2014 Cabernet Sauvignon - Estate
A full-bodied wine featuring dried cherry aromas with hints of licorice on the palate and textured tannins.
$26.00/retail; $20.80/Wine Club
In Paso Robles, varmints such as gophers and ground squirrels are a continual nuisance in the vineyard. The gophers gnaw on the vine roots, weakening the plant and diminishing nutrient uptake, and sometimes even killing the vine outright. Meanwhile, ground squirrels will climb into the vines, eating new shoots at the crucial stages of development, and even gorging on the grapes later in the growing season.
One approach to controlling these varmints is to deploy traps and poisonous baits that require considerable manual labor and ongoing vehicle passes through the vineyard. However, a less-invasive and more sustainable approach is to encourage the presence of domestic predators such as owls and hawks.
By installing the owl boxes, we can attract barn owls to nest in the vineyard. The boxes also include a perch that attracts red tail hawks and kestrel falcons. The hawks and falcons patrol for varmints during the day, while the owls go hunting after dark.
We paint our owl boxes off-gray to minimize sunlight absorption and to keep the boxes cool. Each entry hole is facing north when installed so that direct sunlight will not penetrate the interior while the owl is nesting.
It is gratifying to implement a natural solution to a serious problem in the vineyard. We are proud to be SIP (Sustainability In Practice) certified. We continually focus on producing great wine, keeping vineyards healthy and maintaining the well-being of workers.
Raclette is both the name for the traditional Swiss Cheese dish as well as the name for the Swiss cheese. Raclette is a fat, tasty, semi-hard cheese made from raw or pasteurized milk the and it differentiates itself by its excellent melting ability.
For the Swiss national dish, Raclette cheese is placed in front of glowing fire coals, after which the softened and bubbling cheese is scraped from the cheese wheel on to a plate for serving.
Raclette is a social meal to be enjoyed with friends and family and is traditionally served with small potatoes, pickles and various pickled vegetables such as onions and corn. Season with some Paprika and Pepper and you’re good to go!
Click here to obtain a print out recipe.
Cozy up to fall with our delicious recipe for Swiss Mac n' Cheese. Älplermagronen is a traditional Swiss dish made from pasta, potatoes, cream, cheese and onions. Click here to obtain a print out recipe.
We are currently featuing this Swiss speciality for lunch at the Hospitality Center. Click here to view our current offerings.
When it comes to vineyard work, there are two key activities that every wine drinker seems to know about—pruning in the winter, and grape picking in the fall.
However, there are a lot of smaller viticultural tasks that take place without any fanfare, but that are equally crucial for growing premium grapes. One such task is called “leafing,” whereby we go through the vineyard and selectively remove leaves from each and every vine. If that sounds like a lot of work, you are right—it is!
The point of leafing is to make sure that the grape clusters are not overly shaded throughout the growing season. By removing vine leaves and allowing diffused sunlight to reach what we call the “fruiting zone,” we ensure that the grapes achieve full maturity, with ample color and structure.
When we pull leaves, we do so only on the side of the vine that faces the morning sun. The grapes that face the more intense afternoon sun do just fine without the aid of leafing, but on the morning-facing side, you need to make sure that the fruit gets enough light exposure and warmth each day.
We start leafing right after the blooming period in the late spring. The idea is to open up the canopy and provide sufficient sun exposure early in the fruit’s growth cycle. However, if you expose the fruit to too much sunlight and too suddenly, it will be prone to sunburn.
There is an art to leafing correctly. In our estate vineyards, we send a crew of 15 to 20 workers in to do the job, and they all know what they are doing. When they are done, everything looks manicured, and there is just the right balance of light and shade in the fruiting zone.
After our initial leafing push, we can move on to other tasks, but as the growing season unfolds, we continue with periodic spot checks and leaf removal to make sure we maintain that perfect balance.
The reward for all that work comes during the harvest season, when we deliver intensely colored, richly flavored fruit to the winery—qualities that our leafing efforts make possible.
Click here to read more from our 2016 Fall Newsletter.