October ~ It’s Harvest Time

oct2013

harvest-pic2Boo! It’s already October and boy is that scary. Hard to believe we’re in the home stretch of the year! But it is harvest and that’s one of our favorite times of all. So far the 2013 vintage is looking incredible. We in the wine industry are used to being patient for wine to mature but this will be a tough one to wait for!

We’re excited to announce our Wine Club Member Harvest Party coming up this month on Sunday the 20th! If you’d like to attend, please RSVP by October 13th. We hope to see you there!

The holidays are also fast approaching which means parties, gifts, and that ever pesky “what wine do I pair with turkey?” Never fear, we’ll be filling you in on all sorts of tips and also sharing some of your ideas over the next few months as we prepare for the holiday season! Let’s start things off with some fun hostess (or host!) gift ideas. These are all available in our gourmet shop and are perfect for that holiday gathering with friends or neighbors. For the foodie host, try a fun assortment of tapenades or sauces (my favorite is the Chardonnay Caramel Sauce—delectable!).

 

Varietal of the Month: Petite Sirah

Petite-sirah

Working in a tasting room, one of the most common questions you get is “so what is the difference between Syrah and Petite Sirah?” The answer really is quite simple. They are two distinctly different grapes. Both are known as Rhone varietals, indigenous to the Rhone region in France, and it is possible (thought not proven) that Petite Sirah derives from Syrah. The legend goes that Petite Sirah was cultivated from Syrah by a farmer who tried to name the resulting grape after himself: Durif. Though the name didn’t take perhaps as much as he had hoped, in some parts of the world Petite Sirah is still known as Durif.

When it was brought over to California in the late 1800s, Petite Sirah was planted among multiple varietals in what’s known as a “field blend.” Basically this is a vineyard mash-up of a couple different grape varietals prized for their blending qualities. It was another half century before Petite Sirah began to be explored as a wine on its own.

In terms of popularity, Petite Sirah has slowly and steadily gained a reputation beyond being known exclusively as a blending grape. Though it is still frequently used in this capacity and rightly so; its high tannins, high acidity and all around rustic qualities make it ideal for blending with softer grapes to give them a little more edge. Since the 1970s and through to today, however, it is certainly not uncommon to see varietal specific bottles highlighting Petite Sirah as the star. Often described as “inky,” Petite Sirah is dark, heavy and almost black in color. Known for big bold flavors it can be overbearingly tannic if too young, similar to Cabernet. Also like Cabernet, Petite Sirah pairs the best with dark, rich meals, especially grilled or roasted meats.

Once a mere supporting player Petite Sirah finally has its spot in the limelight, so what are you waiting for? Buy a ticket to the show!

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