Hello all, I’m Marissa and I represent these wines in the northern Virginia, DC, Maryland, and Delaware areas. Just wanted to let you know who I am and who will be answering your questions!
Big operation. And HONEST about being a big operation. This is a refreshing change from Biggies that try to appear small. Honesty is very good because this bunch of wooters are really good about picking up on mendacity. (Insert name of favorite BCW here!)
Not too shockingly, I was telling all of my colleagues about the upcoming Woot and they were loving the site’s sense of humor and wanted to get on board. We’re trying to not overwhelm you all with sheer numbers of people, but it’s a fun board to be on. I think this is the last person we have around, but if you need more, we’ve got 'em
Now that you are all bored at your desks at work and looking for something to do, ask away!
Hi, Marissa here, and I rep these wines in Virginia. If anyone is interested then you can contact me in regards to upcoming wine tastings for these wines.
i can get these locally. though not at the great price for 4.
i only drink the Pinot regularly but the rest are okay.
pass this week.
Ok, my latest fascination is how weather affects wine. What can you teach us about that?
The more obvious stuff I sort of know. Warm days+cool nights=happy pinot. Some grapes shut down and go into self-protect mode when the temp hits the mid 90s. Too hot and too dry for too long makes raisins not wine. Too wet for too long makes for diluted intensity. Too cool makes for grapes that do not ripen to their potential. The canopy is an important tool to moderate ripening of both the grapes and the leaves. That’s about all I know, though, and some of it may be wrong. I’m sure there is so much more to helping weather and grapes play nicely. If you have a chance, could you please address some of the more complex issues of weather in your and other regions and how you handle them?
To be perfectly honest, we are “big little guys,” if that makes any sense. Some suppliers have about 30 reps in any given territory. We have less than 30 employees for the whole country, including administrative staff. However, we’ve got a “big” personality as a company… hopefully, in a good way!
Nallie cracks me up.
Buenos tacos, one and all! I have skimmed thru the posts today and have much to expound upon. However, today is the first day of harvest for us on the Central Coast. I called in about 10 tons of Syrah from one of our tiny vineyards up in the mountains of So. Monterey County. This stuff has wicked pH issues. Last year, the wine turned blue. Yup. After 15 years in the business, I still make mistakes and learn something new almost on a daily basis. That’s the beauty of working with living, breathing things. If this were an exact science, like manufacturing Ding Dongs or Methamphetamines, I would be able to spend the day in front of my screen talking smack about my competitors… I will endeavor to get back to you a little later with tales from the vineyards I will be in today. It should hit 105 in Paso. Thinking I should just wear a skimpy leather thong. THAT should impress them…
ok this might be a little bit young even for a Wine101 course, but here’s my quandry. You offer here a Meritage. If you were to compare this to a french wine, which would you compare it too, and why? and then for the education. What makes a bordeaux a bordeaux or a burgundy a burgundy, or a Rhone a Rhone, etc. etc.? Why is it that French wines are always so clearly pointed too, yet so rarely created well in the US. What’s the differance between US wines and French wines? And why does it seem to be a pretty solid trend that, particularly in US wines, the alcohol content is rising?
EDIT: Oh and why arn’t wineries producing wines that can age nearly as much as the past?
Skimpy leather thong? Dear god, like anyone needed that imagery on their first day back at work.
Dang, forgot to turn my webcam off…
In regards to the Santa Lucia Highlands, where much of this fruit comes from, here is some weather info for you:
-This area tends to be dry, so we use water from the Salinas River at the base of the highlands to irrigate. This controls having water balloons for grapes!
-Afternoons tend to be quite windy in the SLH, so that makes the stomata on the bottom of the leaves close. This prevents water loss and extends the “hang time” for the grapes. When the stomata close, the vines kind of go to sleep, if you will. Trellising style and tighter plant spacing are used to “tame” the wind from causing the vines to shut down too much.
-Fog is another element that helps the grapes in that it moderates temperatures and increases hang time. It rolls in during the evening and burns off in the morning, but while it’s there it puts the vines into hibernation. Because the grapes sit on the vines for longer without the sugars going through the roof, the acid level is higher. Higher acid levels= good food wines!
I truly feel like a layman speaking about weather, but we have a great individual by the name of Andy Mitchell (Director of Vineyard Operations) who I can ask for more detailed info!
Meritage is the American version of a Bordeaux blend. Here’s a great wesite for you: http://www.meritagewine.org. Basically, it is a blended wine made from the noble Bordeaux varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. There can also be white Meritage, which has Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion, and Sauvignon Vert in the mix. Wines from Bordeaux are identified by the producer
In France, they are very particular about what varietals come from which areas, mainly to ensure quality. So, for example, Burgundy produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay, and Aligote. The soil in this area varies quite a bit, so the labelling is more geography based.
The Rhone region is divided into northern and southern Rhone, with the north producing only the red varietal Syrah (which can be blended with Viognier, Marsanne, and Roussanne). Viognier by itself is used for white wines from Condrieu and Château-Grillet. Marsanne and roussanne are in turn used for the whites from Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Saint Joseph, and Saint Péray.
Depending on the specific AOC rules, grapes blended into southern Rhône reds may include Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Carignan and Cinsaut. White wines from the southern Rhône sub-region, such as in Châteauneuf-du-Pape whites, are also typically blends of several wine grapes. These may include Ugni Blanc, Roussanne, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, and Clairette.
One difference between Old World wines (France) and New World wines (US) is that we are far more comfortable with blending and still having a single varietal on the label. So, for example a Merlot might contain a bit of Cabernet Sauvignon in the US, whereas that would be unheard of in France unless is was a Bordeaux. Also, our main wine producing area, California, is much drier on average than most French regions.
In regards to the alcohol content of wines, Adam is probably the best person to answer this question. However, I’ll give it a go: in order to get bigger, jucier fruit and softer tannins, many grapes stay on the vine for longer during the ripening cycle. This increases the sugar, that then gets eaten by the yeast during the fermentation process. More sugar=higher alcohol when making a dry wine. However, some wineries are using dealcoholization to bring the “heat” back down.
Finally, in regards to aging, we live in a “buy and drink” society here. Most wines are made to appease the drinking public who don’t want to cellar a wine. Wines that benefit from cellaring have strong tannins and are a bit “closed” if you open them too soon.
I’m always interested in tastings!
Dean, what about in the North East… say the NYC area.
I always wanted to buy wine. But, little scared. I don’t know whether i will like them or no. If someone can tell me what exactly it is. I want to try a good wine. Any recommendations.
Direct shipment is allowed, but with caveats. Please see this site in regards to your state’s laws:
For DC, there is a volume limit of 1 quart, which equals approximately 941 mL. A normal bottle of wine is 750 mL, so you’re limited to one bottle essentially.
When you drink alcohol, what do you normally like? Wine, as with most things, is rather subjective. My tasty could be your icky.
I am new to wine.woot and the concept of wine delivery. If I work from 8 to about 5:30 everyday and their is no one at the house that is over 21 while I am away. Is there a way to retrieve my shipped wine?