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Joe Shebl
February 22, 2016 | Joe Shebl

Spring Winemakers Report

As the new wines quietly age in our cellars, we have already begun the process of working on the new 2014 blends that will be bottled in the next several months. This process takes us on a journey from barrel to barrel as we taste, making notes about the nuances of each wine and how we think each one can integrate, age and blossom in the bottle. The blending we do here is tedious, where a 1% addition of one wine can dramatically affect the outcome of the final product. Needless to say, we take this very seriously! After all, we absolutely love this part of our job and we are hypervigilant when it comes to the texture of our wines. I always say, “A wine has to feel as good as it tastes”…it must be a complete experience and we strive to bring this matrix to every wine we make.

I’ve been asked recently how the rain we’ve received so far will affect the growing season and harvest that is coming. The rain this year has been fairly spread out giving the ground and vines a chance to soak it all in. What we do not want to see, is a huge amount of rain after bud break as well as when the fruit begins to develop on the vines. For now, the precipitation we’ve received is more than welcome! In perspective, Amador County where the winery is, we get between 31-40 inches of rain in each season and since November 1st of 2015 we’ve already tallied about 21 inches putting us ahead of the average…for now.

In the vineyards, pruning has begun and will continue for the next few weeks. We are very excited once again to see the results of years of hard work in the fields nurturing the vines so that they have the best chance possible to produce world class fruit. Did you know that we own and operate about 180 acres of vineyards here in Amador? They are mostly Zinfandel but we also grow Barbera, Petite Sirah and Sangiovese.


In the next couple months keep an eye out for the release of the 2014 Grand Reserve Barbera. This beauty was aged in a brand new 3000L French Oak Cask and it is a wine that we are very, very excited to share with you. It is silky smooth and bursting with a purity of fruit that is a joy to experience. Only 50 cases are going to be produced!

Also, coming down the track will be the first Sangiovese that we have bottled in over a decade. This wine is now maturing in 500L French Oak puncheons and we are monitoring it closely so that we can capture the exact moment when we think it should be bottled and shared.

As always, I cannot express enough gratitude to our loyal fans. We truly believe that each person that walks through our doors or supports us where ever they may be, that you are family and we do what we do for you. Our dedicated winemaking team is fully committed to making the best wines we can in every little thing we do from the day the fruit arrives here at the winery to the day we bottle. We love this stuff and sincerely thank you for being a part of our family.

Warm Regards,

Joe Shebl, Director of Winemaking


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