Barreled - A Winery Blog

Welcome to our "Barreled" Blog.  Sit back or paddle in to all things Longboard...

Plants talk to me. Not in the same way some of my west-county neighbors communicate with fairies or past lives, more like how looking in the mirror makes you have an internal conversation. Most of the leaves are gone by now and we had quite a few frosty nights, a signal to vintners that pruning can begin. As I walk down the rows and begin choosing where to make the next pruning cut I look for signs; are there any signs of damage from the smoke that engulfed the vines in August? Do the vines show any sign that the low rainfall is affecting their habit? Do they know we are in the middle of a pandemic? The answer is a resounding triple "No" which causes me to smile internally and settle into a meditative working rhythm. Clip, Clip, pull some canes. Clip, clip, count the spurs. Pretty soon the hands work on auto-pilot and the mind is free to roam, and as it does - you start to realize a great calm has descended on you. The sun will continue to send energy towards us, the days will soon get longer and a new cycle will begin. The buds that carry within next fall's vintage are staring me in the face and telling me to relax, all will be well in the long run.
2020 marked the first crop of Pinot Noir from the two acres I replanted in the spring of 2018. I am, so far, ecstatic about the quality of the wines we produced from the two clones and will wait till late spring to decide whether any of it merits a single vineyard bottling. 2021 will be the first crop for the new Grenache block, at this point I plan to use it for the Watergirl Rose on the first year and then develop it for high quality Grenache to use with the Syrah or maybe as a single varietal.

DID YOU KNOW?  
Genetic science estimates that grapevines have been around for 65 million years! Humans have been around about 2 million years

It is not easy to describe what it feels like to manage a harvest when you wear so many hats as the owner, farmer, forklift driver, accountant, winemaker, cellar rat, PR and social media person and on and on...  One thing is certain, your average level of energy, the amount of adrenaline in your bloodstream and the never ending "to do" list keep harvest life VERY interesting. ...

Sheltering in place has lead me to do quite a bit of creative writing.  I have been writing to myself, to friends and family and even to those I thought were friends and family.  This one is written for you.

DATELINE SONOMA From Wine Business Hourly™ April 27th,2022   Seven PROMINENT California Winemakers found dead in an apparent suicide pact.   Residents of the normally sleepy town of Geyserville, California woke up this morning to be greeted by hubris of local, state, and federal officials blanketing the area in search of clues to explain the tragic events that began unfol ...

I did not make any blog entries in 2018 so I figured out I have to end the year with a very meaningful one: all the predictions you need in order to be ahead of the trendy wine curve in 2019. Prediction No.1 : Some wine writer with a good following will come up with a list of the best wines he or she tasted in 2018.  At least 4 of the wines will have names no American can pron ...

The Call of The Old Dead Chicken I have been traveling a lot this year:  In January - a road trip with my young one (Ben) up to Seattle to visit my oldest son (Dean) followed by another 425 miles drive  to the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia where I help a local winery produce phenomenal wines, back home for the Winter-Wineland event, a long flight to Hawaii to work with o ...

Longboard Vineyards is releasing two unique sparkling wines just in time for the holiday season. I had a love-affair with Méthode Champenoise since 1985. That year, while still an Enology student at UC Davis, I spent the first of two harvests with Domain Chandon in Napa Valley. It was because of a recommendation from Dawnine Dyer, Chandon’s winemaker, that I later got my first ...

Syrah Wine in USA

What guides us in the vineyard

Farming Practices at Longboard Vineyards