Taft Street Winery Bottles

In the Heat Of Things

It is hard to believe but summer is half gone. The hills are “golden,” the Russian River is full of vacationers, and the wineries are starting to gear up for harvest. The weather is wine and human friendly, with warm days and cool nights. Growers report good sized crops, perhaps a week or so later than usual due to our wet spring. We have contracts for a good sized harvest.

During the summer we at Taft Street wear several hats. In the winery, staff is busy bottling our Chardonnay and various clients’ wines before our first grape deliveries. Melissa and staff are also securing needed equipment and supplies for the upcoming season. Those in the Tasting Room are hosting the summer crowds, including our concert guests.

We are in the middle of three straight weeks of concerts. The Pulsators packed  them in two weeks ago; last weekend our own Greg Abel teamed up with local star David Luning and sold out the single ticketed concert of the summer. This week we have Kevin Russell & some Dangerous Friends – attend at your own risk! Only two concerts remain after this weekend.

Time is quickly passing friends, and the window of opportunity to visit the winery during peak season will soon be closing. So don your bocce ball shoes, bring a snack, and sip some of the most distinctive wine in the Russian River Valley.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Asian Chicken Salad

Asian Chicken Salad

With summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, it is often too hot to cook. Here’s a great way to beat the heat and use leftover bar b que chicken.


Salad Dressing

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced 1 bunch scallions, finely sliced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 cup chow mein noodles
  • Sesame seeds


  1. In a jar combine oil, vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, ginger and oil. Whisk to a froth and set aside.
  2. In a large salad bowl combine chicken, lettuces, bell peppers, scallions and cilantro. Pour dressing over salad and mix.
  3. Top with noodles and sesame seeds. Serve.

Serves 6

Taft Street Rose of Pinot Noir or Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc would make this a feast!

Taft Street Tasting Room

Summer Fireworks

Summer is cracking into high gear as the days get warmer, the crowds get bigger, and everything seems just a touch nicer.

We at Taft Street received some welcome news from two of the nation’s top wine competitions. From the Orange County Wine Competition (world’s biggest competition for California wines), we received GOLD MEDALS for our:

  • 2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
  • 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc
  • 2017 Alexander Valley Zinfandel

From the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition we received GOLD MEDALS for our:

  • 2018 Russian River Valley Granache Blanc DOUBLE GOLD
  • 2018 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir

Much deserved! Congratulations Melissa and crew.

Our concert series – A Little Street Music – rolls on with two local favorites during July: Tom Rigney and Flambeau on July 7; and The Pulsators July 21.

Don’t let your summer go by without visiting us at the Tasting Room. Our picnic area has matured and there is plenty of shade for pinics, a bottle of Taft Street, and maybe even a little bocce. We are ready for you.


Mike Tierney

President Taft Street Winery

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

This weekend we are taking part Grill 116, a BBQ at Taft Street and neighboring wineries. Here’s what we have cooking.


  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 12 oz can pear juice
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 ½ pounds cross cut, bone-in beef ribs (flanken)


  1. In a large bowl combine first 6 ingredients. Add short ribs, refrigerate a marinade overnight.
  2. Heat grill. When hot place ribs on grill and cook for 3-4 minutes per side.
  3. Transfer to serving platter and serve with rice, sliced scallions and toasted sesame seeds.

Served 4 – 6. We like Taft Street Zinfandel with this mildly spicy dish.

Russian River Valley Grenache Blanc

Announcing the results of the 2019 International Womens Wine Competition!

The votes are in and we are pleased to officially announce the results of the 2019 International Women’s Wine Competition.

This competition was expertly judged by the wine industry’s leading professional women, though open to men and women winemakers alike. The competition not only recognizes the best wines that appealed to our judges, but also the wines they felt would most appeal and influence other women wine buyers and consumers.

IWWC is committed to the highest standards of competition. Over 1025 wines were entered in the competition. Judges awarded a total of 8 Best of Show awards, 45 Best of Class designations, and 203 gold, and double gold medals. Results will be posted at winecompetitions.com.

Summer on the Patio at Taft Street

Springtime in Sonoma

The soggiest winter in years has left the green hills awash in wildflowers – truly breathtaking!  As the weather warms and the vines start their annual cycle we find hope in the start of yet another vintage.

The pace has definitely picked up in the cellar, as some wines are being prepared for bottling, while others are put into barrel. Custom bottling is also in full swing.

We recently received good news from the highly regarded (and much feared) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. In April two of our Pinot Noirs were rated in the elite 90+ category. The 2017 Taft Street Winery Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, rated 91 points, was described as “… medium bodied with a lively core of earthy fruit, it has firm, grainy tannins and juicy freshness, finishing long and perfumed.” The 2017 Taft Street Winery Pinot Noir Skikos Vineyard, rated 92+ points, was hailed as “… medium ruby with a nose of citrus peel, dried flowers, saline and dusty earth with a blueberries, black berries and black cherry core.” In winespeak this is all high praise!

Robert Parker Wine Advocate 92+ Points
Robert Parker Wine Advocate 92+ Points

The spring 2019 President’s Club packs were shipped, and club members  joined us on the patio on Saturday, May 11th , had a bite from Fork Catering, and enjoyed the music of the Ricky Ray Band.

Winemaker Melissa Kuhn and Tasting Room Manager Kaitlyn Callagy

Later in the month we began our annual summer concert series A LITTLE STREET MUSIC with local favorites Bottle Shock. This weekend the very popular Volker Strifler Band will perform. A total of eight free concerts will be presented between Memorial Day and Labor Day, so plan accordingly.

However, you don’t need a special invitation to enjoy Taft Street and our wine. Come on over any day between 11:00 and 4:00 (4:30 on weekends). We’ll have an appropriate glass of wine awaiting you.


Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

Gravlax (Cured Salmon)

I am currently emptying my freezer as I prepare for my annual fishing trip to Alaska. I am stuck with the enviable predicament of having too much salmon. Here is an easy and delicious way to solve that problem.


  • 1 teaspoon pepper, roughly cracked
  • 1 cup dill, chopped
  • 3 ounces coarse sea salt
  • 4 ounces sugar
  • 1 pound salmon filet, skin on and pin bones removed
  • 1 cup yoghurt/sour cream mix
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Lemon wedges


  1. In a bowl mix pepper, dill salt and sugar.
  2. Place a large sheet of cling wrap on counter and pour half the mixture in the center in shape of the salmon filet.
  3. Place salmon skin side down on top of the mixture and top the salmon with the remaining mix. Wrap the salmon securely and place on dish.
  4. Top salmon with another plate and place weights on plate (eg 2 x 14 oz tins).
  5. Refrigerate 12 hours, flip salmon and refrigerate 12 more hours. Rinse, pat dry and refrigerate 3 – 4 hours.
  6. Serve on toasts with mustard sauce and lemon wedges.

This will serve 8 – 10 as an appetizer and goes especially well with Taft Street Russian River Valley Pinot Noir.

Robert Parker Wine Advocate 92+ Points

Robert Parker Wine Advocate – April 2019

We’re thrilled to announce our 2017 Russian River Valley Skikos Vineyard Pinot Noir was awarded 92+ points from Robert Parker Wine Advocate

From Issue No. 242: The 2017 Pinot Noir Skikos Vineyard is pale to medium ruby with a nose of citrus peel, dried flowers, saline and dusty earth with a blueberries, black berries and black cherry core. It’s light to medium-bodied and perfumed in the mouth, with grainy structuring tannins and a floral-tinged finish. 176 cases produced.

Three other wines were also reviewed and awarded 90+ points:

  • 91 Points: 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
  • 90 Points: 2016 Russian River Valley Garagistes Pinot Noir
  • 90 Points: 2016 Russian River Valley Garagistes Chardonnay

Spring is in full bloom here in Sonoma County, and with warmer weather, we encourage alfresco drinking and dining. Pack a picnic and swing by the Tasting Room to sip this award winner and all our other favorites. 

A Little Street Music 2019

A Little Street Music 2019

A Little Street Music continues with our eighth season at Taft Street Winery. Join us Sunday’s starting in May for great local music and wonderful wines.

The tasting room is open at 11AM, with live music 2-5PM. Bring your favorite lawn chair and be sure to pack a picnic. Enjoy wines by the Glass or bottle and please no outside alcoholic beverages.

Happy 37th To Us!

As is the case every April Fools’ Day, we celebrate our existence in this strange and wonderful business. Making quality wine for our family and friends has always been a pleasure, and we don’t plan any changes. Even if winter continues way longer than it should around here. March was wet and April promises a soggy entrance. Drought will not be a factor in the 2019 vintage. Bottling (and kegging) are in full swing, as the early whites from 2018 are packaged for the marketplace. Our custom work is an ever growing part of our business as our reputation for artisan work continues to grow.

The latest issue of PinotFile, a newsletter devoted to fine Pinot Noirs, reviewed our 2017 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir, noting:

Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Enticing notes of Bing cherry, dark raspberry, baking spice, cola and graham. A quintessential Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ….. nicely composed and welcoming, with some finishing generosity. A fantastic value. Tasted twice with the same results. Score: 92

Prince of Pinot, March 22, 2019

Remember the above when choosing your Easter wines (and maybe some other Taft Street selections as well). The good weather is just around the corner. It’s time to get the lawn chairs ready for picnics at the winery, and A Little Street Music will soon follow. We’re ready.

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery