New Press, New Harvest

August 18. 2015, one day before the start of the 2015 harvest. Out with the old, in with the new.  The above video was an 8am – 2pm time lapse replacing a 25+ year old press with a brand new 10-ton Diemme Velvet 80. Good thing everything went smoothly, harvest started the following day.

Mid Summer Night’s Dreaming

Harvest is in sight. Black grapes are finishing veraison, bottling is starting to slow down, and the presses and crush equipment are being cleaned and ready for the months ahead. Growers see a slightly lighter than usual crop, although predicting the future has never been a safe bet. The intense forest fires in nearby Lake County have not impacted Sonoma County much, as the prevailing winds have been from the west.

In my rush to complete last month’s State of the Street, I left out some very important news – the results of the 2015 Orange County Wine Competition. We did very well indeed. Our 2012 Alexander Valley Merlot ran off with the CHAIRMAN’S AWARD and GOLD MEDAL; our 2014 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc garnished a GOLD MEDAL; our 2013 Russian River Valley Chardonnay, 2013 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, and our 2014 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir all took SILVER MEDALS; and our 2014 Russian River Valley Pinot Gris won a BRONZE MEDAL. Quite a nice collection!

A Little Street Music continues its successful series, with perhaps our strongest lineup ever. McKenna Faith rocked the West County world July 26th; and with the wildly popular Pulsators due August 9th, Taft Street is becoming a focal (vocal?) point in Sonoma County. Don’t miss the action.

So here we are at the height of the season; with live music everywhere, outdoor dining around every corner, and world class wine as plentiful as sunshine. Join us here at the winery. Bring a picnic, play a little bocce – you’ll be glad you did.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Summer Watermelon Salad with Roast Tomato Vinaigrette

Here’s a refresher which utilizes the best of summer’s bounty. Easy to prepare and a crowd pleaser, this salad goes especially well with our 2014 Russian River Sauvignon Blanc or our 2014 Russian Rive Pinot Gris Enjoy!


  • 1 pound heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup olive oil


  1. Heat grill and lightly coat tomato slices with olive oil. Grill until slighlu charred, about 3-4 minutes per side. Cool.
  2. In processor, combine tomatoes, vinegar lemon juice mustard. Pulse.
  3. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Store.


  • 2 pounds unseeded watermelon cut in 1 inch cubes (Use only firm melon)
  • 6 ounces firm feta cheese, cut in ½ inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup mint leaves, cut in chiffonade


  1. In large serving bowl combine all ingredients. Carefully add vinaigrette, mixing with your hands. You will not use all the vinaigrette, and you do not want to overdress the salad. Season with fresh pepper and serve.