1 2011on September
at 4:06 pm
Director of Winemaking Dirk Hampson talks yields and berry size and what this might mean for the 2011 harvest.
Harvest is slowly approaching. The cool, wet spring made for a late start to the growing season and will lead to a low yield, late harvest. However, a wonderfully moderate summer has been ideal for the vines and the crop. It seems that the main side effect to the weather conditions this year is that the Cabernet berries are staying smaller than is typical.
What does this mean? It could mean that:
• the crop is even lighter than expected (might ripen a little quicker)
• there may be fewer gallons per ton (didn't need all those barrels and less wine for all of us…)
• color and tannin extraction may be higher than typical due to skin-to-volume ratio (may have to press sooner)
I was just in Maine and had their pre-Hurricane Irene wild blueberries, which were minuscule compared to regular blueberries. While they weren't making wine out of them, the flavors of "small" were undeniably intense compared to typical sized blueberries. I hope we will see some of that intensity with this year's small grapes.
Vice President for Marketing and Communications, Mary Grace, spent last weekend pouring Far Niente and meeting people at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance. Gorgeous location, fabulous cars, amazing wine . . . You know what they say–it's a tough job, but someone has to do it!
If you’ve ever visited Far Niente, you know that we have a fun collection of classic cars. It pales in comparison to some of the magnificent collections around the globe (Jay Leno’s for instance), but we have a connection to the car culture.
That relationship came front and center over the weekend when we participated in the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, the most prestigious automotive event of its kind and a car lover’s paradise. Held on the 18th fairway at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, thousands of car fanatics roamed the show field, taking pictures of the cars and meeting the proud owners. We were happy to be watching from the lodge patio where we poured our Chardonnay and Cabernet, paired with tasty bites from Chef Trevor, for a small group comprised of the entrants and their guests.
The marques celebrated this year included Mercedes-Benz, Stutz Centennial, Ferrari 250 GTO and Edwardian Rolls-Royce Silver Ghosts. I half-expected to see Robert Redford emerge from one of the Rolls-Royces a la The Great Gatsby. What an elegant and eye-catching field! I’ve shared a few snapshots in this post, but it’s also worth a few minutes to visit coverage of the event by Jay Leno, who regularly attends.
17 2011on August
at 11:31 am
What pairs with the month of August? How about Cabernet! We know, you’re probably more likely to reach for Cab in cool weather, but at sister winery Nickel & Nickel, Cabernet is on the mind all year long—especially in August, with the release of the newest vintage.
You couldn’t have asked for a better day to introduce all 13 of Nickel & Nickel’s 2008 Single-Vineyard Cabernets. This past Saturday we welcomed guests on the sunlit crushpad, and the cool cellar below offered a marvelous backdrop for tasting these newly released wines. (Take a look at a few pictures from the party on the Nickel & Nickel Facebook page.)
The 2008 vintage is showing incredibly ripe fruit flavors and fine, mouthwatering tannins, and tasting through the 13 Cabernets from vineyards across the Napa Valley proved a fascinating—and enjoyable—education in the individual expressions of each vineyard. If you missed the party, stop by the winery for a tour and tasting—Nickel & Nickel has just begun pouring the 2008 Cabs!
Cheers to a great, new vintage!
12 2011on August
at 12:38 pm
Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel Landscape Designer Daniel Townsend relies on more than his skills and a top team of landscapers for beautiful gardens.
The buzz around the grounds is good news to my ears. The hives are in full production now and the gardens show it. We have been blessed with a healthy brood for the past seven years, encouraging them to feast on the flora. The bees dance throughout the winery estate gardens touching on nearly every blossom morning till night. There is not a moment to rest knowing winter is only a few months away and fall is just around the corner. Another summer of maturity and growth carries us into the future thanks to the many hands of nature. Get your buzz on… and eat your honey daily!
Far Niente Chardonnay at the height of summer? Why, yes please! You probably saw the invitation to the upcoming Chardonnay Celebration on our Facebook page—or, if you’re a wine club member, in your inbox. (In case you missed both, click here for details on how to join us on August 13!) If you’ve been to this event in past years you know what a treat it is to relax at the Cabernet Grill under the cork oaks, sipping Chardonnay and talking with friends.
Delicious bites from the kitchen have always been featured at the Chardonnay Celebration, and this year we have an extra special guest chef—Chef Robert Curry from the Michelin-starred Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil!
Gorgeous wines, delicious food, great people—all in a beautiful setting—make this, well, a celebration! We can’t wait to see you.
A behind-the-scenes peek at Far Niente and the fine Cabernet and Chardonnay we produce here in Oakville.
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