The wine industry is a very large and uniqe business. While many of us drink wine on a regular basis there are general questions of what we do to produce and sell it. We hope that this blog offers some insight on what we do on a weekly basis written by members of the family.
We are bringing in the whites! We have finished Sauvignon Blanc and now Semillon as of yesterday. With the weather cooler this summer and everything being pushed back a couple weeks, we get to sit and sort without dying in the heat! However, the days are still long with much of the time waiting for the fruit to be picked and then to arrive at the winery for processing. Here are a few tons of Semillon from Yountville that will all be used in our Michael Pozzan Sauvignon Blanc.
There are many stages in winemaking where your actions can greatly affect the quality. Sorting is one of those main steps. The goal here is to take out all things that aren't grapes. There is a destemmer at the end of the conveyor belt that seperates the grape berries from the stems and funnels the grapes to the tanks. Therefore many of the things you try to find while sorting are leaves, mold and little critters like stink bugs that can alter the taste of wine. Since these grapes were harvest by hand, you do not get critters like lizzards or snakes that are more common if you were to harvest by machine.
For Molly and I, we really only needed to focus on the leaves since the fruit was picked pretty clean. Sorting the dead leaves is not that big of a concern in comparison to the bright green ones that made its way into the bins. The phenolics that are still present in the leaves can make the wine have undesirable flavors such as a green bell pepper or vegetative taste. These flavors can also develop due to soil type or from too much canopy on the vine that was not cut back enough when pruning. It wasn't long until we were covered with grape juice, making our hands and arms very sticky. Bits of grape pulp magically find their way all over the body; appearing in your hair, back and legs. The only remedy is a hot shower to wash it all off. And later, a cold beer to ease your back from being hunched over sorting.
Our winemaker Molly Lyman sent this to one of our distributors and I thought I should share this harvest update as well:
"The harvest is off to a slow but optimistic start. The crop in the vineyards looks ample and even, but largely temperate days throughout late July and August have things measuring a bit late on the comparative scale (vs the last few years). I harvested a Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc vineyard this week on September 4th, for example, and it’s the first time since I began working with this fruit five years ago that it hasn’t been ready in August (historical dates were Aug 18-24). The general word on the street (throughout California) is that harvest is on a ~two week delay. The good news is that the crop seems to be heavy and of good quality. And sunny, dry days with milder temps afford the grapes more time in developing flavor and phenolic maturity, versus high temp days which force sugar accumulation regardless of any other markers of ripeness."
We look forward to getting harvest underway and into winemaking!
Just left Denver this morning with my oldest son, Dante, and heading to Cleveland. We attended the general sales meeting for Colorado distributor, Elite Brands of Colorado. We focused on Annabella Napa Chardonnay and Russian River Pinot Noir. Also, our Giapoza Cabernet and Pinot Noir. The wines were were well recieved but tbe the sales staff and we both felt confident that this will lead to a spike in sales.
Next stop, Cleveland, Ohio, where we will be participating in the Private Reserve's annual portfolio tasting for retailers and resturaunters. The event will be held at the beuatiful Botanical Gardens by College Square. Looking forward to a fun and energetic show.
It's that time of year again where we see veraison happening in grapes. The ripening of grapes from green to purple signifies that harvest is near and soon the real work starts. The timing for veraison happens at different times all over the valley according to climate and geographical location as well as grape varietal and clone. Our estate vineyard in Calistoga is just now finishing veraison while the valley floor has finished this process weeks before. However, even within our own vineyard our low yielding clone 6 cabernet sauvignon, is two weeks behind our higher yielding clone 7 cabernet sauvignon.
What these differences show is that each vine is unique in its characteristics in ripening and quality, therefore each vine must be given equal scrutiny in determining when to pick. The days leading up to harvest will be filled with crop sampling from different blocks to determine when the sugar levels (aka brix) have reached optimum levels. Good winemaking starts in the vineyard and this is just one of many things to keep track of.
Today I am excited to announce that our 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County received 90 points and Best Buy from Wine Enthusiast Magazine! Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal I’ve worked with for 15 years, and it can be a struggle to find vineyards that allow us to offer the quality we want at the price our customers want. Since working with our Lake County vineyard, we’ve produced some of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc. This is especially perfect timing to share this news since summer is here and it seems like everyone (my family included) is looking for a cold, crisp bottle of white to enjoy on these hot days.
I hope you all get a chance to try it and love it as much as I do!
The review will be published in the August 2018 issue of WineEnthusiast, but the review is available online at link below:
I returned home last weekend from Denver after participating in Elite Brand's annual event, The Great International Beverage Festival. Elite Brands is our Colorado distributor, and did a magnificent job hosting the five hour show. Literally hundreds of people from all around the greater Denver area attended. Wine and beer from all parts of the United States and Europe were showcased - even some spirits as well. The booths were situated on three floors of the McNichols Civic center Building, and we were all treated to some great passed appetizers so no one left hungry.
As usual, it was great to speak to fans of our wines and also to have the opportunity to pour for those who hadn't tried them before. Shows like this are an integral part in introducing our brand to new consumers, and pouring at them is one of my favorite parts of the job.
Mary Ann, Dante and I attended Henry Wine Group's Taste of the World Monday at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. The event name is a nod to the array of varietals offered, and it gives wine buyers from restaurants and retail stores the unique opportunity to taste wines from around the globe. Dante hosted the Michael Pozzan booth for five hours and poured wine for old & new fans alike. Events like these are a favorite, and gives us an opportunity to really get to know our customers and share our story & family history.
Like all good evenings, the night was wrapped up at one of my favorite Italian restaurants in San Francisco, Perbacco. Pictured is the roast duck breast in a rhubard (surprisingly pronounced "rhu-bar") sauce with braised greens and roasted green strawberries. We'll take two please!
Michael was on the road this week down in the Central Coast visiting one of our favorite wine purveyors, Bevmo! He hosted a few tastings with some new vintages of our wines, and was thrilled with our Sailors Grave Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (a favorite of ours) and the Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir. Russian River produces incredible Pinot Noir & Chardonnay and we are lucky enough to have forged strong relationships with growers to continue with that fruit source.
His next stop was the beautiful city of Carmel, where he enjoyed a great lunch at 7th & Delores. If you're not hungry, you might be after seeing these pictures! He started with a endive salad with sliced red pears and gorgonzola cheese and moved on to a grilled octopus with braised greens and gigante beans in a Romesco sauce. And of course the wine that pairs well with the dish? The Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir.
It was a short trip, but the beautiful coastal weather and the wonderful dining experiences won't soon fade from memory.
It’s been a busy month for all the Pozzan men.
After pouring at events in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston, Dante met me in Atlanta, Georgia to introduce our Matthew Joseph wines to our new distributor, Quality. We met with their managers and tasted through the wines over a wonderful lunch at the Blue Ridge Grill. If you ever make it there, try the lobster Cobb salad. It was delicious!
The group was very impressed with the quality of the wines and felt that they over delivered. We look forward to building the brand with such a prestigious distributor.
Later that day, we flew to Charleston, South Carolina, where we met up with my lovely wife, Mary Ann. We were in town to participate in The Country Vintner's annual trade show. This year it was held at the Cigar Factory in the Cedar Room. Great venue! Buyers came from all over the state to taste wines from all of the producers they represent. We had a great response to our wines, but the two that really stood out that day were the Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir and the Sailors Grave. I think it's safe to say that we made some new fans.
Bright and early on Monday it was back to Napa and trying to get caught up. Wednesday morning will find us tasting through Cabernet barrels to put the 2015 Marianna blend together.
After traveling from Texas, where Dante finished doing wine events in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, and Austin, he met me in Atlanta, Georgia to introduce our Matthew Joseph wines to our new distributor, Quality. We met with all of their managers and tasted through the wines over a wonderful lunch at the Blue Ridge Grill. If you ever make it there, try the lobster Cobb salad. It was delicious! The group was very impressed with the quality of the wines and felt that they over delivered. We look forward to building the brand with such a prestigous distributor.
Later that day, we flew to Charleston, South Carolina, where we met up with my lovely wife, Mary Ann. We were in town to participate in The Country Vintner's annual trade show. This year it was held at the Cigar Factory in the Cedar Room. Great venue! Buyers came from all over the state to taste wines from all of the producers they represent. For us, we had a great response to our wines, but the two that really stood out that day were the Michael Pozzan Russian River Pinot Noir and the Sailor's Grave. I think it's safe to say that we made some new fans.
Bright and early on Monday it was back to Napa and trying to get caught up. Wednesday morning will find us tasting through Cabernet barrels to put the 2015 Marianna blend togther. I will let you know the outcome later in the week.