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Vineyard tour - a winemaker's treat to herself

A big treat for me, any time of the year, is to walk through our vineyards and the surrounding landscape of forests and fields. Right now the small embryos of grape clusters have been through bloom but are still hard and green. This time of the year the bees are busy and patches of flowers have come alive, each with a humming chorus. Especially the lavender turns the bees just crazy and they seem drunk as they plunge in. Gnarly vines, wild turkeys, a fox, grape trucks and fermenting fruit are some of the things I encounter depending on the season.

Written by Katarina at West Wines
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Sangiovese and Super Tuscan Wines

I am very fascinated by the wine you get from blending Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese. These are two very different grapes with very different flavor profiles and instead of clashing they accentuate each other in a beautiful way. Sangiovese has a lighter fruitier strawberry nose which floats above the heavier blackberry and dark cherry of the Cabernet Sauvignon. The depth in the Cabernet with earthiness, cedar and laurel spices are not drowning out the Sangiovese which holds its own with its lighter vanilla spiciness. It reminds me of a duet between a soprano and a bass singer, you can hear each one distinctly since they sing at different frequencies.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Creating a blend in the Bordeaux style

When making a blend the winemaker is like a chef, mixing the ingredients to create a balanced wine where all the flavors come together. There are a number of factors to play with: how you grow the grapes, how you ferment and age the different grape varietals, how you blend them, and of course the weather, which plays with us more than the other way around. To create a Bordeaux style wine you have five grapes to choose from. I like to start with Cabernet Sauvignon as my base ingredient.

Written by Katarina

Post-Harvest Season in Sonoma Wine Country

Harvest is over and it was a fast and furious one this year. It started earlier than ever and we were done with Cabernet Sauvignon at the end of September which is record early. Now we are waiting to see what El Nino will bring. But before that we have the fun "Wine and Food Affair" festival and we are introducing a new wine and a special recipe to go along.

Written by Katarina at West Wines

Harvest Time for this Healdsburg Winery

Harvest has started and you can hear the noise at night and in the mornings and smell it in the air and in the wineries. At West Wines we are in the middle of picking Sauvignon Blanc. All our grapes are harvested manually, most of them at night with the help of big flood lights. The exception is Cabernet Sauvignon which grows in our upper vineyard where it is too steep to bring in lights or try to walk around at night, so we start at the crack of dawn instead.

Written by Katarina at West Wines