Spring 2018 Club Newsletter

2018 started with a bang after 2017 fairly exploded.  On January 2 we brought down the burned hulk of the 1916 Craftsman Home which many of you saw while here (burned in 2016) - this after many deliberations with the insurance company.  The timing just came together that way, and as it works out we are leading the rebuilding of our nearby neighborhood, Coffey Park, of which 1500 structures burned in last Fall’s Tubb’s Fire.  We had no idea our “Private” house fire would prepare us for what was to come, a true environmental disaster. Perseverance and tenacity along with a community spirit proved essential in surviving the aftermath which we still are in the shadow of today.

Meanwhile new things abound.  We have planted the “Winery Acre” to a non-irrigated, regenerative agriculture technique of my own design using Mulch made here on site by me.  The tree chips we are getting for this technique right now are from the burned trees nearby which means they are loaded with “BioChar” which is amazing for soil microbiology.  

The varieties we used in this new planting are mostly white: Riesling, Vermintino, Chenin Blanc, and a block of “Wild Seed” that was grown from seed so we have no idea what variety it will be.  The wild seed is the only way to get new varieties so I am committing myself to some fun and exploration in what I grow here at OWW!

February and March was full of pruning the 120 year old “1890 Block” which I call “Abundance” once in bottle, and the 80 year old Abouriou that I call “Luminous” once in bottle.  I have developed a hybrid technique of cane pruning along with the bush vine (or head trained) technique to get new wood production and further life growing on those old vines.

Many of you know or have met Susan who has been with OWW for 6 years.  She is now here full time doing things like living in the Tiny House, gathering eggs, planting flowers, making sure the Wine Club shipments get out in a timely fashion, keeping Darek on point, and next time you are here take a walk with her to the pig and see her developing flower sanctuary.  

Now for the wines.  I am sending out a new bottling and some that have been awaiting their close up.  The club gets first dibs on re-orders but there isn’t much of any of these so if you are further interested let us know!

2011 Alicante Bouschet, Mendocino County

In 2011, I got a ton of grapes from a great family friend named Bob Dempel.  It was so much fun stomping this red juiced variety! But alas it is bittersweet as he pulled out the block the following year.  So this is it, only 2 barrels made of this Teinturier (red juice) French variety that was a cross between Petite Bouchet and Grenache.  

2011 “Luminous” Abouriou, Russian River Valley

This is a bottling from the 2011 Vintage with 5 years in Barrel!  The long barrel age gives an incredible subtle spiciness to the wines.  It was bottled in January and is meant to be consumed within the next several years.  A one of a kind for sure!

2014 “Era” Late Harvest, Sonoma Coast

This wine surprised me.  Pinot Noir shows up to the crushpad from the coast with 34 degrees brix (too much sugar) due to a drying night wind over 6 evenings and I did not know what to do!  So I put some alcohol in it and made it like you would make a port, but with less alcohol and less final sugar, this wine can go with the meal or after as you see fit!

Tony Immordino
Harvest 2017 Club Newsletter

I am seated in SFO International Terminal heading to Montreal and I have moment to reflect on Fire, Harvest, and Future.

I am amazed at the monumentous effort the Sonoma County Community has put forth to recover from the Fire Disaster.  It has never been more apparent, when in serious crisis, that the community cannot expect their needs to be met solely by the greater authority, rather it was the community that rose up, the volunteers, who continue to be the engine of care for the displaced.  If you are of a mind to, please seek to support the efforts of Land Paths Meal and Heal (landpaths.org), CAwinestrong.com, or other organized efforts focused on the Fire Victims.  

With Grace, all of my Harvest was in before the fire.  High Temperatures of 110 degrees (F) in late August disturbed an otherwise ideal growing year.  Harvest was swift and fast to get completion before quality further degraded.  And some of my biggest challenges came on the crushpad in the form of unexpected twists and turns during fermentation yet I find I have some of my best wines coming from the creativity needed in those moments! 

A Sommelier from Montreal came to work with me for 3 weeks and it was great to have his palate through all those changes on the crushpad.  Upon the final barrel samples we celebrated as the wines from 2017 are remarkable yet they didn’t start out that way.

Now I begin an incredible three week focus on the natural wine market, first in Quebec, then to the 2nd Annual Raw Wine Fair in New York City, finally to the 1st Annual Raw Wine Fair in Los Angeles.  I will be showing people from across the world the wines that you have immediate membership access to!  Thank you for being an essential part of what I do.   

The Wine Club is now a twice a year activity and Susan and I bring to you the most interesting things before anyone else sees them.  Thank you

Our Fall Wine Club Offering

2012 Carignane (care-in-yon) 1929 Block
Ripe, rich and fruit driven, it is a curious red that provokes intense sensory curiosity!  The vineyard was planted in 1929 in Dry Creek Valley and continues to this day.  Two years in Barrel, and now three years in bottle.
2012 Syrah
Dark, full bodied, blackberries, black cherries, olive oil, chocolate, leather.  This is cool climate Syrah showing all of its brighter components, ripe flavors but low alcohol (12%).  Two years in barrel and now three years in bottle.  
2008 Folderol   50% Zinfandel, Dry Creek / 50% Abouriou, Russian River Valley
Zinfandel, perfect companion to Abouriou, adding spice, bramble and dark berries to the rare grapes electrifying, juicy, tart, red fruit.  This is about to sell out in Quebec but we have enough to show you.  So much flavor while having so much restraint (12% Alcohol).  Ttwo years in barrel, this one now has seven years in bottle!

Sometimes - Sheenagh Pugh
Sometimes things don't go, after all,
from bad to worse.  Some years, muscadel
faces down frost; green thrives; the crops don't fail,
sometimes a man aims high, and all goes well.

A people sometimes will step back from war;
elect an honest man, decide they care
enough, that they can't leave some stranger poor.
Some men become what they were born for.

Sometimes our best efforts do not go
amiss, sometimes we do as we meant to.
The sun will sometimes melt a field of sorrow
that seemed hard frozen:  may it happen for you.

Tony Immordino