Life is Good!

The crush is over, and a good one it was. The rains have begun, lightly at first, but gaining in intensity. The San Francisco Giants have won a very exciting World Series. Yes, life is very good indeed!

In the cellar our crew took in the last of our clients’ grapes in mid October. Our own wines are in varying stages of development: some are going through malolactic fermentation; some are aging “sue lee” in barrel; others are chilling, settling and cold stabilizing. All our harvesting and crush equipment is being cleaned and stored. We will bottle wine for clients in December, and prepare our 2014 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir and 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris for bottling right after the first of the year.

October was another busy month. I spent a week in New York with our distribution team and was heartened by the reception of our wines, particularly the Russian River Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Closer to home, we celebrated our End-of-Harvest Party with chili, lots of Taft Street wine, and an online streaming of Game Four of the World Series. Marketing Manager Jake Martini and Lizzy enjoyed a belated honeymoon.

This weekend (November 1 – 2) the Wine Road’s annual Food and Wine Affair takes place, and we will offer our 2012 Alexander Valley Merlot with Taft Street Toffee (see this month’s Mike’s Kitchen for recipe). Next week I am off to Southern California to work the marketplace.

It’s time to start thinking about the Holidays. We will participate in Wine Club Route #116 over the November 22/23 weekend. Members of individual wine clubs will enjoy the same privileges as other winery club members. This is a particularly good way to introduce yourself to the wonderful wines of western Russian River Valley.
Hope to see you all over the Holidays.

A Toast to the Season!

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Taft Street Toffee

This is a rich, easy-to-prepare dessert that matches well with a full bodied red like the Taft Street 2112 Alexander Valley Merlot. We are serving the pairing at this weekend’s gala – 2014 Wine Road Food and Wine Affair.


  • 2 cups butter (preferably local/organic)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups quality semi sweet or dark chocolate, broken into bits
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
  • Pinch of salt flakes


  1. Combine butter, sugar and pinch of salt. Cook over medium heat until temperature reaches 285, stirring occasionally.
  2. Cover a large sheet with parchment paper, and pour toffee onto sheet, spreading evenly.
  3. Spread chocolate over toffee until melted. Sprinkle nuts on top and add a pinch of salt flakes.
  4. Cool, refrigerate, cut into chunks – and enjoy!

Provides accompaniment for several bottles of Merlot.