Harvest Drawing To A Close

Taft Street’s Harvest #33 is drawing down, as an exhausted cellar staff brings in the final lots of client grapes. The overall impression of the vintage was speed; the grapes came in early and all at once. Quantities varied, with Pinot Noir a bit heavier than usual and Chardonnay a bit lighter. Taft Street finished picking our own grapes before the rains hit last week, so we were not affected. Any Chardonnay still on the vine experienced some problems, but most of the grapes yet to be harvested are the thicker skinned Bordeaux varieties, which fare better than most grapes in wet weather. Winemaker Evelyn White is pleased with the quality of our grapes and is confident good wines will result.

When we look at the results of this year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair confidence in Evelyn White is certainly justified!

Fair Results:

  • 2013 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL BEST OF CLASS
  • 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL
  • 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Garagistes DOUBLE GOLD MEDAL
  • 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Garagistes GOLD MEDAL
  • 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir SILVER MEDAL
  • 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris SILVER MEDAL

Quite a haul! We are already in prominent displays in the county’s leading retailers, and expect business to be brisk for weeks to come. This weekend we will pour our award winning wines at the Harvest Fair at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa.

Our final concert in this year’s series took place last Sunday, with the Daniel Castro Band rocking up the place (September was a crazy month!). We enjoyed the series and look forward to next year’s program. In the Tasting Room two events of note are scheduled for October: our President’s Club party will take place Sunday, October 12th; and the End of Harvest Party will be celebrated the weekend of the 25th. However, things are not exactly grinding to a halt – the Wine Road’s annual Food and Wine Affair takes place November 1 – 2! Rarely a dull moment in wine country.

This is truly the finest time of year here in the Russian River Valley. The colors are vivid, the weather is ideal, and wines are terrific as usual. Join us as we celebrate the harvest.

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Chile Vinegar Sauce

Sriracha sauce has long been a staple on our table. However, a month or so ago my neighbor Jay turned me on to a tangier alternative. We went through a half gallon of the stuff last month! It is amazing.


  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 3 sliced red Fresno chiles, cut ¼ inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut ¼ inch thick
  • 5 tablespoons garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup diced shallots
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons salt


  1. Heat oven to 350. Roast ancho chiles for two minutes. Seed and de- stem.
  2. Combine all ingredients in bowl and let sit for an hour.
  3. Transfer mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Put back in bowl and cover with clean towel, and let sit for 3-5 days. Transfer to airtight container and keep chilled.
  4. Makes one quart.