Wine Blog

October 1, 2016

As we turn to October the 2016 vintage is looking good here in California and Bordeaux. As usual California enjoyed consistent weather, a bit cooler than normal summer but with a huge blast of heat to finish off the harvest on Sept 25-28. My boots on the ground, California winemakers report to me these comments.

Mike Kumelis- Owner/Winemaker at Mantra Wines…Hi Ralph, tomorrow 9-28 we will be all in! Light crop, good concentration, and great growing season. Looks like another very good year.Craig Becker- Winemaker at Somerston-Priest Ranch and Kelleher…We are good here, just staring into red harvest this Thursday 9-29. Looks like another good vintage, the warm weather recently has helped move things along!

Mike Lamborn has finished harvest on the top of Howell Mountain! Hi Ralph! September has been a busy month, but last Thursday we finished up the last of the 2016 harvest....

September 1, 2016

For many years people have asked me when is the best time to visit San Francisco and I always answer October; as the fog moves away from the coast leading to lovely fall days.  As I was playing golf last week in San Francisco very close to where I grew up, it was a very cool 65 degrees and the marine layer of fog was in full shroud and it has been this way for weeks. When I got home only 30 minutes away south it was 75 and nice but nowhere near the normal 20-25 degree difference am I used to. I wondered how this cool weather was affecting the grapes so I shot off this email to a couple of my good winegrowing friends… How are things looking in the vineyard? Living here in Redwood City for the past 13 years, the one thing I have noticed this year is that the summer has been much cooler, and without the usual spikes of drastic heat for a few days that we usually get. The temps a...

August 1, 2016

After a relatively cool growing season so far here in California thru June and half of July the summertime heat has finally been turned up to full blast.

Summertime at my house means a real vacation for my wife and me in Lake Tahoe and taking our son to a two week summer camp an hour north of Napa Valley.  On our way back we stopped at two of our favorite spots on earth.

Before we had a child, we stayed many times at Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga. Back then it was a quiet, rustic retreat featuring mud baths and one of the greatest pools in California.  Well things have of course changed; Calistoga is now a hopping tourist town all year round with fine restaurants and tasting bars. Indian Springs has expanded and upgraded all of its facilities and added a restaurant and bar called Sam’s Social Club and is now an extremely popular destination for people from all around t...

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