Harvest 2016 Bring It On

The harvest of 2016 is officially on; and we have already brought in this year’s Pinot Gris, Rose of Pinot Noir, and the first batch of Chardonnay. The skies are blue, the temperatures moderate, with no rain forecast for the foreseeable future. The crop looks like it will be larger than last year’s, and the quality of fruit is excellent. Fingers are crossed that this could be a memorable year.

While business is being taken care of in the cellar, the marketplace is not being neglected. I have just returned from a trip to Atlanta, where we are seeing growth in the Georgia market. Later this month it is off to New York, where I’ll spend a week with our friends at Vision Brands.

In the Tasting Room, we are enjoying our busiest season ever, and this weekend will continue the trend with our final concert of the year – The Annie Sampson Band. Meanwhile Taft Street will participate in Sonoma County’s signature wine event – Wine County Weekend. This evening we pour at Sonoma Starlight at the Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and tomorrow (September 3rd) we pour at the Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Estate Vineyard.

September and October are the very best times of the year here in the Russian River Valley. The days are still warm, the leaves are changing colors, the summer crowds have gone away (kinda), and the harvest is in high gear. Come and join us for a picnic, game of bocce, and a glass of wine. You’ll be happy you did.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Aji Amarillo Sauce

I recently had the good fortune of being a judge in the restaurant competition at this year’s Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Perhaps the most interesting flavor I encountered was aji amarillo sauce, a spicy but not incendiary sauce which topped a Peruvian empanada. The sauce works well on most grilled meats, and is terrific paired with Taft Street Alexander Merlot. The peppers can be found in many specialty markets.


  • 3 aji amarillo peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Saute peppers in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add chopped onions to the rest of the ingredients to a food processor, and puree until smooth. Season to taste.
  3. Store in fridge in airtight container for up to a week.