on our late mornings. I thought jet lag made you tired, what I am doing awake? No, we aren’t staying up as late as we usually have, but we aren’t going to bed super early either. Should I encourage this new paradigm at this juncture of my life?
Amsterdam airport on an Autumn morning.
Cafe in an old windmill in Bremen, Germany.
Cathedral in Bremen’s Market Square.
Vivid green balls of mistletoe high in the freshly denuded tree branches of Neatherlands and Germany.
Hamberg harbor tour.
Berlin’s Charlottenburg Palace with North American farmers tour observing.
Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany.
North American potato farmers in Berlin Germany; our last night’s dinner was at Brauhaus Lemke.
Our experiences at cathedrals, palaces, memorials, breweries and wineries, natural wonders and curiosities I will share with you. The awful Paris tragedy was midway through our journey, many miles away, but much closer than we typically are to such events, will never be forgotten. Several of our fellow travelers, due to fly through Paris the day after the attack, were stranded for an extra day at the airport before alternative travel arrangements could be made.
Life is precious, thank you for spending time with me, reading my blog and chatting with me about your similar experiences. I appreciate each of you tremendously. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, cheers!
It is now less than a week until Thanksgiving! Do you know what you will be drinking with your dinner and dessert? What about pre-dinner drinks, is that part of your tradition?
A few weeks ago we grilled a small turkey and roasted vegetables; we usually travel for Thanksgiving, so no left overs come home with us. We had Locati Cellars Sangiovese Rose’ with it, the bright berry flavors and crisp acidity were excellent with the moist turkey meat and roasted-sweet vegetables. Naturally we got to thinking what else would be fun for us to bring with us when we visit family. Lagana Cellars Pinot Noir, Locati Cellars 2012 Estate Barbera and newly released 2012 Ambrose would be our favorites. Of course, both Cellars have amazing white wines that would be fabulous too. The College Cellars Viognier might come with us too.
We have wine with dinner, maybe finishing into dessert, but not more wine with dessert and nothing before dinner. It might be fun to have a sparkling wine to open the festivities and put the finishing touches on dinner with. There is so much rich food that I am fine without adding another bottle of wine during dessert, but if wine were dessert, that would be a different story. We had a lovely single vintage Port, provided by an intern from Portugal to the Walla Walla Valley this year, that would hit the spot nicely. I appreciated the complexity of it and nurtured my glass for quite a while.
We are still in Germany, I may have other wines in mind when we return. Safe travels, wonderful memories created and share your holiday favorites! Cheers!
Having time to cook again has been wonderful. As our temperatures dip lower each day I get excited for soups. We make our own stock from leftover vegetable cuttings and bones from other meals as I don’t tolerate the sodium levels in commercial broth. I keep the cuttings and bones in the freezer until I have enough to cook a large pot full. (We don’t have a compost pile, so this eases my mind a little bit about food waste.) Nutrition and healthy eating is not an option in this house; I usually adjust recipes due to food allergies and sensitivities but tastiness is very important. One recipe that made its way to me is Calypso Beef Soup from Diabetic Gourmet; this is basically a curry soup with lots of vegetables.
I also make my own curry blend to avoid nightshade seasonings for the most part. When I minimize my exposure to even a little I find I can handle the occasion I have no/minimal choice but to eat tomatoes or peppers. Does anyone else attempt to eat Nightshade Free (#nsf)?
The first night we paired it with Locati’s Pinot Grigio. Crisp and bright with grapefruit as the predominant aroma we tucked into the soup, subtly spicy it is a coconut milk smooth base with a delightful play of savory flavors mingled with the spices. I enjoyed the Pinot Grigio with it, but Hubby wasn’t as fond of it. The grapefruit receded and nectarine became the prominent aroma joining the minerality I love so much; it played very nicely with the soup but palate is definitely an individual preference.
Two nights later, after we both worked late, we were thrilled to sit down to this soup again. Time in the fridge was very favorable; the flavors smoothed themselves out but didn’t lose any of their intensity. Opening the College Cellars Viognier we sat down with great expectations. This was by far the better pairing for this soup. The apricot and herb aromas and flavors of this wine balanced the spiciness perfectly. We will be making this soup again (although I might alter it further now and again) and I will bring home the Locati Cellars Reed Vineyard (Columbia Valley) Pinot Grigio to see if it would be better, and the Dry Orange Muscat should I kick the heat up in the curry.
You can use the recipe here or the link above go to the Diabetic Gourmet Website for this recipe: Calypso Beef Soup
Makes 6 servings
– 1-1/2 pounds 95% ground beef
– 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
– 1/2 cup chopped onion
– 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (left this out, I can’t eat them)
– 1 teaspoon curry powder
– 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (left this out)
– 2 cups water or ready-to-serve beef broth (homemade stock was fantastic)
– 1 can (15-1/2 ounces) black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained
– 1 can (13-1/2 ounces) light unsweetened coconut milk (regular unsweetened was my choice)
– 2 cups packed fresh baby spinach leaves
– 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
– Salt and ground black pepper
Heat large non-skillet over medium heat until hot.
Add ground beef; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into 3/4-inch
crumbles and stirring occasionally.
Remove from skillet with slotted spoon. Pour off drippings in pan;
add sweet potato, onion, bell pepper and curry powder.
Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion and pepper are crisp-tender,
stirring occasionally. Stir in flour; cook and stir 1 minute.
Stir in water, black-eyed peas and coconut milk; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 to 8 minutes or until sweet
potato is tender. Stir in spinach and thyme. Cook 1 minute or
until spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper, as desired.
Having been part of the wine making team for both of the wines we were pairing was both exciting and humbling. Growing our herbs and some vegetables, sourcing our meat locally, and making excellent use of our resources is satisfying by itself. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to work making wine to share with family and friends – be they at my table or through the tasting room.
Make it and let me know what you pair it with. Cheers!
I’ve spent the last week preparing for this Fall Release Weekend, ordering the cheese and salami from Cugini’s Deli (the salami is made with Locati Cellars wine), posting on social media and getting staff and tasting room ready for the weekend with lots of help from Jason and Mike to get things in place and stock the wine. Here’s to hoping the weekend is busy and exciting. We are releasing our 2012 Ambrose, a scrumptious Super Tuscan (50% Estate Sangiovese, 50% Cabernet Sauvignon) named for owner Mike Locati’s father. If you are anywhere close to Walla Walla, come on in.
Being responsible for the workings of the tasting room the last few months and working in the cellar has been everything I had hoped it would be when I started school believing I would enjoy making and selling wine. It has not been lost on me that I am doing what I set out to do when I graduated with my certifications. Originally that goal included opening our own winery, starting from scratch and devoting everything and all of our time to nurturing this new entity. Watching, and helping, friends pursue that same dream has sobered us a bit, if you will. My hubby is the most supportive, generous and kind person and he chased the winery owner dream with me. When I said I was happy to work at Locati Cellars switching hats as needed we took stock of our lives: six years of marriage, mostly great health, but feeling our respective ages, family at some distance requiring time to visit them, and a strong desire to spend time together enjoying hobbies and traveling. Opening a new winery, with all that entails, wasn’t quite as exciting when we realized how much we would have to give up to do it. That isn’t to say we won’t make our own wine commercially some day, it means we will make that decision as we determine we are prepared to take on the added responsibility and remain in balance with what we are already doing. My hubby, my partner in wine, is my highest priority; deciding to get behind Locati and Lagana Cellars as support is a great compromise for us. How does a girl get so lucky? Married to the best guy, working with terrific, fun and often goofy people in a small industry in a small town.
As Fall Release Weekend in Walla Walla gets up and going I am packing my bags and boarding a plane, ok, a series of planes, to Germany (see how quickly I am taking advantage of this flexibility). Fall Release or Germany, yeah, I didn’t have to think that one through very hard. I have never been to Europe and I hope this is only the first of many more adventures abroad. Not likely to be posting while I am traveling, but working on some to leave you with while I wander. We will be away for two weeks, returning just in time to go visit my family for Thanksgiving. Right after that we rapidly approach Holiday Barrel Tasting weekend, the first weekend in December! If you can’t make this weekend’s festivities, consider December’s event weekend (I will definitely stick around for that weekend). You can gift it to yourself, right?
I am attempting to catch up with my reading now that Crush is over and apparently I am just in time! Wine Tourist Magazine and Sip Northwest Magazine came out this month with Locati and Lagana Cellars being mentioned, as well as the Marcus Whitman Hotel. To be counted among those we admire and enjoy is gratifying, a bit of press isn’t bad either. My attention span not withstanding, reading seems to be in fits and starts even now, when I thought I would have plenty of time to recharge with this favorite pastime. So much for thinking… but here is the evidence:
Locati Cellars 2012 Barbera is a Panel Pick Best Red Single Varietal in Sip 2015.
Lagana Cellars 2014 Rousanne is 3rd Place Best White Single Varietal in Sip 2015.
Earlier this week we thought we would finish labeling all of the wine we bottled the beginning of September. Alas, a valiant attempt was made, but the labels and the machine didn’t cooperate and we still have nearly nine pallets of wine to hand label now. Ferreting out what is wrong and why so we can be sure to avoid this problem in the future is taking some time too. Might take a few bottles of wine to get through hand labeling all of those cases.
The first weekend in November is Fall Release Weekend here in Walla Walla; I may have mentioned it last post too. Will you be in the area, within a day’s drive or a quick flight? Come visit us! Along with our typical line up we will be releasing a new red for you to taste and take home to further enjoy.
That said, we are doing our best to prepare Locati Cellars for the exciting weekend. We will be well staffed and have lots of wine, but I will be on a plane east Saturday for my very first adventure in Europe, primarily Germany! A business trip every odd year takes my hubby away, leaving me to take care of things on the home front. Not this year, I am beyond excited, super-duper, don’t-even-think-about-my-not-going, kind of excited. To heck with the home front, our remaining kitty will have company and be taken care of (no, I didn’t tell you that my darling kitty, Oscar, went missing a month ago and I don’t want to talk about it now either).
When not working Hubby and I have been preparing the bathrooms and kitchen for the new counter tops that will be installed early next week. What do you think, keep the pink or change it? For two plus years we have given this very question thought; you can see our decision. Neutral and tough (heat, cold, chopping or spilling won’t hurt it) we decided to go a safe route. I have protected you from the worst of it, the dark green and brass master bathroom vanity: brass scallop shell sinks, brass fixtures for both bathrooms and the very-well-worn malachite green counters have greeted us each morning and wished us good night. (They must have looked stunning in 1992 when they were installed with the ceiling fan that had Italianate statue faces on the blades in brass in the master bedroom, above our bed.) With that colorful image, I will wish you good day. Cheers!
With Crush 2015 wrapped up for both Locati and Lagana Cellars focus has turned to spiffing up the tasting rooms. Jason opened his new space in the middle of July and we transitioned into our larger space the first of September; not great timing with harvest. Now that he isn’t chasing grapes and fixing equipment, Mike Locati is doing a fabulous job of being handyman around both spaces; thank you for all you do, Mike!
A couple of weeks ago the process of hanging picture rails and art work in Lagana Cellars began. This week the last piece of rail was installed. The incredible art work is by Todd Bernave, a Seattle mixed media artist and friend of Jason’s.
Todd Bernave’s mixed media art in Lagana Cellars tasting room.
Lagana Cellars has Todd Bernave’s mixed media pieces for sale.
Todd Bernave’s mixed media art in Lagana Cellars tasting room.
Locati Cellars is home to a few of the Deccio and Locati family heirlooms from home and farm. Establishing themselves in Walla Walla in the first decade of the 1900’s both families brought with them traditions, customs and a love of wine. Raising vegetables to sell at the road side stands in what is referred to as ‘truck farms’ the modern farm still produces vegetables, being especially well-known for Walla Walla sweet onions, asparagus and spinach among others that are widely distributed and sold locally through the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market and some local produce markets. Having a walk behind planter, an engineered spinach harvesting fork and onion seed drying rake as well as the boiler and laundry basket Mike’s mother used above our back bar, just to name a few, provides a window into the local agriculture of the past. There will be a description of each piece available in the tasting room, come in and read about them while you taste our wines.
Some of the Locati farm equipment handed down through the generations.
Locati Cellars’s Barb, by her smiling lonesome, portraying Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’.
Owner Mike Locati doing his best to hold steady the farm equipment to see where it will balance while also staying on the ladder.
Mike’s Uncle Pete, his father’s brother, was an out-of-the-box, or other-than-what-it is, thinker. His design, using ‘found’ pieces of wood, of the wood rake to help turn the onion seeds, and possibly other applications, to help dry them completely dates way back to his young days. The spinach fork, a modified pitch fork with a very sharp ‘V’ to cut the spinach stalks at the front edge, came later, but sped up the harvest of spinach and saved the harvester’s backs at the same time. Our red blend, Innovation, is so named for Uncle Pete, the inventor that inspired.
After hanging the Mission Hills Vineyard photo above the door to the Marcus Whitman Hotel lobby, the family photos and the custom-made door that is our logo took some careful measuring and three of us to get the door on the wall. The empty window became the new home of the original mail box for the Locati family homes. The two homes of Ambrose (Mike’s father) and Pete, still owned by the Locati family, on Blalock Drive in College Place, received mail in this box for many years.
Our estate vineyard, Mission Hills Vineyard, photo is now hanging above the hotel lobby door for all to see.
The door, Locati Cellars logo, welcomes one and all to come and enjoy the wine.
The single mailbox for rural route 114 accommodated two homes still owned by the Locati Family a century ago.
It is great to settle into our tasting room spaces, come see us, taste some wine and share your family stories with us. The first weekend in November is Fall Release weekend (November 6-8), come see what is new. Cheers!
It wasn’t a ‘busy’ week, but there were a few busy days that brought our 2015 harvest around to complete. It began with a visit to my family to celebrate two wonderful ladies that share a birthday; this time we flew, cutting our travel time in half.
The sun sank as we flew southeastward toward Walla Walla; toward home.
While my hubby consulted a paper map I made sure the wings stayed level.
My daughter resting after a fun day of celebrating; no angst over this flight.
Cessna 182 was our coach from Walla Walla County to Snohomish County.
Lagana Cellar’s last fruit, Patina Vineyard Syrah, had to be pressed to tank and then to barrel before we could clean the press in preparation of putting it away until next season. It was, of course, also time to rack the white wines that were cold stabilized so we could use bentonite clay to remove proteins that could cause a haze if they were left in the wine.
The dredges of the pressed Syrah drip from the pan as we begin to clean up.
The last of the Patina Vineyard Syrah to go into the press.
Cleaning the hoses after pressing we made a beautiful mess on the crush pad.
Strategic racking and cleaning of wine tanks some good planning.
Fragile tartrate sheet floating just below the surface of the Pinot Grigio.
Cold stabilized, the empty tanks need to be scraped of their tartrate buildup before being put away.
Syrah stained press, the last press of this years harvest.
After a thorough spraying to remove the berries, Jason and I took turns pressure washing the press.
Oh, it was also time, again, to top the barrels of 2014 red wines for Locati Cellars. While Jason barreled the Syrah I worked my way up and down the barrel racks; top to bottom back to front. No room for a ladder between the stacks, so I climbed the stacks. I am not a graceful person (in fact, I am down right klutzy) and yet I managed to accomplish all of this monkeying around without injuring myself. This is normal cellar work, and I enjoy it!
A view from on high; topping barrels is an ongoing cellar activity through the year.
The 2014 red wines barreled in the cellar with just enough room between them to scale the racks.
Kegs of wine for topping and nitrogen to push it through the hose speed the job of topping immensely.
I worked in the tasting room, pouring wine and chatting with people to end my week; this will be where I spend most my time now. It was an early, fast harvest with nice fruit and fabulous weather to work in. Sadly, we won’t have 2015 Primitivo, but all of our wines will be terrific. Autumn is rushing through the valley like the wild fires did this summer, leaves turn color and drop from the trees within a couple of days. The hot air balloon festival adds to the dramatic colors this weekend. And the winery is cleaned up and packed away neatly, wrapping up a satisfying harvest season. Thankfully, potato harvesting here in Washington is also coming to a close as well.
The middle of October and we finally have seasonal color in the trees.
The reds are all barreled and finishing secondary fermentation; equipment is tucked away inside.
Pressing Sangiovese for Locati Cellars started this week off. It was a nice day, not too cool, not too warm and the bees (including hornets and wasps) were quite interested in the wine. We have both been stung and bitten lots this year; they want their share apparently. This was our largest lot of fruit, so many barrels to fill. They are settled into their racks to finish secondary fermentation now. Jason barreled the Cabernet Franc the next day when his barrels were hydrated.
The 2015 Locati Cellars Sangiovese smells divine and has the loveliest ruby color.
Barreling the pressed Sangiovese brought the active part of 2015 Crush to an end; monitoring ferments and deep cleaning equipment will round out the season.
Lagana Cellars has Cabernet Franc pressed to tank and ready for barreling as soon as these barrels are rehydrated.
We brought the last of the fruit in this week; 3.7 tons of Patina Vineyard Syrah for Lagana Cellars. It is Walla Walla AVA and beautiful fruit that tastes wonderful. Can you believe we have everything in before the middle of October? I haven’t been at this for very long, but it is long before Halloween which is usually a gauge of harvest.
Patina Vineyards Syrah, the last grapes to come in for Lagana Cellars, are tasty and beautiful!
Black skins and pale juice right out of the crusher will become a fantastic Walla Walla AVA Syrah!
It was also time to rack some wine from barrels into portable totes and kegs as they will be shipped out to Aspen Lane Wine Company in Chicago next month, when it is cooler, but not too cold.
We spent one day on the road delivering wine for both Locati and Lagana Cellars to distributors in the Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA region. It was a long day of driving; thankfully, Jason did most of it. I am glad I went along to get an idea of where and with whom we distribute our wines. How to drop wine off when the Rep is in a meeting was my first lesson. Meeting Pam at Evergreen Wine Cellar and Leah at Niche Wine Bar in Vancouver provided a couple of Rep-structured visits for me to observe the process in action.
Jason, Pam, and Brian accommodated a picture for me at Evergreen Wine Cellar in Vancouver, WA. during our visit.
The art gallery of Niche Wine Bar was our second presentation of Lagana Cellars Rousanne and Riesling.
Delivery of Locati wine at General Distribution in Oregon City, OR on Wednesday morning.
While we were at Evergreen Wine Cellar the poster we have in the window of the tasting room was brought up; I love this poster! Several people have offered to buy the one in the window because they like it too. Graciously, Pam provided me four posters to sell in the Locati Cellars tasting room – contact me if you are interested and can’t make it to the tasting room. There are only four, so first-come-first-serve.
There was even time for me to spend a day with my usual partner in wine, AKA hubby, while he worked his harvest job this week. It was the first time since we moved to Walla Walla that I had time to ride with him during harvest (still haven’t ridden with him during potato planting season). It was fun to see the diggers in the field and the potatoes going into storage until the processors are ready for them. I couldn’t help myself, I had to pull pieces of vine and weeds from the potatoes on the conveyor as they went passed because it bothered me that they were there. Allergies aside, it is always great to get out in the field with him for a day. I did a bit of harvesting in my garden too. After the gorgeous pumpkin fields on my way to work last year I had the notion I needed to plant pumpkins this year myself. There was a variety of ‘lil’ pumpkins that seemed appropriate for the space we had. Then a friend gifted me a ‘yellow squash’ plant, so we had two plants that sprawled over a considerable amount of ground for the last three months.
After enjoying the pumpkin field along the way to Locati Farm last year I decided to plant pumpkins in my yard.
A dusty day in the field with my hubby checking out new potato harvesters.
A pow-wow of the Potato Central guys about a Spudnik potato harvester.
A gifted plant with ‘yellow squash’ produced a bumper crop of orange gourds this year too!
I am looking forward to slower mornings and cooler days as we finish this harvest season out. I believe I will have more time to harvest the remaining tomatoes and peppers for my love to make salsa for himself. Cleaning up the yard and putting it to bed before the weather is down right cold will be a first at this house. I was glad to be home when the yard service guys that take care of the neighbors’ lawns came knocking to be sure we really did want our lawn aerated as we missed them last year and it needs it! Tasting room shifts and responsibilities will be more frequent now that cellar duties are waning. It is strange knowing I am not going back to class again – a good strange though.
Nobody makes us, there is no coercion, but we feel compelled to say yes to something we realize will only cause us more stress than we want. But, that said, we still say yes and take the consequences; know what I am talking about? Grape harvest with one winery can be taxing enough, for two wineries at opposite sides of the Valley, it gets complicated. This year Jason said he would crush, press and ferment the Rose’ for G. Cuneo at Lagana Cellars. As I work with Jason, but don’t typically have a say in the Lagana decisions, I was thinking I was helping press Riesling, the last white grape to come in when I ended up helping crush Sangiovese instead. Divide and conquer, make it work, do what needs to be done; all of those things went through my head as we balanced the workload of two different activities on a small crush pad. It worked, we managed to accomplish both pressing and crushing before dark… clean up was more cumbersome than usual as you can imagine.
Sagemoor Vineyards Riesling for Lagana Cellars – all whites are now in tank.
Another wine project: cherry bins full of Sangiovese grapes for G. Cuneo’s 2015 Rose’ wine.
Gino raking Sangiovese into the crusher for G. Cuneo Rose’ wine.
My view from the forklift to crush the 19 bins of Sangiovese grapes for G. Cuneo’s Rose’.
We had 3.7 tons of Carmenere’ and Cabernet Sauvignon from Seven Hills Vineyard come in too. I am fairly sensitive to the pyrazines (bell and chile pepper flavors) in Bordeaux varietals. From the first taste of the Carmenere’ it was apparent that despite the hot summer ripening of the fruit was different than other years.
Lagana Cellars Carmenere’ and Cabernet Sauvignon from Seven Hills Vineyard =
One bin of Cabernet Sauvignon and two of Carmenere’ ready to ferment for Lagana Cellars.
+ One bin of rachis, stems.
Lagana Cellars Carmenere’ and Cabernet Sauvignon from Seven Hills Vineyard =
Did I mention that it is Fall wine club time? And we need tasting notes for those wines, that means a pleasant evening of a relaxed nature instead of a physical workout. We bottled at the beginning of September, but a problem with the labeler left us with unlabeled bottles. Hand labeling and then preparing the boxes to ship… until we ran out of packing inserts. Yup, we don’t have enough to do, but wine club ships now because the weather is good most places.
Hand labelling Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon to go out in the Locati Cellars Fall wine club shipment.
Locati Cellars Fall wine club shipments, until I ran out of packing inserts, to go out this weekend.
My hubby took me for a joy ride over the Walla Walla Valley one evening. It was my first time up in a small plane since I first went to college in the eighties; this was a much better flight!
My hubby taking me for my first small plane ride over Walla Walla.
View of Locati Farm from the air; told you it was way out in the middle of nowhere!
We also had the iPad software update go off the rails and had to spend a couple of hours clearing and reloading the machine that allows our tasting room to function. This one wasn’t a choice, but it was necessary to address ASAP. Ah, but we are so very close to the end of Harvest. Cheers!
Last weekend I had the pleasure of working in the tasting room, our new tasting room, for the first time since we began harvest. It was great to open the doors in this space during the day and pour for customers rather than just run in to accomplish momentary tasks like deposits and change needs, or bringing cases of wine to replenish what has sold. No actual decorating has been done, but this is twice the space we had in the suite next door. By the way, that space no longer exists, it has been joined to Tero Estate’s tasting room on the corner so they have more room also.
This humidor full of cigars is actually a retrofitted wine cooler.
Decorative space for our awards and medals; we don’t have to share the sink and dishwasher anymore.
This bar is three times the size of the previous bar and there is enough room behind said bar for two people to move – score!
Lots of shelf space for Locati Cellar wines in our new tasting room.
Monday night we all made time to go to the Carbon Leaf Concert at Main Street Studios here in Walla Walla. My wonderful husband and partner in wine humored me through yet another crazy scheme: we worked the Merchandise table for the band before and after their show. Thanks for coming to Walla Walla guys, yet another fantastic performance; we appreciate you brining your music to us. Do you know Carbon Leaf? If you haven’t look them up on iTunes.
Carbon Leaf performing at Mainstreet Studios in Walla Walla, September 21 2015.
Hubby and I worked the Merch table for Carbon Leaf in Walla Walla.
Locati Cellars has had all of the white grapes in for a while, during the last couple of weeks we fermented three of the four red grapes (Dolcetto, Barbera and Cabernet Sauvignon). While I was down with the flu Jason pressed them all to tank. I felt well enough to work the next day and got them all barreled before we began crushing fruit:
Red wines nearly dry are pumped from tank to barrel where they will ferment to dry.
The red grapes we crushed and fermented are in tank and ready to go to barrel.
Stacked on the warm side of the production space the wines will finish secondary fermentation, MLF.
The rest of the day we crushed Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Franc for Lagana Cellars and the very last Locati Cellars we anticipate this year, Mission Hills Estate Vineyard Sangiovese. I was very thankful for the extra help that day as my still-not-well body wasn’t ready to work hard from sun-up to sun-down. Philip, you rock, thanks for pinch-hitting.
Lagana Cellars brought in just over a ton of Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Franc grapes.
Final harvest of 2015 from Mission Hills Estate Vineyard, 9.5 tons of Sangiovese.
Crushing Mission Hills Sangiovese, not a vantage point I am used to having.
Crushing Mission Hills Sangiovese, not a vantage point I am used to having.
Cleaning up we took apart the crusher/destemmer to discover a piece of tension wire from the vineyard wrapped up inside. This is hand-picked fruit, no machines until it hits the crush pad. We heard something, but thought we would discover a rock in one of the bins when we pressed the fruit off. Alas, no one was hurt, the machine is fine and the wire is now in the trash, where it should have gone originally.
We will miss making our Locati Cellars Primitivo due to Les Colline’s loss of the vines during last November’s freeze. Having all of our Locati fruit in-house by the first day of Autumn is surreal. Lagana Cellars is just over half in; the next few weeks might bring it all in. We still have warm days and nice weather, but I will keep you informed, thanks for following along. Cheers!