Paul Young Joins Taft Street Winery as Director of Sales

Taft Street Winery is very happy to announce the addition of Paul Young to the Taft Street family. He comes to Taft Street with 23 years of experience as Director of Sales and Marketing for Heck Estates and Kenwood Vineyards.

“Paul is a true professional who understands the needs of distributors and the demands of brand management,” said Mike Tierney, President of Taft Street Winery. “Taft Street is fortunate to have just celebrated its thirty years in the wine business with the same core group that started in the garage. With the addition of Paul to the team that includes winemaker Evelyn White, we are very excited for the continued success in this industry.”

Double Gold Medal & Best of Class

This past weekend, our 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay was awarded a Double Gold Medal and Best of Class at the 2012 Sonoma County Harvest Fair Wine Competition.

Judged by renowned wine critics and sommeliers from throughout the country, the Sonoma County’s Harvest Fair is one of the most exciting and prestigious California wine competitions. With over 1,000 of the County’s finest wines submitted, we are truly excited to be recognized as one of the best!

We’ll be pouring this award winner at the Harvest Fair Wine Pavilion on October 5, 6 & 7. Be sure to get your tickets early and stop by our booth for a memorable Taft Street experience.

Can’t make it to the event? We are pre-releasing the 2011 vintage to our friends and family during the coming holidays.

Be the first to order this Double Gold Medal winner today!

It Doesn’t Get Much Better

Pretty much everyone in the wine business here in California is smiling these days. The weather has been perfect, the harvest is both big and beautiful, and wineries are able to build back inventories after a couple of lean harvests. Most of our grapes are already fermenting, though we still have several hundred tons of grapes to process for our custom crush clients.

Had a busier than usual weekend. On Friday we hosted a dinner for the judges and officials for the 2012 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. (See Mike’s Kitchen for the menu) The next night was the awards dinner, where we managed to wine a DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL and BEST OF CLASS award for our 2011 Russian River Valley Chardonnay. We completed the weekend with our final concert of the season, and our old friends Bottle Shock put on their usual mellow performance.

This weekend we’ll be pouring our award winning wines at the Harvest Fair. The next weekend (October 14th) we’ll entertain our President’s Club with our annual fall party. We’ll finish out the month (October 27th) with our end of harvest party. All this while we continue to make wine!

We would like to welcome Paul Young to the Taft Street family. Paul is our new Sales Manager, and will be responsible for the distribution of our wine throughout the country and overseas. Paul brings with him a wealth of experience, at both Kenwood Vineyards and Heck Estates. He knows the marketplace and we look forward to working with him in the further growth of the Taft Street brand.

For those of you in the area, this is undoubtedly the finest time of year to visit the winery. We’re making wine, the trees and vines are aglow, our picnic area is at its prime, and (as usual) we have award winning wines to taste. Come on by and share!

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Whole Smoked Pig

Last week we hosted a group of judges and officials from the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair. We decided to go whole hog, so here’s what we did.

We called our friend and neighbor Lou Preston, who supplied us with a 74 pound (dressed) pig. We took her to the winery where we put her in brine (50 gallons water/10 pounds salt/5 pounds sugar) and filled the tub with ice (50 pounds). There she sat for 36 hours. We pulled her out, dried her off, and let her sit for six or seven hours.

At 2:00 a.m. on Friday morning we lit a fire with oak logs in our smoker. After an hour and a half there was a nice bed of coals, so we placed the pig in the smoker. We kept the fire going at a temperature of about 225 by adding a log to the fire every hour or so. We would occasionally mist the pig with a spray mixture of soy sauce and cider vinegar.

By 3:00p.m. Friday afternoon we had internal temperature reading of about 150, a sign that the pig was ready. We took it out of the smoker and let it sit for an hour and a half.

After that it was skin, slice and serve with slaw and baked apples stuffed with bleu cheese.

Oh yes, and a variety of Taft Street wines!