The nights are cooling, grapes are ripening and harvest is upon us. This can only mean one thing — our stomp competition and crush party is coming! Here are the details of this annual tradition:
The competition starts promptly at 12:30pm and will continue until the event’s end. Teams are comprised of two people, a swabber and a stomper. We strongly recommend that you reserve your team’s slot in the competition ASAP. You can either call the tasting room at 503.359.5012 x 3 or email Paxton@montinore.com to reserve your spot on the bracket. Because the competition is fierce, and most teams are adults, we will have several kids heats throughout the day, so people of all ages can get their feet dirty!
This is a family friendly event and all are welcome. The Misty Mamas will provide our soundtrack for the day. We’ll have hayrides, cornhole, face painting, fresh pressed grape juice and some big bubble magic! Of coursewe’ll have plenty of wine on hand to quench your thirst.
As always, there is no cost to attend the Crush Party or stomp in the competition. We’re excited to celebrate harvest with you next month. See you there!
We are happy to welcome back Willamette Shakespeare Theater Company for a three day performance, August 12-14 of Love's Labour's Lost on our back lawn. Admission is free; please bring low chairs or blankets, as the setup is casual, open seating. We also recommend bringing a flashlight to guide you back to your car after the show and layers of clothing to keep warm. Wine by the bottle and glass will be available for purchase (no outside alcohol permitted). Bring a picnic or treat yourself to dinner for purchase at the event from Portland's Tails and Trotters. For more info, visit www.willametteshakespeare.org.
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Need to overnight your shipment? No problem! Just call (503.359.5012 x 106) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Eddie and he'll play elf for you!
Weather you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festival of Light, Yule or Winter Solstice you are following ancient traditions. The end of the harvest, usually a jubilant time, finds farmers responding to the shorter days and the first frosts by preparing the plants and animals for winter, also an ancient tradition.
In late fall as the leaves are dropping from the grape vines, there is a flurry of activity in the roots. They are pulling in and storing the last nutrients of the season and holding them until the spring to provide energy for bud break, early cane and leaf growth. One of the most important tools in the BD tool chest is the preparation of BD 500, essentially specially composted cow manure. When properly prepared and applied to the soil it has the effect of stimulating root activity and enhancing the vitality and activity of roots. It is a traditional and obviously logical part of the biodynamic practice to apply BD 500 in the spring to help with the new season’s growth. When looking at vine growth in an annual/cyclical perspective it becomes apparent that a fall application is beneficial. In a sense it puts the vines to bed for their winter rest with a full belly of nutrients so when they wake in the spring they can burst into activity with everything they need. This is something we do each November at Montinore and we have seen a real benefit over the years.
As a Biodynamic farmer, one develops sensitivity to the life cycles of growth on the farm. By paying attention we can time our actions to take advantage of the ebbs and flows of the life energy through the year. May your celebration of the season, however that may look, be joyful and fruitful.
Join us on November 21 from 3-6pm for our first ever Holiday Artisanal Bazaar! We have invited a carfelly-curated collection of farmers, chefs, craftspeople and artists to give you a unique and special selection of goods to stock your pantry or get a head start on gifts. The event is for wine club members only and is free to attend. We'll be pouring new releases and old favorites at this lively pre-holiday party and club members will receive 25% off any wine purchased at the event.
Thomas Dauphinee of Eastburn in Portland will be onsite and shaking up specialty Verjus and Port cocktails. And, we'll have live music from guitarist Keegan Dews.
To RSVP, email email@example.com.
It's an annual tradition! Enjoy an afternoon of live bluegrass music, a grape-stomp competition, lawn games, hay rides on a tractor through the vineyard, face painting, freshly-pressed juice, and wine tasting. The Bunk Truck from Bunk Sandwiches will be on site selling food this year, so be sure to bring an appetite! The stomp competition starts at 12:30. We strongly recommend that you reserve your team's slot in the competition ASAP. The event is family-friendly and free. Call the tasting room at 503-359-5012 x 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional info and to reserve your spot in the bracket.
The 2014 harvest has kicked off in the Willamette Valley as fruit pours into wineries as we speak. We’ll start bringing in grapes for the wines sometime next week and we’re currently prepping the winery for the hundreds of tons of grapes that will passing through over the next few weeks. However, our harvest always begins a couple weeks before the “actual” harvest with grapes coming in that are destined for our verjus.
We get asked quite often what verjus is in the tasting room. Essentially, it’s the juice of grapes that were picked while the grapes were very low in sugar (usually around 10% sugar; as a comparison, we ideally harvest Pinot Noir when it’s between 21-25%) and high in acidity. As the grapes continue to ripen and develop sugar, the acidity drops, so there isn’t a large harvest window for verjus.
Verjus itself has been used since ancient times in the preparation of sauces or as an additive that requires any acidic ingredient. That’s still seen as its primary purpose today, but it can be so much more. My preference is to use verjus as a cocktail ingredient, mixed with a dram of whisky (if I’m not drinking wine, you can usually find me drinking whisky). Here’s a few cocktail ideas from the Wall Street Journal (the article even features our verjus).
We’re all going to be very busy over the next few weeks with sorting fruit, cleaning tanks, moving wine here and there, and all of the other (un)glamorous tasks that the creation of wine entails. We’ll come up for air occasionally, keeping you updated on the progress of #Harvest2014. In the interim, try your own cooking/mixing experiments with our verjus; we only have a small amount of the 2013 vintage remaining, so get it while you can!
Less than a month ago we saw what a warmer growing season could do for Chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. But how did that same year affect the Pinot Noir on the vine? This vintage deserves further investigation.
The 1994 vintage itself, when compared to the vintages surrounding it (1992, very hot; 1993, very cool and wet; 1995, hot; 1996, hot), seemed to be a miracle vintage, where the season progressed perfectly and sugar levels, acidity, and ripeness levels were all in balance.
What’s the thinking behind creating a “reserve” wine and what does it mean? Just like the term “late harvest,” there’s no legal definition for what constitutes a reserve wine. Every winery’s definition differs, but Montinore’s has historically been defined by its structure and dark fruit characteristics in comparison to the Estate Pinot Noir: the more-structured vineyard blocks are nurtured for a little more time in their French oak cradles after fermentation to highlight the tannins and create a wine that drinks well upon release but has the potential to age magnificently. Ideally, we’re trying to create the most complete wine that we can from a particular vintage.
Twenty years later, the initial impression of this wine is the density of its deep garnet color; I would have expected a bit more color loss, but still very concentrated. The initial whiff gives a dusty aroma of black cherry and blackberry with a pronounced gamy note of smokiness. The fruit has integrated on the palate, revealing secondary earthy and leathery notes while a distinct peatiness lingers on the finish.
Just last month we released our 2012 Reserve Pinot Noir, which already shows great potential. Delicious now, but I believe it can be cellared for a minimum of ten years and most likely longer; patience will be greatly rewarded.