Happy 30th Birthday Taft Street!

Who wudda thunk?  Thirty years ago, on April 1,1982 six intrepid travelers left the confines of the garage on Taft Street in Oakland, and journeyed north to the soon to be famous Russian River Valley.

Here we began making wines from local vineyards, and immediately discovered the suitability of Chardonnay to local soils. Sauvignon Blanc , Zinfandel and Merlot were added to the mix. Later Pinot Noir was found to fit perfectly into nearby vineyards.

So here we are today – older if not wiser, and experienced in the seasonal changes and challenges of the wine business. Everyone here at Taft Street shares a common thought – we all are convinced we have picked the perfect job, and we wouldn’t change it.

The vines are starting to push, though heavy rains during March slowed things down a bit. While the rains relieved growers of the threat of drought, there is still another month of frost season.

In the winery Evelyn and crew are gearing up for spring bottlings. Our new twist top machine arrives at the end of the month, and this year we will use it on clients’ bottlings, as our 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris have already been bottled.

March was a busy month. Evelyn and I spent a week in the New York market, where we opened accounts with the folks at Vision Wine Brands. Then Mike Martini and I were off to Chicago with the Sonoma County Vintners’ Association for a trade tasting. We were fortunate to pick up new distribution in the Chicago area – welcome Platinum Distributing!

This month I’ll visit the Boston area to work with the good people at Café Europa – our Massachusetts distributor.

On the home front, our sales team of Clayton and Mosha continue to rock and roll. New accounts are opening weekly, and we now have almost 400 restaurants and wine shops on our California accounts list!

Our Tasting Room has reopened – better than ever. The architectural firm of Tierney Conner Design came up with a simple yet elegant restructuring of our Tasting Room space and surrounding grounds. It is now more fun than ever to enjoy a glass of Taft Street wine. We experimented with 200 guests on April 1st, and an overall thumbs up was the verdict. We’ll have special events throughout the year and we’ll keep you posted. Look for some “Street Music” in the coming months.

As Spring gets into gear there is even more reason to visit us. The hills are still green, the weather is quite comfortable, the crowds are yet to come, and we’ve prepared a terrific venue. Join the fun!


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery