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One year ago, on earth Day 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 shut down, I stood in the vineyard under clear skies, a complete lack of smog with the snow-covered mountains in the background so clear as to almost seem like I was looking at them through binoculars. I mentioned that events like this allow us to give pause and think about the potential quality of life for ourselves and all beings if we learn to make better decisions through a better perspective.
The cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, as a young man, auditioned for the first time in front of Pablo Casals, perhaps the most famous cellist of all time. After he audition Pablo Casals told the young Yo-Yo Ma his playing was good and then offered some advice. He said that he sees himself first and foremost as a human, secondly as a musician, and finally as a cellist. He then he added but don’t forget to make time for baseball.
Earth Day is not necessarily about the earth but rather, what does it mean to be human? The word “human” comes from the Latin “humus” referring to the earth or soil. We still use the term humus to describe the living organic fraction of the soil. The Greeks knew that we are not from this earth we are of this earth. Modern life often leaves us separated from the natural world, separated from our origins.
Change your perspective, change the outcome.
One year ago, I asked why are we so willing to settle for this lower quality of life? What we do to the earth, we do to ourselves, our children and all our fellow creatures large and small. If we have the perspective that we either can have a high quality of life or a robust economy that is the choice we will have. If we have the perspective that we can have a robust economy because of our demand for a high quality of life that is the choice we will have.
As we return to the “new normal” I hope we return a little more human, a little more empathetic, a little more true to who we are, where we came from and where we are going.
I look forward to a future of regenerating ecosystems, economies, and communities where we can enjoy a baseball game under crystal clear blue skies with a glass of regenerative wine.
All the best for Earth Day 2021,
– Greg and the Vineyard Team
Skip the store-bought and make strawberry shortcake from scratch! This mouthwatering Strawberry Shortcake is such a fun, easy dessert and so delicious. Layer your biscuits with juicy strawberries and fresh whipped cream for a new spring favorite dessert!
Pairs well with our 2019 Spring White
- 6–7 cups quartered strawberries
- 1/4 cup & 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 cup cold buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
- Coarse sugar, for sprinkling
Place the strawberries and the sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Make the biscuits: Preheat oven to 425°F. Mix the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter. Pour buttermilk on top. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula. Pour the dough onto a floured surface and bring together with floured hands. Flatten into a thick rectangle with floured hands or rolling pin. Cut into 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter.
Arrange on a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush the tops with 2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before assembling.
Make the whipped cream: Beat the heavy cream, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-high speed until peaks form, about 3 minutes. Slice the biscuits in half and layer with strawberries and whipped cream. Serve immediately.
Due to the amount of time we have all been spending at home, do you find yourself binge watching movies or a TV series? Sometimes you need just a bit more help deciding these days. Below are some movie pairing suggestions directly from our winemaker expert, Gus.
Viognier has a light straw color with fresh fruit aromas of apricot, peach, honeydew melon and guava, with a floral background.
MOVIE: ROMANTIC COMEDY. The lighthearted nature with a background of fruitiness makes this wine the perfect pairing to a romantic comedy. The movie and wine should be paired in the early evening with light movie snacks.
2018 TANK 15 ZINFANDEL
This supple Zinfandel reveals aromatic notes of sweet red fruit, oak and spice. Layers of cherry, blackberry, and raspberry cascade over well incorporated oak and fine tannins on the finish.
MOVIE: PIRATE MOVIE. Pair this wine with your favorite pirate movie like “Pirates of the Caribbean”. This wine is a treasure chest of flavor with layers of fruit, spice and oak. Think of Blackbeard when aromas of blackberry cascade like the surf in your palate.
Malbec possesses a clean, clear delicate fruit reminiscent of blackberries. Tannins are soft but controlled adding to the wines structure. Subtle light tones of American and French Oak-vanilla.
MOVIE: AMERICAN HISTORICAL. This wine is aged in both American and French oak barrels making this wine well suited for movies featuring the American or French revolutions.
2018 DOUBLE DOG
Named after the Wilson Creek dogs seen at the winery as well as the two distinct grapes that were used in making this wine Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. A balance of fruit and spicy notes with a long silky finish.
MOVIE: DOG MOVIE. It goes without saying but this wine is a natural pairing with dog movies, Lassie Come Home, Ol’Yeller, etc.
2017 PETITE SIRAH
Petite Sirah presents supple aromas and flavors of blackberry, herbal and ripe plum with undertones of black pepper. It is dry and soft with supple tannins and well-integrated American Oak.
MOVIE: HORROR MOVIE. This wine is deep and very red perfect for your favorite horror movie. Serve it slightly chilled at midnight while watching a chilling horror movie.
2017 CABERNET FRANC
A full-flavored Cabernet Franc with a long and lingering finish. This wine distinct aromas of oak marked perfume and spice under-notes on the nose. The palate has pronounced layers of blackberry, spice, oak, and nutmeg.
MOVIE: FOREIGN LANGUAGE MOVIE. Pair this wine with foreign movies that have subtitles. Enjoy a few sips then read the back label on the bottle. Repeat this step throughout the movie. This pairing will help you understand a foreign language.
Shushi Shiraga, the Founder & CEO of a wine e-commerce startup SoCalization Inc (Tokyo, Japan |www.socalization.com ), was a regular customer at Wilson Creek during his 7 years of life in San Diego, working as an expat, then studying as a grad-student. He became interested in wine because of Wilson Creek’s signature Almond Sparkling.
SoCalization Shushi at Wilson Creek
In 2019, as he graduates from Sports MBA program at San Diego State University, he went back to Japan to work as a consultant to projects at Rugby World Cup 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
However, something was missing for him. It just felt wrong. Living a happy, stress-free life in a SoCal city changed his perspective so much. A workaholic, who was on international conference calls regularly until midnight, questioned “Why are people in Japan working so late?”, “Why are people here not enjoying their personal life?”, “Why are people not having a quality time with their family?”. He was culture-shocked to his own country.
That feeling just got stronger and stronger, every time he recalled receiving unconditional love and support from his American “family”, a Christian family in San Diego who had been accepting international students to live together at their home.
Shushi was intrinsically entrepreneurial as he built his career at start-ups prior to MBA degree. However, if he was to build a company, he wanted to do something impactful to the society. So, he founded SoCalization, to promote relaxed and loving SoCal people’s value to Japan through SoCal food culture.
“I need an ‘Ace’ product…” Shushi thought. Something that is unique and has potential to become nationally popular but also represents SoCal value. Wilson Creek Almond Sparkling wine, he thought. He flew back to San Diego and drove to Temecula without an appointment with us (Wilson Creek), January 2020. We welcomed his passion and agreed to do business once he incorporates and receives necessary licenses.
He came back with them, but the pandemic hits the US. With both of us patiently and carefully checking off the boxes, Almond Sparkling Wine landed to Japan for the first time in October 2020!
Almond Sparkling is gradually gaining awareness and served at wine bars in Tokyo. Shushi and SoCalization promote family-first value to Japan through the taste of Almond Sparkling – like the “stick” of cuttings clones and shares Wilson Creek’s founding values through their branches and vines.
For former SoCal-residents in Japan, below is the direct link to purchase our Almond Sparkling wine in Japan from SoCalization! (English check out process available from link below.)
For those of you moving to Japan, now you know where to get us! 😉
Celebrating his brother’s birthday at the first restaurant in Tokyo to serve Almond Sparkling
Wilson Creek Winery’s chosen charity for the holiday season is Oak Grove Center.
The Holidays are a time for family and friends, a time when many people think of Joy and Hope. Yet, for a child living in foster care, the Holidays can be heartbreaking with constant reminders of broken homes and families lost. Oak Grove Center is asking for your consideration to help provide gifts for the 76 Residential Youth. Your support can help bring the youth joy and hope, and reminds them that they are valued.
Here is how you can help:
Bring in an item from the list below and be entered into a drawing to receive an amazing gift from Wilson Creek!
Gifts accepted from December 1st-December 18th.