Harvest No. 37. Here we come.

After a very warm June and early July the weather turned decidedly cooler, with daytime temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s instead of the more usual mid 90’s. This has delayed harvest anywhere from 1 -2 weeks. This is the first Labor Day in five years we have not harvested our own grapes. We have used the extra time wisely, however, and have made it through last minute bottling, machinery and barrel cleaning. Our first grapes are not scheduled for 10 days, unless…

Overall it appears the harvest will be larger than last year’s, and the grape quality seems very good, especially since the grapes are experiencing more time on the vine.

The Tasting Room staff is taking a breather after completing Season #7 of A Little Street Music. We enjoyed the largest crowd of the season yesterday with the Vokler Strifler Band. Our Autumn Flame Maple trees were in full color and the temperature in the high 70’s; a memorable day to end the concert season.

This week we will take some current releases over to the Sonoma County Harvest Fair, where they will be judged against the best wines of Sonoma County. Winners will be announced later this month in time for the actual fair itself, which occurs on the first weekend of October. We’ll keep you posted.

As summer season ends, harvest begins. Our best weather is approaching, wine is being made, life is good. Come join us.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Smoked Salmon

In July I had the great pleasure of taking my son and grandson on a fishing trip to Alaska. We had a great time, and brought home a load of salmon, halibut and sea bass. I’m currently working of this recipe with salmon fillets.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cure
    • 1 pound salmon fillet, pin bones removed
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup kosher salt
    • 1 tablespoon crushed peppercorns
  • Rub
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoons coriander
    • 1 tablespoon paprika
    • 1 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Lay a sheet of foil in baking sheet, topping with a sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle half of the cure mix into plastic wrap. Lay the fillet skin side down on top and sprinkle and spread the rest of the cure on top. Wrap the plastic wrap tightly around fish, and lay another sheet of foil on top. Weigh down with another baking sheet and canned goods.
  2. Cure in refrigerator for 8-10 hours. Remove from frig, unwrap and rinse. Pat dry and cover with rub mixture. Let rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours to form pellicle, a thin film which helps in the smoking process.
  3. Prepare smoker/barbecue to 175-185 degrees, and cook skin side down until internal temperature reaches 145(2 hours or so). Remove, tent, and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

Right now I’m going with smoked salmon, toast, sour cream with chives and capers, and Taft Street Rose of Pinot Noir and/or just plain old Taft Street Pinot Noir. YUM!!