is upon us. Just after I put away tables from the President’s Club party, stashed cushions and rattan furniture from the decks and patio, and harvested forty pounds of tomatoes – the skies opened. From four to six inches of rain will drop over the next 24 hours. Timing is everything, and this year (and this week) we did just fine. All our grapes are in, and the final arrival (Riesling) began fermentation today.

Our party was a great success. Under overcast skies we enjoyed the music of local band Bottle Shock, ate delicious barbecue from our friend, grape grower and dairyman Dominic Carinalli, and paired wine with appetizers made from our garden. Over 200 people attended the best ever rendition of our fall get together. Check out the photos on the Taft Street Winery Facebook account.

The Gold Medal and Best of Class awards at this year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair is continuing to excite retailers and restaurants alike. These winners can now be found in virtually every local wine shop, and many restaurants are featuring one or more of the wines. We are doing our bit at the Tasting Room, where we are offering a case with three bottles of each of the GOLD MEDAL winners – 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes, 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris, and 2008 Russian River Valley Riesling – for $195. That is more than 20% off our regular price. Call the Tasting Room (800) 234-8238.

Just had a hectic but productive trip back east last week. On the heels of the Harvest Fair weekend and the hosting of a group from our New York distributor, I flew to Boston for a trade tasting on Tuesday. I was gladdened to note the familiarity retailers and restaurateurs had with our wines, and the reception they had to our current releases. Then it was off to New York City, where we had a couple of very successful days on the streets of Manhattan. Home late Friday night and behind the stove all day Saturday, preparing for the Club party. I slept quite well Sunday night.

We are already thinking about the next event – Una Cuarta Parte Vaca. I mentioned last month of finding a terrific recipe in the new cookbook SEVEN FIRES. The recipe called for a “medium cow, about 1200 ponds, skinned and butterflied.” Mike Martini and I got to thinking about what fun it would be to try this, but in a rare moment of sanity we decided it might be a good idea to try it first on a smaller scale. So the plan is to fire up a quarter of a beef. We’ve talked to local butchers and it’s doable. So on Halloween we will have our annual after crush party with an added attraction

The very next weekend is the Russian River Wine Road’s Wine and Food Affair. It appears we are in the midst of the party season.


Mike Tierney

Three Best of Class & Four Gold Medal Winners

The Sonoma County Harvest Fair is the country’s largest regional wine competition and unique celebration of the senses, set in the heart of Sonoma Wine Country during the most splendid season of the year. Judged by renowned wine critics and sommeliers from throughout the country, Sonoma County’s Harvest Fair is truly a competition of the best of the best.

For Taft Street Winery, the 2009 awards night was very successful. Four of our wines were awarded Gold Medals, with three selected as Best of Class!

Gold Rush

We are now at the height of Crush, with truckloads of gorgeous fruit arriving daily. It’s all hands on deck and then some, as Harvest 2009 appears to be a winner.

Certainly Taft Street is a winner. For those not in touch over the past week, we collected 4 GOLD MEDALS AT THE Sonoma County Harvest Fair, including 3 BEST OF CLASS awards. In the country’s largest regional wine competition we came away with top honors (BEST OF CLASS) with our 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, our 2008 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris, and our 2008 Russian River Valley Riesling. Our 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes won a GOLD MEDAL; OUR 2008 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc, our 2007 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir, and our 2008 Sonoma Coast Rose of Pinot Noir all took SILVER MEDALS. Our 2007 Russian River Valley Zinfandel Cobblestone Vineyard and our 2007 Dry Creek Valley Syrah St Emydius Acres were awarded BRONZE MEDALS. Every wine we entered won an award. (Ask us about the Sweepstakes winner.)

This weekend, October 3 & 4, we will pour the wines to the public at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

These awards come right on the heels of our boffo review in the October issue of Wine & Spirits Magazine, where our 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes received 91 points (Outstanding), and our 2007 Russian River Valley Chardonnay earned 90 points (Outstanding) and a BEST BUY. The critics see the light!

To share the happiness Taft Street is offering a special on its GOLD MEDAL winning wines. For the month of October we will offer a mixed case with three bottles each of the GOLD MEDAL winners (both Chardonnays, the Pinot Gris, and the Riesling). This normally would cost $246; we will have it on sale for $195 – more than a 20% discount. Call the winery at 1(800)334-8238 or email us at [email protected]

It is OND TIME (October/November/December), the busiest business quarter of the year. During the month Mike Martini will change his wine stained jeans to a more wine country casual look as he runs off to Florida for a quick series of tastings. Next week I am off to Boston and New York to work with our distributors. Later in the month I’ll be a week with our reps in Colorado. Laurie will continue hitting accounts up and down the state.

In the Tasting Room Kaitlyn and crew are gearing up for our President’s Club party Sunday, October 11th. It looks like this may be our biggest event ever, so rsvp soon if you haven’t done so already.
Enough for now; it’s back to work.
Hope to see you at the President’s Club party on October 11th.
Mike Tierney
[email protected]