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Live on Facebook tomorrow at 11am

Okay Wine Club Members - get your keys ready!

Tomorrow at 11am Eastern Time, we will be drawing a random key number live on Facebook.

If you, dear member, have the "winning" number, we have something special for you. While our local members know the benefits of bringing their keys to our pickup parties, we wanted to give everyone a chance at something special. So tune in if you can.

- Team La Pitchoune

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Does flooding have an effect on vineyards? Andrew answers the question on everyone's mind...

As it relates to our vineyards the simple answer is no. All of the vineyards we source fruit from are above any flood plain and so are not at risk of flooding.  

In general though flooding during the dormant phase has no real long term effect on the vines. Vines evolved in and around seasonal creeks, so they are accustom to some water. Occasional flooding can be beneficial as it deposits nutrients into the vineyard that have been depleted.

During the growth phase however, they typically do not do well with their roots under the water table. Oxygen in the root zone is critical for water and nutrient absorption. It is also important for beneficial micro-organism metabolism and respiration. Microbial activity such as organic matter decomposition and nitrification require the presence of oxygen in the soil.  

With the amount of rain we have received and with no end in the forecast, the real concern becomes erosion and mudslides. The soils are saturated so most of the rain we continue to receive will not soak into the soil. This leads to overland flow which increases the risk of erosion and mudslides. In the worst situations, portions of vineyards can be washed away.

Assuming that the vineyard survives the rain, it shouldn't have an effect on this season's vintage.

- Andrew

Flooding at Hartford Winery

Flooding off River Road

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Our 2016 Vin Gris is released!

Good morning, Beautiful!

Did everything work out how you wanted it to last night? Did you:

A. Wake up next to the love of your life this morning?
B. Break a heel running for a cab at 2am thinking, "what was I thinking?!"

Don't worry - we've been there. Seriously.

But you know who loves you? We do. And our love is unconditional, even if it is long-distance. We wish we could give you a hug right now.

And we have a little announcement. No - we aren't pregnant.

Our 2016 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is now available on the website. We know what you might be thinking - it was wine that gave you the Love Hangover in the first place. But, our award-winning Vin Gris sells out every year and we want to make sure the folks on our mailing list have a chance to order it before it goes to restaurants and is gone.

So drink up, buttercup. Nothing cures a Love Hangover like a cold glass of Vin Gris. Nothing except a big hug and, well, that's just impossible on a blog.



La Pitchoune

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LA PITCHOUNE Pinot Noir 'VDK' 2013 - 93 points in International Wine Report

LA PITCHOUNE Pinot Noir 'VDK' 2013  - 93 points

The 2013 'VDK' is even more compelling than the outstanding 'Van der Kamp' bottling, as it displays a more elegant and concentrated profile. This brilliant Pinot Noir is composed from Dijon clones 777, 828, and a selection of La Tache clones. It opens with a lovely mix of red berries, raspberries and fresh cut roses woven together with sweet and exotic spices and underlying hints of ash. This is beautifully textured and balanced while also displaying wonderful overall precision and finesse. It continues to deliver gorgeous fresh red berries and spices all the way through the pretty finish. This is an extremely captivating Pinot Noir, which looks to have an even brighter future ahead.
(Best 2018-2028) - May, 2016 (JD)

Order yours here.

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Remembering the 2014 vintage

Remembering the 2014 Vintage
by Andrew Berge

The 2014 growing season in Northern California was unique, but you could say that about each and every vintage.  We were in the third year of a drought and our vineyards received 50 – 75% of their annual amount of rainfall from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014.  The majority of that rain fell in late February and early April.  The timing of these rains created conditions similar to what is defined as normal; irrigation pond levels and soil moistures were typical for that time of year.

The mild winter temps and low soil moistures earlier in the year kick-started vine growth in mid-February.  Fortunately, March and April were warm and mild and we saw no frost damage in any of our vineyards.  May and June were slightly warmer than average.  With record setting highs in early June the vines could not have been happier during the first growth stages. 

Flowering and set occurred under ideal conditions and we had very little shatter, if any.  Cluster counts were similar to 2012 and 2013 and it looked like we were on track to have a third consecutive harvest of above average yields.  Due to the prolonged bud break, it took almost 3 weeks for set to complete and the potential existed for drastically varying levels of ripeness within the vineyard at harvest.  Because of this, we dropped more fruit than usual during our thinning passes to remove any fruit that was lagging behind to ensure only perfectly ripe fruit was harvested.

Veraison started around the middle of July and finished at lower Brix levels than in 2013.  This increased the anthocyanin content of the grapes at harvest, which equated to darker wines with rich flavors, when compared to 2013. The cooler temperatures and cloudiness associated with the monsoonal moisture pattern we experienced in July and August thankfully slowed the rate of ripening.  At the beginning of the year we figured we would be harvesting our first grapes by early August, but with the cooler, cloudy weather we started harvest on August 26th.  With no real heat waves or rain scenarios, the fruit ripened evenly and slowly over the following weeks and our final pick was on September 23rd. 

The 2014 wines present exceptional purity and balance that is unmatched by any vintage of recent memory.  At this point in time, the wines will benefit from 6 to 12 additional months in the cellar, and should drink exceptionally well over the next 5 to 10 years.

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Fall Pickup and Key Party

We are just finishing up one of the best harvests we've had - the fruit looks great, the weather was perfect, and we are super excited for the 2016 vintage already! With the grapes in, we turn our attention to what we like best - our parties!


2:00 to 5:00pm
3358 Coffey Lane, Suite D,
Santa Rosa, CA


Stop by for a glass and say hello. Club members who have opted to pickup their wines can pick up their fall shipment at this party!

Several wines will be available for guests that day:

2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
2014 Chardonnay – Sonoma Coast
2013 Chardonnay – Pratt Vineyard – Russian River
2013 Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast
2013 Pinot Noir – Holder Vineyard – Russian River
2013 Pinot Noir – van der Kamp - Sonoma Mountain
2014 Pinot Noir – English Hill Vineyard – Sonoma Coast


-Peter, Tracy, Andrew & George

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