Happy New Year!

The holiday parties are over, the rains have moved on (for now), and Taft Street is gearing up for what we expect to be a banner year.

In the vineyards the vines are dormant for the winter; yet activity doesn’t cease as pruning has begun in earnest. Recent rains have made the going a bit sloppy over the past several weeks, but a forecast of dry conditions over the upcoming week should stimulate activity. Preparation for Vintage 2011 has begun.

In the winery Evelyn and staff have completed the bottling of our 2010 Sonoma County Rose of Pinot Noir and our 2010 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris. This weekend you will be able to sample the Pinot Gris; we’ll hold off the release of the Rose until Valentine’s Day. Both the wines are lovely, and will be added attractions to our already star studded lineup of wines. The 2010 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc will be bottled later this month.

On the road plans are being developed for distributor visits, while Clayton and Laurie continue to develop their local account bases. The past few months have proven the success of our direct sales approach to retailers and restaurants in California, and we will continue to develop this program. Our next step is to add personnel in the Southern California area. We’ll keep you posted.

The Tasting Room enjoyed its best year ever in 2010! Kudos to Kaitlyn and staff. As recognition of the quality of wines from the western region of the Russian River Valley appellation grows, we expect even more visitors this year. Our internet direct sales came of age last year, and that experience points to continued growth as well.

We expect to see big crowds next weekend at the Wine Road’s Annual Winter Wineland. Join the fun and see how clonal selection affects flavors in our Chardonnay blends. Also, enjoy my homemade breadsticks (recipe below). An alternative (or addition) would be to visit when the crowds are gone. We’ll still show you a good time!

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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