The Storm Doors Are Open in the Russian River Valley

October was a historic month in at least one way; it rained as much as any October on record (save one). In Sebastopol and the Russian River Valley over 7 inches of rain fell, and at my home in Dry Creek Valley we had over 13 inches for the month. This storm bodes well for dry Northern California, although the southern part of the state is still in the midst of severe drought conditions. The vines sure like the stormy weather.

Despite the storm, October was a busy month for the winery. We poured our GOLD MEDAL wines at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair; I had a successful sales trip to New York; Mike Martini hit the very important Texas market, and David Gast concentrated on establishing rapport with our partners at Henry Wine Group.

The pace continues this month. This weekend (November 5 – 6) the Wine Road celebrates its annual Wine and Food Affair. This year will show off our 2014 Russian River Valley Chardonnay  paired with Cream of Chicken with Wild Rice Soup. Hours are 11:00 – 4:00, Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, November 19th join us for the Taste Route 116 semi-annual Member Appreciation Day, whereby any club member from a local winery enjoys the discount structure of all the wineries of Route 116. A good time (and deal) is had by all.

Thanksgiving is around the corner, and Christmas will not be far behind. You do not want to be without a sufficient supply of Taft Street for the Holidays, so come on by the winery and stock up!

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Apple Cake

Apple Sour Cream Cake

Here is a seasonal dessert that makes a natural contribution to the holiday table. It’s not too sweet, so a medium-bodied red like the Taft Street 2013 Alexander Valley Merlot would be an appropriate complement.

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 – 4 cups chopped apples

NUT TOPPING:

  • 1 cup toasted almonds, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons melted butter

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2 pan.
  2. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
  3. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Add to liquid mixture, incorporating the sour cream as you go.
  4. Stir in chopped apples and add to mixture. Spread into greased pan, and sprinkle nut mixture on top.
  5. Bake 35 – 40 minutes.

 Serves 10 – 12