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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

Time Posted: Feb 22, 2016 at 9:00 AM
Joe Shebl
October 20, 2015 | Joe Shebl

Fall Winemaker's Report

Greetings everyone! Well, we’ve put another harvest behind us and are veryexcited about the new wines. The 2015 Vintage is shaping up to be one that will be remembered by all. The new wines are already developing some beautiful complexity and the colors are outstanding. Harvest was early this year, as some of you may have heard. In fact, we started harvest on August 6th with a small amount of Viognier from the Cooper Ranch that has become the base wine for the 2015 Proclamation Sparkling wine that will be released side by side with the new, and highly anticipated 2015 Jubilance! Our last day of harvest was September 26th which is oddly enough, the same exact date that we finished the harvest of 2014. I’m not sure what normal is anymore!

The 2015 growing season was also a bit erratic. We had an early, but fairly long bloom with things developing nicely. For the finale, we were gifted a couple of intense heat waves that sped up maturation dramatically. We had 3 weeks in which we were processing grapes 10 hours a day, but thankfully we have one of the best production teams anywhere. Kudos to the guys in the cellar!

In the winery, we are diligently working to barrel down the new 2015 wines to their respective barrels. One thing I implemented when I came on board in 2013 was to begin purchasing only new French Oak Barrels here at Renwood. I’m a true believer that the use of French Oak aids in the making of some of the best wines in the world. The new French oak integrates beautifully with the fruitful profile flavors of our wines. Something else that we are doing, is using large format barrels. Barrels of this size are 2 times the volume of a normal wine barrel (~60 gallons). These large barrels, called Puncheons, are used to very gently and slowly impart the slightest oak nuances into the wine helping to build impressive structure while retaining the wines intense fruit. The next time you take a tour, be sure to keep an eye out for the barrels on the blue racks, these are what I’m talking about!

We’ll be releasing several of the 2013 wines in the coming months, so watch for them! I am very much looking forward to sharing them with you. We have a few new Vineyard Designate Zinfandels as well as the resurgence of the Grandmère. This time, it’s a red blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah and Syrah. This is one that you’ll not want to miss. Did you know that we only make 200 cases of each of the wines that are sold only through our Tasting Room? It’s our intention to always deliver to you the most exclusive and highest quality wines that are possible. We wake up each day driven by this notion, keeping you happy makes us happy!

Time Posted: Oct 20, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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