With a judge yelling "Let's go!" in Spanish, my friend Liz Brock and I clicked our stopwatches last week to time vineyard workers who quickly but carefully snipped away at the canes of grape vines.
My best friend came to visit this weekend, and we realized that this was the thirtieth anniversary of our meeting. In two short days, I wanted to show her the best Sonoma County had to offer.
On Saturday and Sunday last weekend, we took our first walks along the new Laguna de Santa Rosa trail. Laguna de Santa Rosa is the largest freshwater wetlands complex on the northern California coast, and we can thank its collection of marshes, creeks, ponds, riparian forests and wetlands for collecting much of the Russian River’s floodwaters.
Our little town of Forestville, which is about five minutes from Gantz Family Vineyards, is so small that if you blink while driving through it, you might miss it. However, if you let your taste buds lead you, the town will surprise you with some wonderful food, as well as efficient, friendly and welcoming service.
We here at Gantz Family Vineyards received a series of storms over the last week that reminded us that we really were living in the country.
The juice became wine when it completed the alcoholic fermentation, so we'll refer to it as wine from now on. It's now going through malolactic fermentation.
Clay has a lovely little hand-operated basket press that we bought when we were making wine in our garage down in Moss Beach. Clay pours the juicy must into the basket and as it is compressed, the juice flows out through the openings in the basket. This kind of press has been in use and relatively unchanged for almost 1,000 years.
We’re so excited about the opportunity to make wine out of the beautiful Pinot Noir grapes from Ted Klopp’s Thorn Ridge Ranch vineyard (renown wineries such as Kosta Browne Winery, Freeman Winery and Inman Family Wines make wine out of these same grapes!) that I’ve decided to write a grape-to-glass diary from the perspective of a winemaker’s wife.