Okay Wine Club Members - get your keys ready!
Tomorrow at 11am Eastern Time, we will be drawing a random key number live on Facebook.
If you, dear member, have the "winning" number, we have something special for you. While our local members know the benefits of bringing their keys to our pickup parties, we wanted to give everyone a chance at something special. So tune in if you can.
- Team La Pitchoune
As it relates to our vineyards the simple answer is no. All of the vineyards we source fruit from are above any flood plain and so are not at risk of flooding.
In general though flooding during the dormant phase has no real long term effect on the vines. Vines evolved in and around seasonal creeks, so they are accustom to some water. Occasional flooding can be beneficial as it deposits nutrients into the vineyard that have been depleted.
During the growth phase however, they typically do not do well with their roots under the water table. Oxygen in the root zone is critical for water and nutrient absorption. It is also important for beneficial micro-organism metabolism and respiration. Microbial activity such as organic matter decomposition and nitrification require the presence of oxygen in the soil.
With the amount of rain we have received and with no end in the forecast, the real concern becomes erosion and mudslides. The soils are saturated so most of the rain we continue to receive will not soak into the soil. This leads to overland flow which increases the risk of erosion and mudslides. In the worst situations, portions of vineyards can be washed away.
Assuming that the vineyard survives the rain, it shouldn't have an effect on this season's vintage.
Flooding at Hartford Winery
Flooding off River Road
Good morning, Beautiful!
Did everything work out how you wanted it to last night? Did you:
A. Wake up next to the love of your life this morning?
B. Break a heel running for a cab at 2am thinking, "what was I thinking?!"
Don't worry - we've been there. Seriously.
But you know who loves you? We do. And our love is unconditional, even if it is long-distance. We wish we could give you a hug right now.
And we have a little announcement. No - we aren't pregnant.
Our 2016 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is now available on the website. We know what you might be thinking - it was wine that gave you the Love Hangover in the first place. But, our award-winning Vin Gris sells out every year and we want to make sure the folks on our mailing list have a chance to order it before it goes to restaurants and is gone.
So drink up, buttercup. Nothing cures a Love Hangover like a cold glass of Vin Gris. Nothing except a big hug and, well, that's just impossible on a blog.
LA PITCHOUNE Pinot Noir 'VDK' 2013 - 93 points
The 2013 'VDK' is even more compelling than the outstanding 'Van der Kamp' bottling, as it displays a more elegant and concentrated profile. This brilliant Pinot Noir is composed from Dijon clones 777, 828, and a selection of La Tache clones. It opens with a lovely mix of red berries, raspberries and fresh cut roses woven together with sweet and exotic spices and underlying hints of ash. This is beautifully textured and balanced while also displaying wonderful overall precision and finesse. It continues to deliver gorgeous fresh red berries and spices all the way through the pretty finish. This is an extremely captivating Pinot Noir, which looks to have an even brighter future ahead.
(Best 2018-2028) - May, 2016 (JD)
Order yours here.
Remembering the 2014 Vintage
by Andrew Berge
The 2014 growing season in Northern California was unique, but you could say that about each and every vintage. We were in the third year of a drought and our vineyards received 50 – 75% of their annual amount of rainfall from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. The majority of that rain fell in late February and early April. The timing of these rains created conditions similar to what is defined as normal; irrigation pond levels and soil moistures were typical for that time of year.
The mild winter temps and low soil moistures earlier in the year kick-started vine growth in mid-February. Fortunately, March and April were warm and mild and we saw no frost damage in any of our vineyards. May and June were slightly warmer than average. With record setting highs in early June the vines could not have been happier during the first growth stages.
Flowering and set occurred under ideal conditions and we had very little shatter, if any. Cluster counts were similar to 2012 and 2013 and it looked like we were on track to have a third consecutive harvest of above average yields. Due to the prolonged bud break, it took almost 3 weeks for set to complete and the potential existed for drastically varying levels of ripeness within the vineyard at harvest. Because of this, we dropped more fruit than usual during our thinning passes to remove any fruit that was lagging behind to ensure only perfectly ripe fruit was harvested.
Veraison started around the middle of July and finished at lower Brix levels than in 2013. This increased the anthocyanin content of the grapes at harvest, which equated to darker wines with rich flavors, when compared to 2013. The cooler temperatures and cloudiness associated with the monsoonal moisture pattern we experienced in July and August thankfully slowed the rate of ripening. At the beginning of the year we figured we would be harvesting our first grapes by early August, but with the cooler, cloudy weather we started harvest on August 26th. With no real heat waves or rain scenarios, the fruit ripened evenly and slowly over the following weeks and our final pick was on September 23rd.
The 2014 wines present exceptional purity and balance that is unmatched by any vintage of recent memory. At this point in time, the wines will benefit from 6 to 12 additional months in the cellar, and should drink exceptionally well over the next 5 to 10 years.
We are just finishing up one of the best harvests we've had - the fruit looks great, the weather was perfect, and we are super excited for the 2016 vintage already! With the grapes in, we turn our attention to what we like best - our parties!
EVERYONE IS INVITED TO
LA PITCHOUNE'S FALL PICKUP AND KEY PARTY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH,
2:00 to 5:00pm
3358 Coffey Lane, Suite D,
Santa Rosa, CA
Stop by for a glass and say hello. Club members who have opted to pickup their wines can pick up their fall shipment at this party!
Several wines will be available for guests that day:
2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
2014 Chardonnay – Sonoma Coast
2013 Chardonnay – Pratt Vineyard – Russian River
2013 Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
2013 Pinot Noir – Holder Vineyard – Russian River
2013 Pinot Noir – van der Kamp - Sonoma Mountain
2014 Pinot Noir – English Hill Vineyard – Sonoma Coast
-Peter, Tracy, Andrew & George
Tasting our Sonoma Wines in Napa Valley - How to find Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Napa Valley
Good news for those of you who plan your trip to Napa and, once arrived, think, man, I wish I would have visited Sonoma. There are plenty of places in Napa that carry great wines from the Sonoma Coast. Here's a list of some of the best places to find a good Sonoma wine in Napa:
Angele Restaurant and Bar, downtown Napa - Overlooking the river downtown Napa, one might mistake the view for france. And Angele is so cozy and fun - with great food and a seaside atmosphere Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!
1313 Main, downtown Napa - This is the place to go for wine if you want a large selection when tooling around downtown Napa. And the food is fantastic. Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!
Foodshed Take Away, North Napa - These guys make awesome food that you can eat there, or take home and enjoy on your back porch (or at the hotel pool, if you are visiting!) Bonus! They carry our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir - the perfect poolside sipper! Double Bonus! Note the below announcement about our tasting here on July 12th!
V Wine Cellar, downtown Yountville - When we walk into V Cellars, a retailer in downtown Yountville, we look around and see all our friends. Seriously, they carry wines from most of the West Sonoma Coast producers that we know and see around town. Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!
Oakville Grocery, Oakville - Oakville Grocery has become a "must stop" while tasting in Napa Valley. A great place to refresh, grab lunch, a bottle ot water and some local granola. It's also a great place to buy a bottle of wine for the hotel room later that night. Bonus! They carry our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir!
Johnny's Restaurant and Bar, downtown Calistoga - Making it all the way up to Calistoga? The top end of Napa Valley? Good for you - it's worth it. Stop into Johnny's and try their Pork Carnitas Tacos which go perfectly with our... Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir!
So you can actually cruise up Napa Valley and taste La Pitchoune wines along the way. We'd still love to have you visit us in Sonoma, but if you find yourself in Napa, find a little Sonoma while you are there!
For those of you suckers stuck in our neighboring valley, fear not. Sonoma wines are coming to lift you from under the weight of all that Cabernet. Foodshed Take Away (near the Whole Foods) now carries our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Add that to V Cellars in Yountville, who carries our '13 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (94 points from Parker), and you have some pretty good options from the Sonoma Coast. Consider it our gift to you, Napa Valley.