johnk's blog

johnk's blog

Wine Wednesday with Westbrook Wine Farm

Wed, 09/26/2018 - 12:06 -- johnk

Westbrook Wine Farm – 2007 Mariposa Count, Cabernet Sauvignon
Ingredients: Cabernet Sauvignon
Nose: earthy deep and rich
Taste: dark cherry for the fruit, hint of chocolate or mocha with just a hint or leather.
Character: Full flavored, fleshy and well-structured
Cellaring: good for a few more years if cellared but my last bottle will not last that long.
Alc. by Vol.: 14.5%
Personal note: While my favorite from this boutique winery is their Flagship wine, Fait Accompli, this wine has flavors of dark cherries, dark roses, chocolate, truffles, cedar, and Cabernet sauvignon fruit.
Tasting notes: smooth, well-balanced
Suggested pairing: Grilled ribeye steak

Westbrook Wine Farm is a vineyard and winery in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of eastern Madera County, California, near Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park. Westbrook’s mountain vineyards are planted to field blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Gros Verdot and Carmenere. The Krause’s, Ray and Tammy, practice sustainable farming and minimalist winemaking and make their wine in the traditional Claret style by co-fermenting grapes, rather than by making separate varietal wines and blending them. Their Flagship wine is their Fait Accompli includes six and our Museum, three of the eight red varieties permitted for use in Bordeaux or Meritage style wines.

Wine Wednesday - FӒSI - 2003 Syrah

Tue, 08/07/2018 - 09:17 -- johnk

FӒSI - 2003 Syrah

Private Reserve 

Ingredients:Organic Syrah Grapes 
Nose:Black cherry, plum, and toasty oak 
Taste:Black cherry, sweet spice, and plum 
Character:Full-bodied with ripe fruit flavors, integrated tannins, and a spicy finish 
Food Pairing:Beef, lamb, stews, and gourmet pastas 
Cellaring:While ready to enjoy now, this wine will age well few more years 
Alc. by Vol.:14.1%

Westbrook Wine Farm – 2004 Fait Accompli

Wed, 08/01/2018 - 12:55 -- johnk

Westbrook Wine Farm – 2004 Fait Accompli

IngredientsCalifornia Boudreaux Blend – Field Blend

Nose: Wonderful bouquet that evolves as it waits for your enjoyment in the glass

Taste: I hope it is sufficient to say this is a California Boudreaux blend that will give some of the best French Chateau’s a run for their money.  Think of Chateau Pipeau, Lynch Bages and a few other wonderful French wines.

How well do you know your customers?

Tue, 06/05/2018 - 11:18 -- johnk

How well do you know your customers? Do you know them well enough to know what they want? Or is it more along the lines that we tend to think we know what they want?

The average wine sale in a California wine tasting room is around $70-$80. While the average sale in the private session tastings, whether it be wine club members, or first-time visitors that request private tastings average $300 or more than those in the tasting room. So, it is simple, right? All you have to do is get as many people into private tasting sessions as possible, right?  Not necessarily!  These amounts just mentioned are the average sales amounts in the different two venues - but what if you were to include non-sales visitors? What would the true number be if you included every group of visitors instead of just those that bought wine while tasting? I don’t have such data to share, but I would be willing to bet that the average sale in the tasting room would be much lower. 

The amount from the private session might be a little lower but not likely as much as the regular daily or weekend tasting room traffic. Why do I say that? Those that choose to pay the higher price of a private session you are probably going to find are more affluent to begin with and can afford to buy more wine, or perhaps even purchase futures on vintages to be released later.  One thing to keep in mind is the experiences between the two groups and how they are different as is the level of service given.

Can Boutique Wineries and Small Producers Compete?

Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:37 -- johnk

                                 (Picture- Courtesy of Russian Ridge)

Today it is pretty clear that beverage to customer business is stacked incredibly so, to the really big wine, brew and spirit industries. Their dominance in the industry leaves little room for so many of those passionate with their dreams and desire to produce quality wines, beer and other spirits.  It can be a lot of work to scratch out a living doing what they love to do best.

Judith Shultze – California Women in Wine - Windy Oaks

Mon, 03/20/2017 - 20:31 -- johnk

Judy Schultze interest in wine and winemaking goes back about 25 years, when she first lived in Chicago, but took numerous business and pleasure trips to Europe, and began learning about winemaking in France.  The attraction to the world of wine continued when Judy and her husband Jim lived overseas, first Australia for five years, where they came to love Australian wines, particularly the small boutique wineries near where they lived in Melbourne; then England for two years, which enabled them to make frequent trips to the vineyards of France, Italy and Spain.

Judy and Jim Schultze are the sole proprietors of Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards and Winery. This pair is dedicated to making the finest wine possible combining the best of Burgundian tradition with recent advances in winemaking knowledge. The sole focus of this winery is on the two great varietals from Burgundy, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, grown in their own estate vineyards.

In the summer of 1994, Judy returned home to the central coast of California; in 1995, land adjacent to their property in Corralitos became available, and this is when Judy and her wine-loving partner began to think of growing grapes. The two of them started doing research as to which grapes were most suitable to their microclimate in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation, and found that it was uniquely suited for pinot noir grapes. (Wine Spectator has identified the Santa Cruz Mountain appellation as the most underrated wine appellation in the world.)

Westbrook Wine Farm - O'Neal CA

Thu, 07/16/2015 - 12:38 -- johnk

California wine Tasting with Westbrook Wine Farm

Westbrook Wine Farm  - Vineyard and Winery was conceived and created by Tammy Krause and California wine industry veteran, Ray Krause in 1995. After a ten year search for the heat summations, elevation, orientation, air drainage, soils, hydrology and market proximity,  the O’Neals location at 1500 feet in elevation near Bass Lake and the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park was selected. Their selection and search has rewarded them well as the vineyard has proven appropriate for growing the seven of the eight approved red Bordeaux varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Petit Verdot and Carmenere. The 40 acre site was a challenge but the Krause's cleared the site for the vineyard and waterways were protected in cooperation with the USDA /NRCS fire fuel reduction and wildlife protection program. 

New Clairvaux Winery - Vina, CA

Sat, 05/09/2015 - 16:29 -- johnk

New Clairvaux Vineyard Sign

In a tiny Northern California town called Vina, there's a winery that's definitely stands alone, a little off the beaten track. That likely because this area Tehama County is better known for olive groves and cattle ranches than grapes. Having been urged by more than one wine maker in the Shasta Cascade and in Tehama county to try New Clairvaux’s wines I recently made it a point to stop in on my way home from visiting my family in the Redding area.  It was an interesting little detour jumping off Interstate 5 and over to Highway 99.  I had not been on this part of 99 for some years.  It was nice to drive past the orchards and ranches.  I was looking forward to tasting the wines produced under the watchful eye of Aimee Sunseri who is the winemaker at New Clairvaux.




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