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

Tomato Cobbler

Finally tomato season has arrived! It was a bit late this year due to spring rains, but now we see (and taste) an abundance of some of the juiciest and most flavorful fruit this side of grapes. This particular dish would make a great outdoor brunch or lunch.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

TOPPING

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon thyme

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place 2 tbs butter in pan and cook onion until soft (5 minutes). Add garlic, thyme and pepper flakes for another minute. Add tomatoes, sugar and 1 tsp salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in cherry tomatoes and flour. Transfer to baking dish and dot with remaining butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Add butter and combine to make a coarse mean with small butter balls. Add milk and mix until sticky dough forms.
  3. Drop balls of dough over tomato filling and top dough with milk. Place on a baking sheet and cook for an hour. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6

Goes particularly well with Taft Street Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Rose of Pinot Noir. Best consumed outdoors on a warm afternoon.

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

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.

INGREDIENTS:

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

Salad

  • 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

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  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.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney

President Taft Street Winery

Yes, it has been a wet year in wine country. The Russian River flooded twice during the month on February, with last week’s storm causing serious damage to communities along its banks. As I write this (March 2nd) roads are still closed, electricity is spotty, and the mop up has just begun. Not a pretty sight. On a personal note, the Tierney family home sits on the banks of the Russian River in Guerneville – the center of the flood zone. Fortunately, water was contained to our basement area. A work crew is cleaning up and we should be back to normal in a couple of days There has been some damage to vineyards along the Russian River and nearby tributaries, but the vines are dormant this time of year, so catastrophic damage was avoided. The winery was out of harm’s way, though nearby roads were closed. Work continues at the winery. Our 2018 Russian River Rose of Pinot Noir has been universally well received, and the 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Blanc will soon follow. Meanwhile, client bottling remains a constant, and finishing the wines in tank and barrel is an ongoing concern. Last week we entertained winter crowds at the annual Barrel Tasting Weekend. We are preparing the Tasting Room grounds for the picnic season, and have made most of our decisions regarding this summer’s Street Music concert program. In the meantime we are waiting for the sun to return. Come join us as we wait – we’ll share a glass of wine. Cheers, Mike Tierney President, Taft Street Winery

Enough Rain Already!

Yes, it has been a wet year in wine country. The Russian River flooded twice during the month on February, with last week’s storm causing serious damage to communities along its banks. As I write this (March 2nd) roads are still closed, electricity is spotty, and the mop up has just begun. Not a pretty sight. On a personal note, the Tierney family home sits on the banks of the Russian River in Guerneville – the center of the flood zone. Fortunately, water was contained to our basement area. A work crew is cleaning up and we should be back to normal in a couple of days.

There has
been some damage to vineyards along the Russian River and nearby tributaries,
but the vines are dormant this time of year, so catastrophic damage was
avoided. The winery was out of harm’s way, though nearby roads were closed.

Work continues at the winery. Our 2018 Russian River Rose of Pinot Noir has been universally well received, and the 2018 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc and Grenache Blanc will soon follow. Meanwhile, client bottling remains a constant, and finishing the wines in tank and barrel is an ongoing concern.

We are preparing the Tasting Room grounds for the picnic season, and have made most of our decisions regarding this summer’s Street Music concert program.

In the
meantime we are waiting for the sun to return. Come join us as we wait – we’ll
share a glass of wine.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Glory Days

It really doesn’t get much better than this. A wet April has resulted in lush green hills, and the 70 degree weather with clear blue skies has made Sonoma County even more idyllic than usual (and it’s usually pretty idyllic).

In the winery Melissa and her team are tending the new wines, putting them in barrel when appropriate, and are starting blending strategies for a number of wines. Preparations are also being made for a very busy schedule of summer bottling.

Kaitlyn and crew are setting up for the spring Wine Club Party, this year to be held on Saturday, May 12th when members can pick up their allocation while dining, tasting and enjoying live music. Later on this month, on Sunday May 27th  we kick off our 7th summer music series – A Little Street Music 2018 – with the very popular Annie Sampson Band.

Last weekend we had a party honoring our 36 years of existence. To memorialize our longevity we have released a set of 35th Anniversary Wines:

  • 2016 Russian River Valley Chardonnay Catie’s Corner
  • 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir Skikos Vineyard
  • 2016 Alexander Valley Zinfandel Wasson Vineyard

All these wines are bottled with our original label, created by well known artist and relative Maureen Bragdon. The wines will be available only in the Tasting Room and will sell for $35/bottle. There is much going on at Taft Street these days as we crank up for the visitor season. Come see us and enjoy the wines, the people and the beautiful Sonoma County countryside.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery

Spring Anyone?

With blue skies, temperatures in the 70’s, and green fields covered with mustard; it’s hard to believe we are not in the middle of springtime. Historically (and hopefully) we still have a few more rainy days ahead, but the warm weather sure feels good.

It’s back to life as we know it in the wine business. We have bottled our 2017 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir and our 2017 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc. Yesterday we introduced the wines to our Tasting Room staff, and the response overwhelmingly positive.

We also got the results from the San Francisco Chronicle 2018 Wine Competition – the largest competition of American wines.

Not too shabby!

This month in the Tasting Room Kaitlyn and staff will participate with local wineries hosting SWEET 116– a celebration of our locale (Highway#116) and Valentine’s Day. As is tradition for us, we will introduce our 2017 Rose of Pinot Noir to compliment Valentine’s Day offerings. After that, it’s time to start preparations for this year’s Barrel Tasting – held this year on the first two weekends in March.

So things are definitely picking up. Join the fun and stop by for a taste of the new releases and enjoy West County hospitality.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney

President, Taft Street Winery

#SONOMASTRONG

A new year has begun; one full of hope, determination, and willingness to do what it takes to succeed. Although rainfall (and snowpack) remain woefully below average, we at least have the fire season behind us, as light rain continues to keep hillsides damp. Our friends in Southern California have some much needed rainfall in their weather forecast, and we hope that occurs. Here’s to a benign 2018!!

After breaking for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, our production crew is back to work. Among the first things on their agenda is the bottling of two of our favorite wines. Starting next week, our 2017 Russian River Valley Rose of Pinot Noir and our 2017 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc will be put into bottle. These stainless steel fermented beauties will be released over the next several months, with the Rose earmarked for a Valentine’s Day premier. Speaking of releases, we are now offering our 2016 Sonoma County Merlot and our 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir to our local and national markets.

Welcome back Kaitlyn! This week marks the return of Kaitlyn Callagy  from maternity leave, where she has been tending her growing family since late August. We look forward to her smiling face and strong leadership in the Tasting Room and beyond. Next week she will lead our participation in the 26th annual Wineroad Winter Wineland (January 13 – 14, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm). Here visitors can meet the winemakers, sample limited production wines, and get the stories unique to each winery.

Now is the time to keep Sonoma Strong. Visit a winery (like Taft Street), enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, and buy local. See you at the Tasting Room.

Cheers,

Mike Tierney
President, Taft Street Winery