The Drought Continues

Last month I started this newsletter with a description of the possible perils to the wine industry as a result of persistent dry weather conditions. The picture is no prettier today; in fact, a real threat to California agriculture in general exists today. Reservoir levels are perilously low, wells are drying up, and water rationing has already begun. A bumper crop like the one we had last year would normally mean an active bulk wine market, but not this year. Those with excess grapes are holding on to them as insurance against a very reduced crop in 2014. The year has just begun and already it has all the indications of being historic (one way or another).

On a lighter note, folks at the winery are shifting into high gear. Winemaker Evelyn White and GM Mike Martini will be at Fort Mason in San Francisco on Saturday, February 15th, pouring at the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2014 Wine Competition. They will show off our GOLD MEDAL winning 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and our 2011 Alexander Valley Merlot. That same day Kaitlyn and staff will host Sweet 116 Day at the Tasting Room, when 11 local wineries celebrate Valentine’s Day with sweet treats and good deals. That same weekend I will be in Boston for the annual Boston Wine Expo, and Jake Martini will be in Chicago working with our distribution team. The word is spreading!

We have some excitement in store in the months ahead. We are putting the finishing touches on an expanded summer music series, adding four more concerts with some of the county’s top performers. Details to follow……..

With our bottling starting up again we will introduce our new labels and packaging. We will feature three distinct lines: our “Garagistes” series; our core brands available nationally (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot); and a line of wines available only at The Tasting Room. Stay tuned.

It won’t be long until the crowds once again descend upon Sonoma County. At the moment it’s still possible to enjoy uncrowded roads and tasting rooms, reservation free restaurants, and summer like weather. Our staff at the Tasting Room is ready to welcome you with some of the finest wines from the Russian River Valley.

Come and enjoy!

Cheers,
Mike Tierney

Asian Noodles

Most of us have our go-to recipes for such classics as lasagna, curry and meatloaf. Here is a basic take on a dish found all over Asia and much of the world (chicken – noodle soup, anyone?).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 ounces Chinese wheat or egg noodles, or vermicelli
  • ½ pound cooked, shredded chicken breast
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, green parts only

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pot of boiling water, cook the noodles just shy of al dente. Drain, rinse in cold water, and drain again.
  2. In a bowl combine the chicken, tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, brown sugar, ginger and garlic.
  3. Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl. Pour chicken and sauce over noodles and mix well. Sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Our 2012 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc goes especially well with this dish.