Season’s Greetings

It finally feels wintry, with the skies dark and a chill wind in the air. The only thing we are missing is rain, plenty of rain. The city of Santa Rosa has received only a bit over eight inches in 2013, compared to a normal year of over 24 inches. While we have enjoyed two terrific harvests in a row, we cannot expect continued good fortune without sufficient rain. So, let it pour!

In the winery, the harvest madness has been replaced by the slower but deliberate pace of finishing fermentations, racking, cleaning and (soon) bottling. We will bottle and label wine for clients during the weeks before Christmas, and then resume after the first of the year. Our own wines, the 1013 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir and the 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris are scheduled for a mid January bottling.

The results for the annual Houston Rodeo and Livestock Wine Competition (really!) are in and we did just fine. Our 2012 Russian River Valley Chardonnay took a GOLD MEDAL; our2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and our 2011 Alexander Valley Merlot took SILVER MEDALS; and our 2012 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir was awarded a BRONZE MEDAL. Yes, we entered four wines.

December is a particularly good time to visit the Tasting Room, as there are no scheduled major events planned, and you’ll have the opportunity to linger and enjoy our wines.

From all of us at Taft Street Winery to all of you wine loving folks we wish the best during this Holiday Season. Cheers!

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Beet Chips

I served these little goodies as part of an hors d’oeuvres plate on Thanksgiving. A big hit, especially among those who did not think they liked beets. I used a recipe I found years ago by the famed chef Michel Richard. Please note it works best on red beets, and not so well on other colored ones.


  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 baseball sized red beets, peeled and thinly sliced (a mandolin is handy here)


  1. Preheat oven to 175. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil, stirring often. Simmer for 5 minutes and take off heat. Let beet chips soak in the liquid for about 20 minutes.
  2. Place chips on paper towels and pat dry. Cover 2 oven sheet pans with silpat and place chips on top, separating each chip.
  3. Cook 9 – 10 hours, until crispy.

Makes about 60. These can be stored in an air tight container for up to a week. They go great with soft cheeses and hummus, and they add color to main dishes. We think Taft Street Russian River Pinot Noir is an appropriate complement.