Vineyard: Pollination Rows

A very beautiful, sustainable practice in the vineyard is pollination rows. This is something I just learned in the last year as my knowledge of this industry never stops growing, so I wanted to share about it as we are in the midst of spring time with lupin, mustard, and poppy covered hillsides.

Pollination rows are when we put in pollinating, native plants (wild flowers!) through out the vineyard. The mix we put down is allowed to grow for the majority of the season so the flowers can seed. This then becomes an open invite for beneficial insects such as the praying mantis and lady bug. These wonderful insects eat bad bugs such as aphids and spread the seeds into other rows of the vineyard. So, this creates an overall healthy environment for not only our vines, but the insects we love! Not to mention it’s absolutely beautiful. As you can guess this reduces our need for spraying, which always puts a smile on our vineyard manager’s face. The best part, since we’ve been doing this for years, is that it works very well. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Check out below the photos from last year that we submitted to the AG department. Thank you Linnea of our vineyard management company, Vineyard Professional Services, for sharing these!

Have a great Wednesday!

Cecily

Quick Fact: Did you know dust brings aphids into a vineyard (or crop)? That’s why we have signs on dirt roads that say speed limits in an attempt to control the dust. Aphids suck nutrients from a plant, which can stunt growth and wilt leaves. An infestation can create havoc and there’s only 4,000+ species of aphids. Cue the “More You Know” jingle.

Serving Wine

wine_oct17-2293

Happy Friday!

The seasons have surely changed here in Paso Robles with cloudy skies, showers, and autumn leaves. It’s definitely gotten chillier. With the drop in temperatures, it brings up what temperature is recommended to store and serve wine at? We get this question quite a bit in the tasting room, so with Thanksgiving just around the corner it makes sense to serve up some tips in preparation. I’m sure there have been moments of “How to serve Cabernet Sauvignon” when planning for the holidays, well at least this girl has.

Our PFV Wine List:

Sauvignon Blanc: 45˚-50˚ F for serving

Chardonnay & Viognier Blend: 50˚-55˚ F for serving

Rosé: 45˚-50˚ F for serving

Zinfandel (cool grape,lighter style): 55˚- 60˚ F for serving

Petite Sirah: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Cabernet & Petite Sirah Blend: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Cabernet Sauvignon: 60˚- 65˚ F for serving

Of course some prefer 40˚F white wine, or 70˚F red wine, and that’s totally fine. It reminds me of Blast From the Past with Christopher Walken’s character preferring Dr. Pepper warm, while most of the public prefer cold. Everyone has his or her preferences and that’s what makes wine like art, it’s subjective.

Wine Storage

For wine storage, the recommendation for long term storage is 55˚F. If you do not have a wine fridge (understandable), I generally recommend a regular fridge over a dark closet because wine ages 4 times faster in those conditions. What does this mean? It means that it will loose structure, color, and could possibly develop faults. I just wouldn’t plan on long term storage in a regular fridge.

Hopefully this information was helpful. We hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with warmth, love, and memories. I feel so thankful to have my family, good food & wine, and a home as I know that not everyone has these things. If you are looking for a way to give this season, we work with Must! Charities and Paso Robles has a free meal at the Centennial Park on Nov 23rd that needs support. And lastly, there is a wonderful wine event to continue the support of Santa Rosa/Napa/Sonoma in December!

Cheers & Blessings,

Cecily

 

White Shade Cloth in the Vines

Happy Friday all!

With it being Summer, it is definitely a time for enjoying the sun, but as we know too much sun can lead to a dependence on aloe vera and cold packs. This is true for grapes, the sun is an imperative part of grape development, but too much can lead to issues. Grapes depend on the sun for photosynthesis to occur, but too much heat and sun can lead to sun burns, excessive sugar, and lack of acidity. This can result in unbalanced wines with high alcohol. The flip side of this applies as well…too little heat can prompt high acidity and a lack of sugar. Sugar is a necessary part of fermentation in the wine process. As you can see, there needs to be a balance, like in everything, for grape development to be successful and lead to deliciously, balanced wines.

How do you put reigns on a natural part of creation such as the sun? Viticulturists have been using the leaves for years in their vineyards to help facilitate sun distribution, but there is now a shade cloth that can be installed to help create even distribution of light. We recently installed this white shade cloth in our Adelaida Vineyard (Paso Robles) to do just that. It not only has a purpose, but looks really lovely.

IMG_1562

I was curious about the shade cloth, so after seeing our new tanks at our production barn (winery) I drove around our vineyard and found a tall man walking down the rows straightening the white shade cloth. It was my dad (David Parrish).

“Pretty cool, huh?” He said with a smile.

“Yeah! It looks great, dad. So, I’m assuming the shade cloth is to protect the grapes from the sun?”

“Correct….”

Thus started my dad on the innovation and science behind this white cloth.

It started 10 years ago when my dad was working with Paul Hobbs. He was seeing a need for sun protection, but something that wouldn’t completely block the sun from the grapes. My dad had been primarily working with dark shade cloth for nurseries with his company A&P. So, he began working with a company overseas, but the white shade cloth was very expensive. It wasn’t until a year ago when he found another company that he was able to invent a cloth that would have the perfect weave, exact spaced holes for easy hanging, and it was half the price of the previous cloth. It was also reusable and came on large spools for easy installation. Finally, a perfect match for what vineyards were needing!

IMG_1573

So, what makes this white shade cloth better than other shade cloths? There is a science to it and it related a lot to what I know from photography. The white shade cloth helps distribute the light by filtering direct sunlight, but also bouncing reflected light from the other types of sunlight through out the day. This creates more even lighting, which in turn develops more consistent fruit in the vineyard. Therefore:

The viticulturist gets better yield.

The winemaker receives better quality fruit.

The consumer drinks better wine.

A win for everyone on the trail from grape to bottle. So, it is actually a really important piece of innovation that could help the vineyard/wine industry be elevated overall…just with the basic concepts of harnessing light. “Pretty cool, huh?”

After my dad got done explaining all the information to me, I realized that we had bonded over science, which is not something that happens as he is very left brained and I am very right brained. Although, as I write this, we actually embody what wine is…science and art.

-Cecily

IMG_1572

Foodie Friday: Rosé & Berry Quinoa Salad

Hi all!

It’s almost the weekend and it is going to be a hot one here in Paso Robles! This calls for a crisp wine and light, refreshing dishes. First thing that comes to mind is our newest release, the 2016 Rosé. This Estate Grenache was stomped after harvest. Yes, like I Love Lucy, but with clean rubber boots and probably less hilarity…well, maybe not, I found it pretty funny. Anyways, this light, pastel pink wine has a nose of rose petals and a refreshing palate of strawberries, hibiscus, citrus, and a little bit of minerality. This could be enjoyed on its own, but if you are like me, we love food pairings, so what to pair with this wine?

A quick, fresh, and light Berry Quinoa Salad. The berries are in peak season right now, so it is the perfect time to showcase them. I love eating straight berries, but I think we all know that they are delicious on a salad as it’s a great contrast…vegetal meets sweet. The quinoa and candied pecans add some depth with earthy, nutty flavors. Then the vinaigrette picks it all up with a little zip and herbaceous notes. This is a beautiful and simple compliment to the wine. AND by the way, healthy with great antioxidants.

What would you pair with a lovely Rosé?

Cheers to your weekend and happy Friday!

-Cecily

0602ff-2187-Edit

Berry Quinoa Salad
2 cups Mixed Greens
Hand full of Blueberries
¼ cup Sliced Raspberries
4 Sliced Strawberries
½ cup of Quinoa
Sprinkled Candied Pecans
Mango Basil Vinaigrette
(optional) Parsley Buds
(optional) Chèvre


Quick Candied Pecans
1 cup Pecans
1 tablespoon of Agave Syrup
¼ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
Two pinches of Sea Salt (or to your taste)

Heat a saucepan, sprayed with cooking spray of choice, over medium heat. Add pecans, agave, vanilla, and sea salt. Stir consistently making sure the pecans are covered and don’t burn. It will take about 5 minutes for them to reach perfection. Watch towards the end not to burn the pecans because it can happen fast.


Mango Basil Vinaigrette
3 Tablespoons of Basil Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon of Mango Balsamic
Optional salt & pepper.
Can’t find Mango Balsamic, try a Champagne Orange Vinegar.



Pantry Links

Pasolivo Basil Olive Oil

Mango Balsamic

Champagne Mimosa Vinegar

Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa

Candied Pecans

Chevre

Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA

Adelaida Project: Rain & the Bridge

Hi all!

Remember I mentioned rain in another post, well, we have certainly gotten that! In Paso Robles, we’ve gotten to date 17.40 inches of rain. It is truly amazing to see the hills green and the lakes & creeks full. In Atascadero, the small lake there is full again after years of dryness and the frogs were certainly happy. There was a ribbit symphony the other night when we drove by. So, a lot to be thankful for!

untitled-77-3.jpg

The Adelaida creek restoration is looking wonderful. The water isn’t shooting down the creek like it did in past years and instead is trickling down to replenish the aquifer. We are so happy. The RCD and Conservation Corp did a fantastic job!

untitled-71.jpg

untitled-73.jpg

Despite all the rain, the construction for the new winery is still moving as Rarig and their team work hard on days of “no rain.” The big exciting thing that is now on the property is the bridge! The bridge looks huge, but it is not actually finished as there is the stone work to be done. I for one am totally looking forward to seeing that as it is going to be gorgeous. Our architect, Shana Reiss, is very excited about the progress too (see below) as we’ve been working on these plans for years and to see it come to fruition is thrilling.

EE2EBC3D-82B9-4540-8BBF-536CEDF9C030.JPG

The Bridge shows up!

IMG_0213.PNG

IMG_0033.JPG

Bridge in place

 

Hopefully by next time I will have some other great shots of the project. Until then, try to stay dry!

Cheers!

Cecily

2017 – Another Big Year

2016 held a lot of wonderful and exciting things for us at PFV from our exciting news of receiving our 1st permit, working with our local RCD on the Adelaida creek restoration, and having our first 100% Estate harvest. With 2017 just beginning, we have another exciting year and a full one at that. Here are just a couple of the highlights…

Clone 6
Our very best (so far) is just around the corner and it is the 2014 Clone 6 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. First, some may be asking, “What’s a clone?” Cuttings are made from an original vine that has the key characteristics of a variety (grape plant). A clone is just a slight variance from the original whether it’s stronger, concentrated berries, or repellant to certain flaws and diseases. Each grape variety has several clones. In Cabernet Sauvignon, there’s a ton. Winemakers use several clones to make a complex wine as some characters are seen more in one clone than another. Sometimes you can have an exceptional vintage with just one clone.

So, what makes Clone 6 special? My dad, David Parrish, weighs in on that:

“Clone 6, is one of those special grapes that I love and hate. The grape grower in me hates the Clone 6 as the yield is light, but the winemaker in me loves it because of the wine it creates.”

What this means is that at harvest the yield can sometimes only be 2 tons due to the berry size and sparse clusters (shatter). As a farmer, that is always a disheartening sight, but it is the character of that clone. Once in the tank, the color is dark and profile is rich. So, with all the hard work (and I can vouch, as it is my least favorite grape to sort at harvest) comes great reward. The reward is tasting and knowing it is a special wine. We have already received some great reviews over it from select media and are looking forward to showcasing it to our wine club this Spring.

pfvclone6-5-edit

Development 
With the excitement of the site & winery permit approval (waiting on one more permit), we have begun to lay the foundations of our new project for our winery. The time frame hinges a lot on the weather. This year we have been blessed with rain! Last year, we were supposed to receive the monster El Niño, but it was more like a kitten’s meow when all was said in done. This year we have received over 5 inches (time stamp…we’re in January)!

untitled-33

It has been amazing to see the Salinas River in Paso Robles flowing as it’s been years. This means that many of the aquifers are being replenished, so that is fabulous news for our community. So, while we finally are having a true winter season, it has definitely slowed our personal progress. In the mean time, we still have our wonderful Downtown Tasting Room.

untitled-93

With that, as you can see, we have quite a year ahead. Be sure to come visit Paso Robles as it is gorgeous right now with all the green hillsides. It’s a little chilly, but we’ve got some wine to keep you warm.

Cheers!

Cecily

Harvest

With the welcoming of Autumn, we are definitely in the midst of harvest. So far in the last month we have brought in from our Adelaida Vineyard: Sauvignon Blanc, Grenache, Zinfandel, various clones of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Syrah. It has kept us the busiest we have ever been, but it is worth it to have our own fruit in the tanks.

The toughest thing this season has been deciding when to harvest. Normally, we are waiting on the brix (sugars), but this year we are waiting on the flavor and the seeds to go from green to brown. We have certain brix numbers we want to reach with each variety, but going too far over will mean not only higher sugar, but alcohol as well.

img_4829

David & Cody talking about when to harvest this block of Cabernet Sauvignon

The weather has also been playing games ranging from hot-hot to mild days. The warmer the weather the faster things go, but with the mild days and cold mornings it slows things down. As farmers though, this is how it goes. The weather is always unpredictable; even with our technology, we cannot harness its wild side.

With the long days, one thing is for sure that we are at least spending a lot of time together.

Happy Harvest!

Cecily