Wilson Creek Blog
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We, as wine enthusiasts, have a certain passion for life. A passion for having unique experiences, making discoveries and then introducing and sharing those discoveries with our friends and family.
We in the wine business are a lucky bunch. We have the delightful responsibility of keeping abreast of trends in the industry. This often requires us to travel to different regions visiting vineyards, meeting with fellow winegrowers and tasting wines. Small wineries like to help each other by sharing what we’ve learned.
We really don’t see each other as competition, but rather brothers in arms trying to battle against Mother Nature in the vineyards and tame the mysteries of biology in the cellar. We know that there’s plenty of space in the world for great wines from different places. We all share the common bond of trying to emphasize the uniqueness of a particular varietal, grown in a particular place.
It’s this last idea, a particular varietal, grown in a particular place that is the cornerstone of a new series of wines we’re bringing exclusively to our Wine Club members. As part of our education we’ll blind taste five wines from five regions. For example we’ll taste Chardonnay from our estate, from wineries in Santa Barbara, Monterey, Napa and Sonoma.
What we’ve learned over the years is that there is no single best Chardonnay. There can be many best Chardonnays, just from different regions. Each is a unique expression of Chardonnay because of the terroir from the place it’s grown and the way that the winemaker chooses to emphasize that terroir.
Our new Explorer Series of wines will give our Wine Club members the same chance we at the winery have had to examine wines that are grown in other regions. Behind the scenes we’ve been partnering with growers and a custom crush winery up North to grow grapes and produce wines to our specifications. We’ve been making these wines at the highest quality level to deliver to you archetypal examples of a particular varietal, grown in a particular place. Each wine will be only be available for a limited time in limited quantities and then we’ll move on to another varietal from another place.
Vineyard Manager Greg sifts sediment with his hands during a coastal wine country trip.
You will have fun comparing and contrasting the wine with a wine we already make here from our estate, like Chardonnay. In your special release July shipment you’ll get our 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay which is an archetypal cool climate Chardonnay. This wine will be exciting to compare to our brand new barrel fermented 2014 Family Reserve Chardonnay from our estate. We bottled both of these wines this past May and we think they’re both going to blow you away!
Wilson Creek’s Winemaker, Gus, sampling wine during a recent trip to the coastal wine country.
In other cases we’ll share with you a wine we don’t, or can’t, grow here at Wilson Creek – like Pinot Noir. Our Mediterranean climate isn’t well suited to growing Pinot fruit, so we’ve sourced some of the best stuff out there from Santa Rita Hills in Santa Barbara. The cult wines from this region are some of the most highly rated and you’re going to love our 2012 Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
It’s taken us some time to get these wines together and you’ll see more of them in the fall. Without giving away all our secrets, get excited to taste things like intense and powerful Petite Sirah from the Sierra Foothills, crisp and fruity Sauvignon Blanc from Santa Barbara, Sparkling Shiraz just in time for the holidays, and even an Oakville Cabernet around a year from now. We hope you join us on this journey of exploring great wines from great places!
With only a couple days left til February 14th, I hope you’re not fretting about what to do. If you do happen to find yourself in that situation just remember one thing, KISS.
That’s right, KISS – keep it stupid simple!
Don’t know what I mean? Ok, let’s try this…
Beautiful day? CHECK! (if you happen to live in sunny SoCal you’re in luck, otherwise this one can be modified)
Large blanket? CHECK!
Mood music? – CHECK! Whatever floats your boat, or hers for that matter. (Long gone are the days of carrying around a boombox. Now we flip out our phones or tablets and VOILA!)
Basket? – CHECK! Filled with goodies of course. (baguette, crackers, cheese, grapes, strawberries, chocolate truffles)
2 stemmed glasses? CHECK!
Bottle of wine? CHECK! (or two)
Not sure what wine to get? No problem! These suggestions will help…
For white wine fans try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek 2013 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay – afterall it is Valentine’s Day, “Yes Dear!!…”
For those who enjoy the sweeter side of life try,
a beautiful, chilled blue bottle of Wilson Creek 2014 White Cabernet Sauvignon
For those who are red hot at heart try,
a bottle of Wilson Creek Family Reserve 2012 Syrah
Fans of bubbles should try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek’s new Sparkling Rose – she’ll be tickled pink!
and finally, if you enjoy the rich, luxe life try this extravagance in a bottle,
NV Late Harvest Chardonnay – a sipping delight!
There you have it. Valentine’s Day done right. Just remember, KISS!
1 happy lady? CHECK!
1 lucky man? CHECK! (Well, maybe, the rest is up to you)
It seems that when we get busy we tend to forget about what’s most important to us. We forget to smile, to appreciate and enjoy the world around us. So here are some simple “instructions” to help you get that little kick back in your step. And always, always Mind Your Manors!
Sing in the shower. Treat everyone you meet like you want to be treated. Watch a sunrise at least once a year. Leave the toilet seat in the down position. Never refuse homemade brownies. Strive for excellence not perfection. Plant a tree on your birthday. Learn three clean jokes. Return borrowed vehicles with a full tank of gas. Compliment three people every day. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. Leave everything a little better than you found it. Keep it simple. Think big thoughts but relish small pleasures. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. Floss your teeth. Ask for a raise when you feel you’ve earned it. Be forgiving of yourself and others. Over-tip breakfast waitresses. Say “Thank you” a lot. Say “please” a lot. Avoid negative people. Buy whatever kids are selling on card tables in their front yards. Wear polished shoes. Remember other people’s birthdays. Commit yourself to constant improvement. Carry jumper cables in your trunk. Have a firm handshake. Send lots of valentine cards and sign them, “someone who thinks you’re terrific.” Look people in the eye. Be the first to say “hello.” Use the good silver. Return all things you borrow. Make new friends but cherish the old ones. Keep secrets. Sing in a choir. Stop blaming others. Take responsibility for every area of your life. Wave to kids on a school bus as they pass by. Be there when people need you. Plant flowers every Spring. Have a dog. Always accept an outstretched hand. Feed a stranger’s expired parking meter. Don’t expect life to be fair. Never underestimate the power of love. Drink champagne for no reason at all. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation. Don’t be afraid to say, “I made a mistake.” Don’t be afraid to say, “I don’t know.” Compliment even small improvements. Keep your promises (no matter what). Marry only for love. Rekindle old friendships. Count your blessings. Call the Manor to make a reservation…951.699.9463
“Without craftsmanship, inspiration is a mere reed shaken in the wind.” -Johannes Brahms
For those of you who have been able to join us for a tour of the winery and vineyards, you know that we describe ourselves as a “Craft Winery.” For those of you who have not yet gone on a tour, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? The tours are about an hour in length, with numerous tastings for the same price as a normal tasting. A great deal and a great deal of fun!
Craftsmanship in winemaking is the artistic approach to making wine that achieves a unique expression in not only sensory qualities of taste, smell and texture, but recognizes that the process encompasses and influences many aspects of community and ecology. Craft wines tell a story about where they came from and the people who made them. It may be impossible to define exactly what a craft wine is, but here are some aspects of people and place:
Authenticity: Family wineries are all the rage with marketing folks who want to put a personal touch on a business. This is an aspect that I don’t have to explain to anyone who has been to the winery. Gerry and Rosie Wilson, the elder statespersons of hospitality, infuse this place with such warmth and caring that it is not only a defining characteristic of the winery experience, but they make working here like having your coolest grandparents at work every day. The entire family works and plays here all the way down to Sarah Wilson, daughter of Mick and Deanna, who is our summer wine and soils lab assistant (at 9 years old and is a darn good assistant).
Passion: We are passionate about what we make because we know that you are passionate about what you drink. We also know that you share our passion when the wine education classes, pairing events, and dinners sell out. Like us, you can’t learn enough about wine.
Character: Our wines have character because they are made by a collection of colorful characters. Come by and say “hi” to the winemaking or vineyard team and you will see what I mean.
Place: We are not making lowest common denominator wines to please the middle of the bell curve of the mass market. We make the most beautiful expression of Temecula Valley wines that we can and, in the process, expand the definition of what is possible from Temecula vineyards and cellars.
Community: Our definition of community is encompassing to include not only all of the people in our region but the ecosystems that support us all. Our commitment to biologically sustainable vineyard practices are specifically targeted at the improvement of wine quality, but are also part of our long-term commitment to being valuable contributors to the sustainability and improvement of quality of life for all of our fellow community members.
I hope you can come join us for a glass of the 2013 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay which is developing a beautiful smooth texture, our 2013 Muscat which may surprise you by its amazing bouquet but is drier than most Muscats, the new Duet which has been getting rave reviews from our cellar tastings, or our rich blend of fruit and soft tannins from the 2011 Malbec. The vineyard is setting fruit nicely this year, the cellar is flowing with great wines, and the winemaking team is overflowing with our enthusiasm for the opportunity to share our passion of the people and place we express by sharing a glass of wine with you.
Wishing you warm days and cool nights, Greg, aka, Bioman