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October 30, 2013 |

#WineWednesday - Red Cap Pinot & Homemade Pizza

Although Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, besides dressing up and decorating the house, we didn't have too many traditions we stuck to growing up. Now that my Halloween nights are less consumed by collecting all the candy possible, I like to spend the night at home watching spooky movies and with a pizza while trick-or-treaters come by. This year, we will be making our own pizzas (I am partial to a margherita with black olives) and accompanying it with our "Red Cap" Pinot Noir... and maybe a piece or two of candy, once all the kids have stopped coming by. 

Tweet us @montinore to share how you are celebrating #winewednesday.

Easy Pizza Dough Recipe

This easy pizza dough recipe comes from Mark Bittman - I tend to use this one since I rarely have the patience or fore-thought for preparations the day before and this one is consistently good. 

3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 cup water and the oil through the feed tube.

2. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky to the touch. If it is still dry, add another tablespoon or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour a tablespoon at a time.)

3. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand for a few seconds to form a smooth, round dough ball. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. (You can cut this rising time short if you’re in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator, for up to 6 or 8 hours.) Proceed to Step 4 or wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap or a zipper bag and freeze for up to a month. (Defrost in the bag or a covered bowl in the refrigerator or at room temperature; bring to room temperature before shaping.)

4. When the dough is ready, form it into a ball and divide it into 2 or more pieces if you like; roll each piece into a round ball. Put each ball on a lightly floured surface, sprinkle with flour, and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rest until they puff slightly, about 20 minutes.

Add any combination of toppings can really shine here - it is pizza, there are no wrong answers! I tend to default to whole peeled canned tomatoes (partially blended with an immersion blender to create a chunky sauce), minced garlic, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, sliced black olives, and fresh basil. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is bubbled and lightly charred and the crust is golden.

Time Posted: Oct 30, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Montinore Estate
October 29, 2013 | Montinore Estate

October Retrospective

We have been lucky enough to have some beautiful clear and crisp days to close out October. The wines are safely tucked into their tanks and the Pinot Noir has begun to go in to their barrels for the winter. We are really happy with the quality of fruit that ended up coming in, and the vintage will be similar in style to 2010, but of equal of better quality!

Time Posted: Oct 29, 2013 at 6:00 AM
October 18, 2013 |

Weekly Wine-Up

1. The sunsets have been stunning around here in the early evening. 
2. Pinot Noir grapes from late last week, just waiting to go in the press. 
3. Birds are a constant problem for us when grapes are still on the vine, but once we get everything off, it is once again easy to be in awe over their flight patterns above the vineyard. 
4. Pulses being done on one of the large Pinot Noir ferments to break up the cap. 
5. Kristin was in the winery Sunday helping out the crew, and had a nice break when her family, including adorable son, Anders, came to visit. 
6. To be honest, the winemakers have gone a little batty lately, as can be seen on the white board in the lab.  

Here is some links we clicked this week:

- The Grand Lodge is hosting a Vintner's dinner is tonight, focusing on local food and wines. 
- Jancis Robinson and Antonio Galloni investigate the power of smell and scent memories as tied into wine appreciation. 
- And for something completely different, Wine for cat is now on sale in Japan (don't worry, there is no alcohol in it). 

This weekend we will:

Be staying here at the winery as we are now in the full-swing of harvest. Come by and visit us in the tasting room - we will all be here!

Tonight Rudy will be at the Grand Lodge for their Vintner's Dinner - click for more information. 


Time Posted: Oct 18, 2013 at 6:00 AM
October 16, 2013 |

#WineWednesday - Reserve Pinot Noir & Wild Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom risottos are one of my go-to dishes when pairing with Pinot Noir, held over from years of not eating meat and a love for the abundance of mushrooms in the Northwest. So whenever my local grocer or famer's market has a new crop of mushrooms, I dash on home to make up a cheesy batch of risotto and open up a Pinot. The creaminess of this particular version will balance nicely with the structure of our Reserve Pinot Noir.

Tweet us @montinore to share how you are celebrating #winewednesday.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Risottos may take a while to reach perfection, but it is entirely worth it. This recipe is a slight adaption from Bon Appétit made entirely vegetarian. 

9 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds fresh wild mushrooms - (such as porcini, chanterelle, or stemmed shiitake); large mushrooms sliced, small mushrooms halved or quartered
7 cups (about) low-salt mushroom broth
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/4 cups arborio rice (8 to 9 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving (optional)

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 of mushrooms and sprinkle with salt. Sauté mushrooms until tender and beginning to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Working in 3 more batches, repeat with 6 tablespoons butter, remaining mushrooms, and salt and pepper.

Bring 7 cups mushroom broth to simmer in medium saucepan; keep warm. Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with olive oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and increase heat to medium. Stir until edges of rice begin to look translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.

Add white wine and stir until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup warm chicken broth; stir until almost all broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is halfway cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in sautéed mushrooms. Continue adding broth by 3/4 cupfuls, stirring until almost all broth is absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender but still firm to bite and risotto is creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, if using.

Transfer risotto to serving bowl. Pass additional Parmesan cheese alongside, if desired.

Time Posted: Oct 16, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Montinore Estate
October 14, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Pinot Press

Getting all of the last bits of Pinot Noir skins into the big red press - we have been pulling in all the last vineyard blocks of Pinot over the past week and are really happy with the quality of fruit and can't wait to see all that potential shine!

Time Posted: Oct 14, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Tasting Room
October 11, 2013 | Tasting Room

Weekly Wine-Up


1. Always nice to have friends out visiting, @barbaraserena1 from Cooper Mountain came to visit on a rainy afternoon. 
2. Our vineyard has felt eerily close to a Disney movie lately, lots of creatures have been visiting - deer, birds, piglets...  
3. Daily testing of the Pinot Noir to check for ripeness.
4. The weather has turned crisp and the leaves have started to change colors on our old maples looking out over the reservoir.  
5. Eddie joined in the fun in the winery on Thursday and helped out with some punch-downs.
6. The Gewurztraminer stayed in the press Wednesday evening for skin contact.  

Here is some links we clicked this week:

- The Grand Lodge is hosting a Vintner's dinner next Friday the 18th, focusing on local food and wines. 
- “The simplest way to start in on this pleasant hobby is to buy wines, start sampling, discussing, keeping notes, reading about wines, thinking about them, and enjoying them.” Julia Child was great for the American palate for many reasons, one of which was her love of wine and belief in American wineries. 
- VP of Marketing for E & J Gallo Winery, Stephanie Gallo, has some interesting insights on the changing scope of the wine industry and the elvolving demographic and how to appeal to them. 

This weekend we will:

Be staying here at the winery as we are now in the full-swing of harvest. Come by and visit us in the tasting room - we will all be here!

Next Friday, October 18th, we will be at the Grand Lodge for their Vintner's Dinner - click for more information. 


Time Posted: Oct 11, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Montinore Estate
October 10, 2013 | Montinore Estate

2013 - The Year of Gew├╝rztraminer

This year the gewürztraminer is especially abundant and the grapes that came in this week are really beautiful. Inspired by a recent trip to Alsace, Rudy came back with an idea on how to rework the gewürztraminer. We changed the trellising to a loop style trellis to encourage more clusters to grow. This was risky, but we are happy with the results, as the Gewürztraminer was some of the pretties fruit on property. We just picked the last of it yesterday and Stephen has begun his meticulous process and care for the grapes. 

Time Posted: Oct 10, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Kristin Marchesi, General Manager

#WineWednesday - Sweet Riesling & Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

It is officially apple season - the perfect time for ciders, crisps and pies - and this Apple Pie with Cheddar crust from Gourmet is a fun twist on the American staple. The cheddar is a nice mild addition, which helps to create a lovely flaky crust with the right amount of saltyness to balance out the apple filling. Our Riesling Sweet Reserve pairs well with the sweetness of the fruit and the tang of the cheese which work well with the acid/sweetness balance of the Riesling. 

Tweet us @montinore to share how you are celebrating #winewednesday.

Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust

This Apple Pie recipe has been around for a few years, but it tends to be a go-to in the Fall when I want a dessert with a slight twist. 

For Pastry

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 lb extra-sharp cheddar (preferably white), coarsely grated (2 1/2 cups)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening (trans-fat-free), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
1 tablespoon milk

For Filling

1 1/2 lb Gala apples (3 medium)
1 1/2 lb Granny Smith apples (3 medium)
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into bits

Make Pastry Dough

1. Stir together flour, salt, and cheese in a large bowl (or pulse in a food processor). Add butter and shortening and blend with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse) just until mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size butter lumps. Drizzle 6 Tbsp ice water evenly over mixture and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

2. Squeeze a small handful: If dough doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.

3. Turn out dough onto a work surface and divide in half, then form each half into a 5-inch disk. Chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour.

Make Filling and Bake Pie

4. Put a foil-lined large baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 450°F.

5. Peel and core apples, then slice 1/4 inch thick. Toss apples with sugar, flour, lemon juice, and salt until evenly coated.

6. Roll out 1 piece of dough (keep remaining disk chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round. Fit into a 9-inch pie plate. Roll out remaining piece of dough into an 11-inch round.
7. Transfer filling to shell. Dot with butter, then cover with pastry round. Trim edges, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Press edges together to seal, then fold under. Lightly brush top crust with milk, then cut 5 (1-inch-long) vents.

8. Bake on hot baking sheet 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 375°F and bake until crust is golden-brown and filling is bubbling, about 40 minutes more. Cool to warm or room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Time Posted: Oct 9, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Kristin Marchesi, General Manager

Adventures of a Quasi-Intern - Pt. 1

I begged the winemaking team to get a place on the harvest team this year to escape the office part time and to learn more about the every day they deal with in the vineyard and winery during harvest. 

I spent the morning of my first day on the job getting a years worth of Vitamin D, sampling two of our single vinyard Pinot Noir blocks. 

Despite the rain the past couple of weeks, I was surprised to see such great fruit quality and that the clusters have help up exceptionally well. 

As much as I love what I do here on a daily basis; some manual labor and having an opportunity to help the winemakers make our wines was more meaningful than I had expected.


Time Posted: Oct 8, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Montinore Estate
October 7, 2013 | Montinore Estate

Sights of Fall

One of the most obvious signs of fall's arrival for us is the leaves changing at the nursery across the street. Even when we are in the dead heat of summer, the tops of the trees will start to turn and we will know that autumn is creeping slowly around the corner. We are now in full swing of fall, and are graced with exceptional color from across the street. 

Time Posted: Oct 7, 2013 at 6:00 AM