Ripening was in full force earlier in the month when I visited several vineyards, this shot is of the 828 block at Devoto Garden. Likewise at Inspiration Vineyards on Olivet Lane (Russian River AVA), where I met with owner/winemaker Jon Phillips to talk Chardonnay. (The rumors are true! We are making our first Chardonnay this year, gunning for a Chablis style, un-oaked but with mouth-feel, body. Finding the right small grower is only part of the challenge…). Here’s a shot of Jon’s 12 year old Clone 4 Chardonnay (a ubiquitous clone in Sonoma that traces its heritage (via UC Davis) to the Wente clone brought over in the early 20th century).
Wait Cellars will be pouring the first tastes of its limited 2009 Pinot Noir at this year’s SF Chefs event in San Francisco’s Union Square. SF Chefs is a huge, multi-day food and wine extravaganza featuring chefs and restaurants from across San Francisco’s legendary food scene, producing some of the most interesting things you may put in your mouth all year! We’ll be pouring on Saturday August 6th from noon to 4pm in the Grand Tasting Tent, where Sonoma County vintners and classic San Francisco dishes will be highlighted. Hope to see you there!
After a brief blackout on sales due to our transitioning our licensing to San Francisco’s SOMA, we are proud to announce the release and limited availability of our 2009 Pinot Noirs. We are in love with these Pinots, each with a distinct personality: our Russian River flagship, rich and nuanced; and our new Devoto Garden Pinot, a lean cool-climate expression from Russian River’s Green Valley AVA. Our website shopping cart is in transition and will be available soon, and our wine club shipments will resume in September, when we’ll also be announcing a tasting schedule at the winery. Of course, don’t hesitate to contact me directly (bob @ waitcellars.com) to arrange a tasting or to join the wine club before our online registration is back in business.
I was up at Devoto Garden on Thursday, a fine day in the low 70’s, bright and clear. These pictures are from the 828 block (2.75 acres). With the crazy wet spring (including hail a few weeks back!), fungal pressure is very high. Stan, like most conscientious growers, is maintaining a focused spray regimen (mostly sulfur, with smaller amounts of zinc, boron, copper, and some Pristine). Organic compounds are best used proactively, before mildew sets in. Some are ideally used before rains (which propagate spores), some after to avoid being washed away. One really has to be paying attention to the vineyard, and the weather, right now. Not only was mildew in check, I saw nice even growth, dry speckled canopies — and bloom, fortunately not early, just around the corner. Some growers with early-ripening varieties had their blooms hammered by rains a week or so back, leading to spotty pollination and lowered yields. This year we’re leaving more canopy lower. Last year was instructive: We were aggressive with shoot thinning last year (also a wet cool spring, though not like this year), exposing the fruit to air and sun. Which was great until the heat waves in late August […]
It has been a quiet winter on the sales side of things, mainly because after the holidays we were sold out of just about everything we have in bottle, thank you! On the operations side, things have been busy — we’re happy to announce that we are formally moving our winemaking and wine storage operations back to San Francisco after a one-year hiatus in the Napa Valley. Like all big moves it has taken longer than anticipated, but we plan to enjoy the summer back in the city! We are leasing facility and cellaring space from a new winery that is set to open sometime in 2011 — Bluxome Street Winery, in SOMA. On the winemaking side, nothing will change as part of this move. I will continue producing very limited amounts of select Pinot Noir from California’s North Coast, including Stan’s beautiful fruit at Devoto Gardens. The 2009 flagship, a dark, brooding mustang in barrel, reminiscent of our 07, tastes very promising. The Devoto is sinewy and lean and likewise enticing. For both we bottled a few cases of magnums (1.5L); here’s a shot of Austin, esteemed nephew of a friend of the family, helping out by hand-filling magnums […]