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Thank you, Littleton!

Thanks to all of you who came out for our tasting in Littleton, Colorado last night. Great to see old friends and new faces and welcome some new folks to our wine club. We are headed up the hill today to Aspen for the Food & Wine classic in Aspen.

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Tasting our Sonoma Wines in Napa Valley - How to find Sonoma Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in Napa Valley

Good news for those of you who plan your trip to Napa and, once arrived, think, man, I wish I would have visited Sonoma. There are plenty of places in Napa that carry great wines from the Sonoma Coast. Here's a list of some of the best places to find a good Sonoma wine in Napa:

Angele Restaurant and Bar, downtown Napa - Overlooking the river downtown Napa, one might mistake the view for france. And Angele is so cozy and fun - with great food and a seaside atmosphere  Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!

1313 Main, downtown Napa - This is the place to go for wine if you want a large selection when tooling around downtown Napa. And the food is fantastic. Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!

Foodshed Take Away, North Napa - These guys make awesome food that you can eat there, or take home and enjoy on your back porch (or at the hotel pool, if you are visiting!) Bonus! They carry our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir - the perfect poolside sipper! Double Bonus! Note the below announcement about our tasting here on July 12th!

V Wine Cellar, downtown Yountville - When we walk into V Cellars, a retailer in downtown Yountville, we look around and see all our friends. Seriously, they carry wines from most of the West Sonoma Coast producers that we know and see around town. Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay!

Oakville Grocery, Oakville - Oakville Grocery has become a "must stop" while tasting in Napa Valley. A great place to refresh, grab lunch, a bottle ot water and some local granola. It's also a great place to buy a bottle of wine for the hotel room later that night. Bonus! They carry our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir!

Johnny's Restaurant and Bar, downtown Calistoga - Making it all the way up to Calistoga? The top end of Napa Valley? Good for you - it's worth it. Stop into Johnny's and try their Pork Carnitas Tacos which go perfectly with our... Bonus! They carry our 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir!

So you can actually cruise up Napa Valley and taste La Pitchoune wines along the way. We'd still love to have you visit us in Sonoma, but if you find yourself in Napa, find a little Sonoma while you are there!

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La Pitchoune Vin Gris now available in Napa Valley!

For those of you suckers stuck in our neighboring valley, fear not. Sonoma wines are coming to lift you from under the weight of all that Cabernet. Foodshed Take Away (near the Whole Foods) now carries our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Add that to V Cellars in Yountville, who carries our '13 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (94 points from Parker), and you have some pretty good options from the Sonoma Coast. Consider it our gift to you, Napa Valley.

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Tasting notes for the wines at the Littleton and Aspen events this week

For you wine geeks, here are the notes on the wines being poured at the Littleton and Aspen events this week:

2015 La Pitchoune Vin Gris of Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast

Our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is an expressive, bright pink wine with a wonderful crisp berry taste and vibrant acidity. The flavors of raspberry and watermelon will not only awaken your palate, but will also be the perfect pairing with almost any food.  A fantastic companion for a sunny afternoon on the bocce court, or as an aperitif to start a memorable evening. Serve chilled.

AVA:        Sonoma Coast
Vineyard Source:     English Hill, Morris and Holder Vineyards
Clones:        115, 667, 777, 828, Pommard and Vosne-Romanée
Harvest Dates:     August 17 through September 18, 2014
Harvest Brix:        22.2˚ to 23.9˚ Brix
Barrel Aged:     2 months
Barrel Breakdown:     100% 4-year-used French Oak
Bottling Date:    January 26th, 2016
Production:        163 cases
Alcohol:        13.8%
pH:        3.31
TA:        7.1 g/L



2013 La Pitchoune Chardonnay - Sonoma Coast

This is a special California Chardonnay. Barrel fermented in 100% neutral French oak, it is decadent while being fresh and light of weight; reminiscent of the perfect key-lime pie. Aromas of citrus intermingled with flinty, smoky custard fill the glass. Similar flavors dance across the palate with the grace and precision of a Russian ballerina. The mineral driven finish enlivens the palate and solicits another sip. Drink now or over the next 5 years.  

Vineyard Source:     Pratt, Dutton Sullivan, Chenoweth
Clone:        Selections of Wente, Wente-Hyde,Robert Young and Mt. Eden
Multiple Dates:     Between 8-31 and 9-11, 2013
Harvest Brix:        23.2˚Brix, 24.2 ˚Brix and 23.8 ˚Brix
Barrel Aged:     17 months
Barrel Breakdown:     100% French Oak, 100% at least twice
Bottling Date:    February 12, 2015
Production:        176 cases
Alcohol:        14.1%
pH:        3.63
TA:        5.4g/L

2013 La Pitchoune Pinot Noir - Sonoma Coast

The underlying theme of producing Pinot noir that is not typically ‘California’ in style, has prevailed once again. Created to harness the best of its older brother, the 2012 vintage, this wine strives to tie old-world to new-world. Aromas of petrol, tar, tobacco, red fruits and baking spices rise from the glass. Delineated flavors of ripe raspberry, cranberry and blood orange are interlaced with juniper berry, black tea, smoked meats and soft chewy tannins. Although this wine is remarkably approachable and drinks exceptionally well right now, it will only get better over the next 10-15 years.

Vineyard Source:     English Hill, Holder, DeVoto
Clone:        Dijon clones 115, 667, 777
Multiple Dates:     Between 9-2-13 and 10-1-13
Harvest Brix:        23.8˚ Brix average
Barrel Aged:     11 months
Barrel Breakdown:     100% French Oak
        25% new, 25% used once,
        50%used for 4 previous vintages
Bottling Date:    August 7th, 2014
Production:        385 cases
Alcohol:        14.1%
pH:        3.65
TA:        5.8 g/L


2013 La Pitchoune Pinot Noir - Holder Vineyard - Russian River Valley

Our first vintage produced from this small, family operated, 1.25 acre site, exhibits lush concentration of fruit and compelling spice. Aromas of ripe strawberry and raspberry mingle with baking spices of star anise, cinnamon and cardamom. Rich, suave textures are highlighted by energetic fruit flavors balanced by electric acidity, concluding with a salivating finish. Drink now or over the next 10 years.  

Vineyard Source:     Holder Vineyard
Clone:        Dijon clones 115, 667
Harvet Date:     9-2-13
Harvest Brix:        22.7˚Brix and 24 ˚Brix
Barrel Aged:     11 months
Barrel Breakdown:     100% French Oak,
        25% new, 25% once used,
        50% 4 years or older
Bottling Date:    August 07, 2014
Production:        120 cases
Alcohol:        13.8%
pH:        3.63
TA:        5.7g/L

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2016 Spring Vineyard Report

It is time again for a vineyard update to provide some insight into the growing season. 

On this second day of June, it is forecast to be the hottest day of the year in Sonoma County with the temperature pushing 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Santa Rosa. The optimist in me says this is not an indication for how the rest of the season will progress. Coming off a vintage that produced the smallest crop in my experience as a winemaker, we have nothing but optimism for the 2016 vintage.

“What caused the small crop in 2015?” and “What are the potential impacts for 2016?” were the subject of many discussions this past winter. To explore those discussions may be a topic for another blog post and would require a glass of wine. We learn from past experiences and adapt our techniques, but each vintage presents new and unique challenges that will test the most seasoned winemaker.

To get back on topic… 

The 2015/2016 winter rainy season was pretty average for Sonoma County. Most areas received 30+ inches of rain and, unlike parts of the state to the south and east of Sonoma County, we do not rely on snow melt for any of our water needs. It was also cooler and wetter from January through March than it was the previous year. This resulted in bud break being 2 to 3 weeks later than in 2015.

Shoot fruitfulness is lower compared to the previous three years, but most growers expected this and compensated by leaving more fruiting positions. Due to the extremely poor yields in 2015, a common phrase from growers this winter was “you can always take it off, but you can’t put it back on” as they rationalized leaving the extra wood. Overall, this was a good idea as we are seeing many shoots with zero and one clusters, a few with two, and rarely any with three.

Similar to 2015, the bloom period was prolonged and drawn-out due to the inconsistent weather pattern of cool, wet, and warm weather we experienced the prior 3 weeks. If you did not know, wine grape vines are hermaphroditic or self-pollinating.  The pollination process is temperature dependent and ideal conditions are between 80 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If temperatures dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, pollination will be reduced or inhibited.

At this time it appears the vineyards in which we source fruit got through bloom in good shape and experienced little or no shatter. Based on a theoretical duration of 110 days between 100% bloom and harvest we should start picking a healthy amount of grapes around Labor Day.

Overall, I am excited about the 2016 growing season so far and, with “fingers crossed”, think it should produce some amazing wines.    

-Andrew Berge

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Believe it or not, it's almost summer. And, while we welcome the growing season, the long summer night and getting a nice tan on the arms, we also regret summer because, unless there is some sort of long cold spell across the land, we don't ship out our wines. It's too hot and we don't trust the delivery folks not to stick your wine in a hot delivery truck while they have lunch.

So stock up now, while the weather is still good for shipping your wine in the safest way possible.

And, we have several new wines that have just been released for you to stock up on!



2013 pinot noir - sonoma coast - NEW RELEASE!
"The second blend of our line up, and first of our reds, the Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir was a classic California Pinot, with toasty and rich aromas of baking spices and dark cherries, black tea, and red berries. The palate is extremely juicy, with balanced tannins, and has a heavy oak influence finish. We gave this easy drinking classic California Pinot Noir a 93/100 points"
- WineGuys.US - ORDER NOW

2013 pinot noir holder vineyard
Savory notes of marjoram and sandalwood hardly hint at the exuberant, sweet palate of cherry-raspberry-cranberry sauce that makes the 2013 Holder Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($68) such a pleasure."
- James Knight, North Bay Bohemian - ORDER NOW

2013 pinot noir english hill vineyard
"cellar selection" - Wine Enthusist - ORDER NOW

2013 van der kamp pinot noir - NEW RELEASE!
""...potent balance between flinty tannins and ripe, ample fruit. 90 points" " - - Wine & Spirits Magazine - ORDER NOW

2013 pinot noir vdk
This is the big brother to our Van der Kamp Vineyard bottling, and represents the confluence of our experimental nature and passion for tradition. A medium, ruby-red color introduces a complex bouquet of leather, tar, brined olives, crushed herbs, and dried rose petals. Flavors of dried fruits, sumac, anise and lavender float across the palate. Smooth, soft
tannins are balanced by perfect acidity that creates a lingering, red-fruited finish. Drink now or over the next 10 years or more.
(availble to le club members only)

2015 vin gris of pinot noir - NEW RELEASE!
Great news - on Aprl 30th, we are releasing our latest vin girs - just in time for summer! This wine has become a highly sought-after wine and sells out quickly "Sprightly and refreshing, the wine is a mélange of watermelon and raspberry, just sweet enough to sip on its own without overreaching." - Virginie Boone, Wine Enthusiast ORDER NOW

2013 sonoma coast chardonnay - NEW RELEASE & IT'S ALMOST SOLD OUT!
“This is a gorgeous, rich, medium to full-bodied ‘13 ... with stunning purity... an impressive Burgundian-style Chardonnay. 94 points - Robert Parker. ORDER NOW

2013 pratt chardonnay - NEW RELEASE!
The first of the single vineyards we tried, just based off those nose we could tell this was a different Chardonnay. The nose was much brighter, had more of an acidic nose and freshness to it. We got notes of starfruit, lemon, and more unripe tropical fruits, with the mineral backbone showcasing a lot stronger on this one. The finish was zesty and came in somewhat hot, with a restrained note of oak. Although different, it was still very good, almost more Burgundian style. We gave this a 90/100 points.
- WineGuys.US - ORDER NOW


2013 chenoweth chardonnay - NEW RELEASE!
"When I see Chenoweth Vineyards, I think of the Sonoma winery Patz & Hall, which makes a vineyard-designate Pinot Noir of that name. It's hard to believe the 2013 Chenoweth Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay ($48) was fermented in all-neutral oak. The cool but toasty aroma first brings to mind a shortbread cookie by the hearth on a winter's evening, but the season soon turns in the glass, and our cookie is instead roasting on the beach, slathered in coconut lotion. Pineapple flavor picks up the tropical theme, while crisp, just-ripe pear freshens up the butterscotch candy finish."
- James Knight, North Bay Bohemian - ORDER NOW

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Pete Marvelous Presents: A Summer Mix Paired with Your La Pitchoune Vin Gris

Welcome to the Summer of Rosé!

What better way to beat the heat and have a good time this summer than with our just released 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir. Our 2015 Vin Gris of Pinot Noir is an expressive, bright pink wine with wonderful crisp berry taste and vibrant acidity. The source of the fruit stems from our English Hill, Morris and and Holder Vineyards extracted through the traditional sagné method. Once fermented, the wine is then aged in neutral French oak for 6 months which helps give it that unique texture and mouth-feel that has made this wine so famous.

And, to help you enjoy this wine even more, we asked world-famous DJ Pete Marvelous to come up with a playlist that he likes to listen to while drinking his La Pitchoune Vin Gris. You can stream the music at the playlist below (but you have to have Spotify on your computer!).

And you can order your 2015 La Pitchoune Vin Gris by clicking here.

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