Atelier Winery blog is the blog of David Reed. David posts information about Atelier Winery, wines, and events. David encourages you to participate in Ateler's blog by posting your comments. Atelier Winery is a boutique family winery founded by lovers of the wine country lifestyle. Our passions for travel, art, literature, and tradition are harnessed in the making of our wines. We encourage you to share and enjoy our wines in good company.
- Name: David
- Location: Healdsburg, California, United States
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Monday, January 09, 2006
Take Atelier's Customer Survey
The survey was originally designed for our mailing list clients, however, we'd like to capture everyone's thoughts and ideas. In 2006 we plan on hosting a series of events to meet more people and create an experience with fun, food, and wine that everyone will remember.
If you'd like to attend one of our future events (listed in the survey) or provide other comments, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for your interest in Atelier wines!
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Wine & Spirits Review of Atelier 2003 Syrah
"A gentle range of red fruit flavors fills the substantial extract and weight of this wine, the tannin so soft it adds bitter chocolate flavor rather than structure. Clean and spicy, for chopped sirloin off the grill."
Monday, November 07, 2005
A toast for the holidays
Released on November 1st, is our 2004 Contra Costa County Zinfandel. We adore the distinctive character of Contra Costa County Zinfandel, in fact, our love affair with this out-of-the-way appellation dates back over 12 years to our early winemaking days. The bold flavors and inviting aromatics typical of Zinfandel from this sandy terroir dazzled our young palates and have continued to intrigue us with each successive vintage. Ripe raspberry and black cherry aromas mingle with notes of sweet maple and birch beer in the heady aroma of this bold Zinfandel. On the palate hints of white pepper and boysenberry are flanked by finely-structured tannin and supported by vanilla and caramel accents. As is typical in our wines a subtle suggestion of the earth on which the grapes were grown lingers in the wine and delivers a sense of place.
The 2004 vintage was both early and warm. Surprisingly, our Zinfandel grapes matured in the month of August and hit an ideal sugar/acid balance well before summer ended. The early harvest allowed us to ferment the wine, press off skins, and send it down to barrel for maturation all by mid-September. The lush, full-bodied structure of this wine makes it incredibly drinkable at a young age and we found that it needed only 12 months of barrel age to round out the tannins and build structure around the incredible berry richness of the fruit. The lively aromatics are reminiscent of mulling spices making this wine an excellent accompaniment to Fall/Winter and Holiday fare.
Purchase By November 13th and receive in time for Thanksgiving within California. www.atelierwinery.com/purchase.html
Last month we shared the news about the 2003 Alexander Valley Syrah’s Silver Medal at the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. This month our Syrah has been recognized by two leading wine critics. Our 2003 Alexander Valley Syrah has just received:
93 Points from Wilfred Wong, Beverages & More, “Impressive all the way around, the full-flavored '03 Atelier Syrah derives its energy from Rhone-inspired flavors; rich boysenberry, white pepper notes abound; long and fine.”
90 Points and 1 Puff from the Connoisseur’s Guide in the November Issue Syrah review. “From its inky color to its ripe, fully extracted nose, this wine has boldness and concentration on its side.” www.cgcw.com
Something for the holidays!
Our 2004 Zinfandel and critically acclaimed 2003 Syrah go great with Holiday dinners. Stock some for yourself or send as a gift for friends or family. E-mail us a custom message and we’ll include a festive hand-written holiday card. Currently, our standard shipping is only available within the state of California. www.atelierwinery.com/purchase.html
Have a joyous holiday season and a happy New Year!
A more intimate look.
Photo courtesy of Wilfred Wong.
Atelier's First Glam Shot
Sunday, October 16, 2005
Atelier Winery: A Bountiful Harvest & Harvest Fair!
Our Syrah is in! On September 26th, we harvested our Alexander Valley Syrah. In the days leading up to the harvest we coordinated with the vineyard manager to pick on Monday morning. The night before he gave us the heads-up, “The crew will be there at 3 am”. Four short hours of sleep later, David was in the vineyard performing his QA duties in the field side-by-side with the harvest crew. The scene was surreal. It was 3:00 am with a bright harvest moon shining overhead, providing just enough light to navigate through the field. The stage was set; 10 men, a tractor with two bins on a small trailer, and a 15 foot tall riser with flood lights that provided simulated daylight in which the team would work. The men spanned 4 rows, picked with intensity, filled their 25 pound lugs in a few short minutes, then began calling to each other and pitching the full bins under the trellis to a designated transfer man. One particular fellow with a flair for the dramatic would catapult his grapes over the top of the trellis, through the air, and right into the gondola bin….scoring a perfect shot every time. David kept pace out in front of the team inspecting individual clusters and dropping grape clusters that were not of the highest caliber. David repeatedly explained to the team that he didn’t want any grapes that were dried out or not yet ripe and then team would chorus “No seca! No rojo!.” Four hours later, at 7:00 am, the field was empty and eleven, half ton bins were full. Jose, the team foreman, used a forklift to load the bins onto a truck, and David and the grapes set off to the crush pad.
The next step for the Syrah was a pass through the crusher/stemmer (a device that separates the grapes from the rachis or stem) and on the way out, breaks the skins of the grapes by gently “crushing” them between rollers, then into the tank they went. A good cold soak overnight allowed the juice some contact time with the skins to soak out some hearty color and vibrant flavor. The next day was Tuesday and the grape must was inoculated to commence fermentation. As yeast converts sugar into alcohol the reaction generates heat and CO2 and the reaction pushes the skins to the top forming a “cap”. Twice a day we punched-down the cap to keep the skins wet and to maximize the extraction of color and tannin from the skins. The sugar began to drop down evincing that fermentation was underway: 25, 23, 15, 10, 5…and two weeks later it was down to zero. The week of October 10th, 2005, we pressed the wine to separate the skins from the wine, and put the wine to barrels (a blend of French and American oak.). Now, the wine will rest in barrel for 16 to 18 months as the oak imparts gentle vanilla and toasty flavors to the wine. From this point forward we will keep the barrels topped up, the oxygen out, and keep the cellar cool and humid.
The Sonoma County Harvest Fair
On September 24th, the Sonoma County wine industry gathered to celebrate another great harvest and to recognize some of the finest wines produced in Sonoma County. It was a classic Sonoma County evening; many arrived in black ties or formal gowns while others arrived on the scene in more casual shirts and slacks. True to the earthy spirit of Sonoma County some other attendees sported their finest jeans and cowboy boots. Other than the great food and wine, the highlight of the evening was the unveiling of the awards, and drum roll please………Atelier’s 2003 Alexander Valley Syrah is a Silver medal winner in the 2005 Sonoma County Harvest Fair. It was an honor for our winery to receive recognition from the industry side-by-side with some of the larger wineries. If you haven’t yet tried our Syrah, we recommend picking up a bottle or two at: http://www.atelierwinery.com/purchase.html
Monday, September 19, 2005
Countdown to Harvest!
It’s been quite some time since our last update. At Atelier our motto is to “share and enjoy in good company.” This saying pertains to our wine as well as sharing experiences regarding the wine country lifestyle. In the next few weeks you’ll receive a few updates from Atelier as we share our harvest experience with you.
15, 17, 18.5, 20, 22.5, 23… the countdown to harvest is well underway. This may not look like the typical countdown you’ve seen before. These numbers are the degrees Brix (a measurement roughly equivalent to % sugar) contained in the grapes. We’ve been monitoring the vineyard throughout August and September in order to select the optimal time to harvest. There are many other factors as well that determine the ideal time to harvest grapes for winemaking. As grapes mature, the sugar increases, acidity decreases, the seeds turn from green to brown, flavors become more intense, the skins of red grapes yield color when crushed and the skin may subtly start to slacken or dimple. All these factors along with weather considerations and winemaking style determine when we harvest our grapes.
As of this weekend, our Alexander Valley Syrah is looking great. At 23 Brix , the seeds are beginning to brown and get a little crunch to them, and the berries are still nice and full. Harvest is probably 10 days to two weeks away, assuming we get some sunshine and warm weather to ripen the grapes and accumulate a couple more degrees Brix. Stay tuned for more on the Atelier harvest as events unfold…
To learn more about Atelier Winery, see our website at www.atelierwinery.com