August is here and the summer heat is well and truly on, hastening the ripening of our estate grapes. Veraison is in full swing, turning the green grapes to red as the pace of summer quickens and our thoughts turn to impending harvest.
Pinot Noir sports netting — we don’t like to share with the birds — and Winemaker Dave expects picking to begin in late August or early September. If the heat persists, this may move up. Some vineyards in the mountains are already reporting sugar levels in Pinot Noir at about 20Brix, which means they are not far away from ripeness. Typical target sugar levels are somewhere between 24 and 25Brix. While waiting for harvest, we’re busy bottling, so barrels will be empty as they await vintage 2015.
This is a great time of the year to visit the big red schoolhouse — admire the perfectly healthy, ripening grapes, enjoy a picnic on the scenic deck and taste and bring home some of our great new releases.
The new GSM blend is perfect with summer’s bounty, especially BLATs made with fresh-from-the-garden heirloom tomatoes. We also love this wine with veggie lasagna, which consists of layers of summer squash, eggplant (or not), roasted peppers, corn, sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzarella. Such a delicious and healthy way to feast on the produce that is pretty much at its prolific peak.
August 1st & 2nd, Sippers Club Session in the gazebo garden. Taste the August club wines and savor Chef Desiree’s bites of summer, along with live music.
August 13th, Music in the Mountains, a benefit for Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Enjoy wine and food pairings and chamber music in Nestldown’s spectacular mountain retreat. www.cabrillomusic.org
August 15th 7 16th, Scotts Valley Art, Wine and Beer Festival at Skypark, Scotts Valley. www.scottsvalleychamber.com/art-fest
August 22nd, Oyster Day at Burrell School. Parker, of Bill the Oyster Man, will be shucking for us. Enjoy the freshest of oysters and Burrell School wine by the glass. Oysters while supplies last. www.billtheoysterman.com
NEW RELEASE WINES
2009 Cabernet Sauvignon $39 regular/$26 wine club
2011 Carignane “Class Clown” $30 regular/$24 wine club
2010 Class Reunion $30 regular/$24 wine club
2010 Zin-Syrah $30 regular/$24 wine club
2012 GSM $32 regular/$25.60 wine club
Purchase 6 bottles or more and receive an additional 5% discount. Purchase 12 bottles and receive an additional 10%
Burrell School celebrated its 125th birthday on July Fourth in grand style with a flag raising ceremony, complete with bugle call by winemaker Dave. Three Burrell School alums were present, including Earl Montgomery, who graduated with the Class of 1946, along with lots of our mountain neighbors and wine club friends. We feasted on cake, accompanied by glasses of Pinot and Chardonnay. We didn’t save you any cake, but you can still enjoy the wines!