Harvest Continues

Along with seasonal weather (warm days/cool nights), the harvest is moving along. It is not the madness we have often experienced, with trucks lined up to deposit their loads. In fact, we have to date taken in less than half of what we have contracted, and we very well could be bringing in grapes far into November. However, it is never wise to count on Mother Nature’s cooperation.

This is the time of year for the annual Sonoma County Harvest Fair, and this year we were awarded a GOLD MEDAL for our 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc. We will pour the wine this weekend at the Fairgrounds.

October is also the month for our President’s Club party. This year’s event will take place on Sunday, October 13th, and live music, food and new releases will all be in abundance.

This is really one of the best times of year to visit, The maples are in their fall splendor, the days are warm and clear, wine is being made – what more is there? Come join us.

Cheers!

Mike Tierney

President, Taft Street Winery

Goodbye Summer, Hello Harvest

With Labor Day weekend upon us, we have yet to see any grapes in the fermenters. This marks the first time in 5 years we have had to wait until September for the harvest to begin. Late spring rains have pushed the harvest back a bit, but things should start rolling next week. We are getting different reports from our vineyard sources; some say the harvest is another big one, others say it’s average. We’ll let you know. We do know that many wineries have sufficient inventories on hand, and there are a lot of grapes for sale.

It is a good thing for us that harvest is a bit late, for it has given us time to catch up on bottling and preparing our machinery for the Crush. After 38 years it is still a race to the starting line.

Hard to believe another concert series – A Little Street Music  – is drawing to a close. This weekend Twang Ditty will liven up the picnic grounds for the closing concert. It has been another banner year as we’ve greeted old friends and met new ones.

Next week marks another harvest and our participation in the Sonoma County Fair. Every year since 1983 we have entered our wines in competition with other Sonoma County wineries. Next week we will enter 9 current releases. Awards will be presented later in the month.

September and October are our favorite months of the year. The weather is suburb, the crowds are manageable, and the (grape) juices are flowing. Come on by for a memorable experience.

Cheers!

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney

President Taft Street Winery

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.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

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.

Cheers!
Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Hearty Frittata

As we inch our way towards warmer weather our attention turns to casual dining. Here is a dish that can be served anytime/anyplace; equally appropriate from morning til evening.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked greens (spinach, kale….), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • 12 eggs beaten
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • ¼ cup cream
  • ½ cup goat cheese, rumbled
  • ½ cup chives, chopped

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 400. Heat 2 tablespoons  oil in large saucepan, adding garlic, shallot and pepper to taste. Add greens and salt to taste. After 2 minutes transfer to paper towels.
  2. Combine eggs, chicken, cream, salt, pepper and greens mixture. Heat remaining oil in cast iron or nonstick pan and pour in egg mixture. Cook until edges set.
  3. Mix cheese with chives and lemon juice and scatter atop eggs. Transfer pan to oven and cook 10 – 12 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through.
  4. Cut into wedges. Served 4 – 6.

This goes especially well with our 2018 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir. Like the frittata, good from morning til night!

Pasta Alla Amatriciana

Pasta Alla Amatriciana

During the rainy season (and it has been rainy!) comfort food is required. A simple pasta with baguette and Taft Street wine is all that’s needed on a blustery winter’s evening.

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • ½ pound quality bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 pound pasta (bucatini or fettucine work well)
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Put large pot of water on to boil. Saute bacon in olive oil until crisp. Drain and set aside. Cook onion in remaining oil/fat until soft. Add pepper flakes to taste
  2. Cook pasta to al dente (time will vary).
  3. In a large bowl combine bacon, onion, tomatoes and pasta. Heat and serve, topping with grated cheese.
    Serves 4 – 6 and goes particularly well with Taft Street Alexander Valley Merlot.

Quiet Time in Wine Country

After a tumultuous year which included wildfires, a long and bountiful harvest, and general economic craziness, peace and quiet reign supreme at the moment. After a busy flurry of bottling between harvest and Christmas, our production crew is taking a much needed and well deserved rest before the fun begins again after the first of the year. Mike and Jake are finishing up the year’s books, and indications point to 2018 being a solid year.

In January we bottle three Russian River Valley wines from the 2018 Vintage: Sauvignon Blanc, Rose of Pinot Noir, and (for the first time) Grenache Blanc. We traditionally release the rose on Valentine’s weekend and hope to follow that tradition this year. The other wines will be released in early spring.

The big wine event this month in our neck of the woods is the 27th annual Winter Wineland Weekend, taking place this year January 19 – 20. This is a great opportunity to taste current vintages, try the wide range of varietals grown in the Russian River Valley and neighboring appellations – the perfect winter escape.

This is an especially good time of year to visit wine country. The crowds have shrunk; traffic and parking are manageable, and reservations are usually not required. The wines and staff remain as good as ever.

See you soon.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery