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.
Last night my wife, Mary Ann, and I poured our award winning wines for the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. The event was held at the Sonoma fairgrounds in the Pavilion. I am proud to inform you that we won Double Gold on our 2016 Michael Pozzan Russian River Chardonnay. We also won Silver Medals for both Michael Pozzan Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and the Michael Pozzan Sonoma County Pinot Noir.
Last night's event brought out hundreds of wine enthusiasts from all over Northern California. We also had the opportunity to speak to people that were visiting from Chicago and Houston. It's always been very enjoyable for me to be able to chat with consumer's and gives me a better understanding of what they look for when selecting wines for themselves.
The Russian River Chardonnay was the big hit of the night. So many people commented on the fact that the wine wasn't dominated by too much oak and how it showed wonderful balance and finesse.
Mary Ann did a great job decorating our table. She shopped for flowers earlier that day and brought bunches of grapes that she picked from our backyard.
Harvest 2017 is far from done and has already proven itself memorable. Temperatures in the valley soared into the triple digits in late August, and parked in the high 90’s for almost a full week. Many locations up valley registered 109F on the two hottest days of the relentless heat spike. Temperatures briefly cooled into the 80’s before topping 100F again the 2nd week of September. The intense, prolonged heat initially seemed to super charge harvest - thin skinned, early-ripening varietals were ripening quickly and threatening to be damaged by the extreme temperatures. Once the early picks were in, however, it became clear that the heat had impacted later-ripening varietals in far more than visible ways. The word from all parts of the valley was that winemakers and vineyard managers were seeing a complete stall in sugar accumulation in the grapes. The heat seemed to have interrupted the vine’s ability to push the sugar load into the grapes. During a month which usually contributes to slow, even ripening in the vineyard, there were little to no changes in the ripeness of the grapes for roughly 20 days between Labor Day and the last week of September. It had a lot of industry folk scratching their heads.
October has broken with a long-ranging forecast that looks dry and mild - and what ought to be perfect ripening weather. Cabernet vineyards are beginning to adopt a more regular pattern of sugar accumulation, and the peculiar “pause” seen in harvest in September seems to be behind us. There are still plenty of tons left to harvest in Napa Valley, and it’s shaping up to be a spectacular vintage.
I was a presenter last weekend at the legendary Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney Resort in Orlando, Florida. We were thrilled that the festival was still able to take place after Hurricane Irma. Orlando came out pretty good compared to the Florida Keys – Disney World only closed for 2 days to be on the safe side. By the time we arrived the resort was bustling and looked to be totally in order.
We had over a 100 people at our tasting event. I shared some history of our family and Michael Pozzan Winery. Mary Ann and I started the business on a shoestring budget and only produced 200 cases our first year. We’ve since grown production to over 125,000 cases. I tasted the group through the Michael Pozzan 2016 Russian River Chardonnay, 2012 Sailors Grave, and Annabella 2015 Cabernet – which was showing exceptionally well.
One highlight of the trip was a question and answer session after the tasting. I was also able to chat with guests one-on-one during a bottle signing, where we sold out of the Sailors Grave! Luckily, we have the new vintage ready to go.
The food was another highlight of our trip. We went to two fantastic restaurants and had meals we will not soon forget. First, our family had dinner at Il Molino at the Disney Swan Hotel. We started with a wonderful caesar salad and linguini marinara, and finished the meal with Veal and Eggplant Parmesan. We enjoyed a gorgeous Italian red blend to compliment the food.
Next we dined at the California Grill, where manager Andrey took exceptional care of us. Our table was overlooking the Disney Castle, and the evening ended with a firework show. They currently have the Michael Pozzan 2014 Russian River Pinot Noir as part of their wine list, so we enjoyed a bottle with our meals of grouper, filet & risotto, and a lobster tempura roll. A sincere thanks to Florida for hosting us on such an outstanding trip!
My wife Mary Ann and I are in Boston doing a trade show with our Massachusetts distributor, Martignetti Wines. This is is a semi-annual event that we do in Spring and Fall. The goal behind these shows are to meet one on one with retailer's and restauranteer's to showcase our wines and to chat about new releases and upcoming vintages. Typically, as a producer, we will work with the distributor's sales representatives traveling to different accounts to taste the buyers on our wines individually. While this is a great way to showcase our wines on a personal level, it is nearly impossible to reach everyone in the state. These tradeshows provide exactly that.
We have been working with the Martignetti family for close to twenty years and have enjoyed a close relationship based on mutual respect. The highlight for us today is to present our newest wine, Giapoza, that is named after our first grandchild, Gianna Pozzan.
For dinner we went to the Bristol Lounge Bar at the Four Seasons. They offer our Michael Pozzan 2014 Russian River Pinot Noir by the glass and enjoyed it with my burger.
The man on the right in the picture is Brian Keeping. Director of Fine Wines for Martignetti in Boston.