Hens and Chicks Kind of Year

Local grape growers refer to grape clusters with different sized berries as “hens and chicks.” The unseasonably cool spring especially affected early maturing varietals such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and resulted in an uneven fruit set. More shatter, looser clusters, and fewer berries are the results.

The good news is small berries, with a high surface–to-volume or skin-to-juice ratio, can produce concentrated flavors. What all this means is that although there may not be a big crop this year, it may very well be a very good one in terms of quality. There is quite a bit of time for Mother Nature to change things, however. We’ll keep you posted. In the cellar it’s bottling, bottling, bottling. In fact, we have bottling scheduled right up until the last week of August, when we shift into harvest mode. Most of the bottling is for our custom crush clients, although we will bottle our 2009 Russian River Chardonnay.

The accolades just keep coming. The 2010 Orange County Fair results arrived, and the Taft Street 2007 Mendocino Ridge Pinot Noir “Garagistes” won a GOLD MEDAL; while the Taft Street 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay earned a SILVER MEDAL.

This week we’ll pour our award winning wines at the California State Fair: 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay “Garagistes” GOLD MEDAL; 2009 Russian River Valley Riesling SILVER MEDAL – BEST OF CLASS; 2008 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc GOLD MEDAL – BEST OF CLASS; 2007 Russian River Valley Zinfandel Cobblestone Vineyard GOLD MEDAL – BEST OF CLASS.

It is high season now in the Tasting Room, as summertime visitors enjoy the bounty of Sonoma County. We are hosting several private tasting/food pairing events this month, with more scheduled later this summer. Groups interested in their own private tastings can contact Kaitlyn at the Tasting Room.

If you are in the neighborhood, drop in for a taste of Sonoma County’s finest.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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