Barreled - A Winery Blog

I have been thinking about bullies lately.  As a kid in the schoolyard and a teenager growing up in a small beach town on the shores of the Mediterranean, I ran into my share of them.  Whether because of genetics or my family history (most likely a mix of both) – I grew up as a sensitive male who shied away from confrontational situations yet at the same time, I was always very ...

Today is one of those foggy and quiet mornings in Russian River Valley. Low grey clouds mixed with wispy fog that still allows you to experience the vivid shades of green from the healthy growth on the grapevines. Something is different about sound quality on mornings like this, I wonder if the low clouds act as would walls of padded recording studio – bouncing and distilling s ...

Things that go into winemaking

Expanding a bit on the email we sent in January… 2012 is now gone and despite the rumors of the planet’s demise, we are mostly here in one or more pieces.  Nature delivered us a great gift this past harvest (Longboard’s 15th); a bountiful crop that was both free of pests and diseases and brimming with developed flavors.  I know, it is boring to hear another winemaker say that ...

I was never good at Math, as anyone who worked for me in the cellar can attest to – I always tell them to assume I screwed up the math on the workorder and to check for themselves that what I wrote down makes sense.  But I think I’m right in calculating that this past vintage was Longboard’s 15th harvest (with 1998 being the first, please let me know if I screwed up this calcul ...

As a teenager, I was drawn to science fiction books. As soon as Asimov, Herbert or C. Clarke published a new one, I was on it like a Hobo on a Ham sandwich. It was science fiction that introduced me to the concept of Entropy (a thermodynamic property of systems, basically the observation that isolated systems tend to lose energy and eventually collapse). You may ask what does ...

In the beginning there was wine that came forth from the fruit of a vine.  And the people of the Farmers tribe tended to the vines and nourished the fruit till it burst with flavor and sugars and proceeded to deliver it to the folk at the winery. And the winery tribe folk said: “Thanks” and wished the Farmers tribe a joyful vacation while they toiled in the caves and the tanks ...

Anyone who’s worked at a winery for any length of time knows that we get about two or three weekly requests for donations.  I am sure all businesses get them but it sure is more fun to auction a bottle of wine in a fundraiser than let’s say… a carton of free range eggs.  Since I do need to make at least a tiny bit of profit while I keep this expensive hobby afloat, I find mysel ...

Just got back from a ten day sales trip on the road.  I look at the piles of paperwork on my kitchen table: cash receipts waiting to be totalled and categorized in one pile; credit card receipts on the other and miscellaneous stuff in the third pile.  On the floor there’s a pile of shirts that need to go to the cleaners, a carry on with a torn name tag that needs repair (I alwa ...

Those who are familiar with our wines know that we like to have fun with words on our back labels.  Over the years, as the brand grew from a true “garagiste” hobby brand to a nationally distributed regional brand (we only make wines from grapes we grow or source locally) – the lingo on our back label has toned down from being very edgy to just mildly self-deprecating.  However ...