Baldacci Blog

Just another Tasting?

February 17th, 2011 by Debi | 1 Comment »


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If you think that this looks like just another Baldacci Family Vineyards’ winetasting then you would be incorrect. This tasting, called our “Vineyard Notes” tasting happens early each year with our Viticulturist, Garrett Buckland and our Winemaker, Rolando Herrera.

Tasting the recent 2010 vintage

This tasting is the perfect opportunity to have a frank discussion about how the Estate vineyards (17 acres of Cabernet in the Stags Leap District and 20 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah and Gewürtztraminer) performed last year. The expected “Wow, this is delicious” comments will occur but the more important conversations surround what Rolando might find lacking in the wines and what we can do from a viticultural and vineyard management perspective to change the fruit for the 2011 season (Mother Nature’s meddling withstanding). As many of you have heard Rolando say: It all comes from the vineyard, he just tries not to mess it up! Of course, we know that his modesty makes him believe that this is true – but we all know that his goal of perfection is what is making our Baldacci Family Vineyards’ wines spectacular!

Here are some of the comments as Garrett and Rolando tasted the wines from the 2010 vintage:

Sorelle Chardonnay – hints of orange blossoms, bright acid balanced with creamy oak. Vineyard Notes: we achieved the perfect light environment last year. Continue to monitor lateral growth so that we keep the middles of the vines open and airy allowing for airflow and dappled sun exposure.

Elizabeth Pinot – strawberry flavors, richer body than the 2008, elegant mineral layers. Vineyard Notes: these vines are a year stronger and can handle almost a full crop. Watch watering levels and make sure that the light environment protects but does not block the clusters.

Allwin Syrah – elegant plum, coffee, blackberry and mineral depth. Vineyard Notes: both blocks of the Syrah are very vigorous and we need to make sure that we continue to drop all excess clusters during the season so that the remaining fruit produces concentrated, powerful wines.

Merlot – plush mouth feel, black cherry and refined Bordeaux style. Vineyard Notes: currently this wine is part of the new Fraternity IV Sons blend. The Merlot component is needed for rich, full body. Focus on berry development (more berries per cluster not more clusters) to continue an increase in yields but without bunched fruit in season.

Stags Leap District Cabernet – Black Label – already refined with big (but elegant) tannic structure and black fruit flavors. Vineyard Notes: the valley floor vineyards continue to produce elegant wines. The remaining older blocks will continue to be the Cabernet component for the new Fraternity IV Sons blend and needs to be approachable and smooth. The newer vineyard blocks are mature and will be monitored for water stress throughout the year. The new blocks 3-4 will produce fruit for the first year and we expect to get no more than 1 ton/acre. These new vines will be farmed for vine health with less focus on fruit quality – more water and drop any fruit that the vine cannot mature.

Stags Leap District Cabernet – Brenda’s Vineyard – deep, rich flavors of dark chocolate, ripe red berries, and lingering tannins. Vineyard Notes: continue to cultivate the Brenda’s Vineyard in the same way. Strive for uniformity in the block to increase production in these vines – and hope for more than 2 tons/acre!

Stags Leap District Cabernet – Hill – serious mountain fruit flavors dominate the profile (hard to believe that it is Stags Leap District). Vineyard Notes: continue to monitor water stress on these vines and begin irrigation as early as needed to extend the vines health and give them enough stamina to make it through those heat spikes in September.

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A honey-do list for the winery

January 20th, 2011 by Debi | 2 Comments »

During the month of Janaury, we use this chance (when it is not raining ) to take care of some chores. So far this year, we have:

1.Updated our computer system – nothing like a new, faster system to keep our lines of communication in top gear!

2.Cleaned out the Trailside House Cellar Room - we are going to begin offering our Reserve Cellar Room tastings on Valentine’s Day weekend (watch for details and invitations).

3.Replaced the gravel driveways with a new paving job – its race-track smooth and easy on even your best shoes!

4.Worked on Vineyard Draining systems – it seems like the entire Stags Leap District watershed passes through our vineyard and our poor vines get very wet feet!

While our to-do  list still remains long … we are ready for Spring (today it is almost 70 degrees) and hope for lots of company in the Tasting Room.  We’d much rather share our wine then do the chores anyway!

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CAB & COW

September 20th, 2010 by Debi | No Comments »

CAB&COWcroppedIs there a better way to spend your afternoon than enjoying our amazing 2007 Baldacci Family Vineyards wines? Well … we think that we can one-up this … how about spending the afternoon at Baldacci Family Vineyards enjoying our amazing 2007 Cabernets AND some 2007 Cabernets from Mi Sueño Winery (this is the winery owned by our winemaker, Rolando Herrera http://misuenowinery.com) AND filling up on beef sliders from Snake River Farms (plus all the fixin’s)? If this sounds like the perfect afternoon for you then please join us on Saturday, Sept 25 from 12-5 pm for an afternoon of CAB & COW! Tickets are $40 per person in advance and $50 per person on the day of the event. The ticket price gives you access to all the CAB & COW that you want to enjoy — and we will even have some other cellar surprises to enjoy!! Please contact Fran in the Tasting Room fleach@baldaccivineyards.com to get your tickets. If you mention that you saw this information online then we’ll give you $5 off the individual ticket price! See you on Saturday …

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SF Chronicle visits Baldacci Family Vineyards

November 30th, 2009 by Debi | 5 Comments »

Did many of you get a chance to see the article in the Sunday, Nov 29th, Travel Section of the San Francisco Chronicle?  Check out the link to see what they had to say about “A find, hidden among Silverado’s heavy hitters” … but many of you already know!

To read the full story: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2009/11/29/TRKM1ANFC4.DTL

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A New Website to be Thankful for …

November 24th, 2009 by Debi | 3 Comments »

We are thankful for so many things. But, today especially, we are thankful that our new website is live!! Creating a new website is much more complicated than we thought … a year in the making! It has taken countless hours and as many glasses of wine to track down the info and photos that anyone might want to have (at a glance)  — the how’s and why’s of Baldacci Family Vineyards.  We hope that this becomes a site that you enjoy visiting as we continue to update our content with events at the winery, wine tasting notes, and great specials for anyone who is on our email list.

Please let us know if there are any topics that interest you and we can begin some interesting posts to share what we like to talk about … that would be wine … and us (of course!!)

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