ValleyFogBlog


Valentine’s Day Gift Set: Poetry, Chocolate & Pinot Noir by valleyfog
January 28, 2010, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Promotions | Tags: , , , , , ,

“come winter, come frozen night
in fog, come drink the grape
tug on its green-glass vine*” (a poem)

“layers of artisanal chocolates
Madagascar, Venezuela, Columbia
hand-crafted, a dapple of cocoa to whet your palate” (a bite)

“unfolds with lush sweet cherry
and blackberries, spice, floral notes
and a hint of cola” (a taste)

Individually, poetry, chocolate and wine are inviting and enjoyable…together they are seductive and luxurious. Our special Valentine’s Day gift set brings all three of these favorite escapes from the every day together into one romantic and delectable box of love.

For a limited time only we are offering a Valentine’s Day gift set of 2007 Waits-Mast La Encantada Pinot Noir, featuring a 4-pc varietal box from San Francisco’s renowned boutique chocolatier Recchiuti. Included in the gift set is a limited edition 2009 Waits-Mast Annual Poetry Collection book. We only have a few cases of the 2007 La Encantada left and only a few copies of our poetry collection left as well, so this is a great opportunity to get your honey a unique gift.

The price for the gift set is $49 total (which is our normal SRP for this wine, so the chocolates and poetry are free) and will be available through Valentine’s Day only in our online store. Click here to order today.

Waits-Mast Annual Poetry Collection 2009

SHIPPING NOTES: In order to ensure your gift arrives by Valentine’s Day, please follow these deadlines for GROUND shipping. We also offer 2- and 3-day air shipping.
East Coast/Midwest: Order needs to be placed by 2/3
West Coast (and any air shipping/express packs): Order needs to be placed by 2/8

For sub-freezing climate customers, we recommend that you ship via air to ensure the safety of the wine. We often have a hold on wines being shipped via ground to the areas experiencing sub-freezing weather to avoid any wines being frozen/damaged.

For customers in the SF Bay Area can save on shipping costs by choosing “local pickup” from the shipping options. You can then pick up the wine at the Crushpad shipping and logistics center in San Francisco, located at 566 Minnesota Street, just off of Third Street and Mariposa. Call ahead at (415) 558-9181 to schedule your pickup.

*Jay Rubin, Tasting Ojai (from the 2009 Waits-Mast Annual Poetry Collection)

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Waits-Mast Pinot Noir Now Available at Draeger’s Market Los Altos by valleyfog
January 24, 2010, 3:52 pm
Filed under: Retail | Tags: , , , , , ,

Draeger's Market in downtown Los Altos

South Bay and Peninsula pinot noir lovers rejoice! You can now find Waits-Mast Pinot Noir at Draeger’s Market in Los Altos, California. It is located at 342 First Street, just off of Main Street in downtown Los Altos. Draeger’s has always been known for its exceptional wine department. The Los Altos store has a great selection of domestic wines, including many local wines from the Santa Cruz Mountains, and a strong selection of European wines. They are now stocking our latest release, the 2008 Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley.

Draeger’s, a Bay Area institution, is a favorite haunt of Brian’s. He often finds himself in a grocery store many days a week, seeking out ideas for the evening’s dinner or just stocking up to feed the child, and locally-owned markets are always the best. Jennifer has been going to the same hairstylist in Los Altos for many years, so Brian and their daughter often drive down from the city and while away the time ambling about Draeger’s and downtown Los Altos. They have great produce, meats and fish and lots of hard-to-find groceries.

Stop by Draeger’s and say hi to Stacy in the wine department and she’ll help you out with all your wine needs. And we’ll see if we can get our wine into the other Draeger’s markets as well for you San Mateo, Menlo Park and Danville folk.



SF Wine Trading Company Now Stocking Waits-Mast Pinot Noir by valleyfog

San Francisco Wine Trading Company

San Francisco Wine Trading Company on Taraval, near West Portal

Waits-Mast Family Cellars is happy to announce that SF Bay Area locals can find our wines at the San Francisco Wine Trading Company (SFWTC). Located at 250 Taraval at Funston, the Sunset/West Portal neighborhood wine shop is currently carrying our 2007 La Encantada Vineyard Pinot Noir and 2008 Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir on its shelves. We really feel like our wines are in a good home (or rather, way station) since the shop is as fog-bound as we are in this Cool Grey City of Love. Owners Julia and Gary, and knowledgeable staffers like Suzanne and Alex, are very friendly and helpful, and have an amazing selection of wines for such a seemingly small store. They definitely maximize their shelf-space and have a knack for getting a hold of difficult-to-find, smaller lot wines.

Jennifer samples our wine and awaits the neighborly crowd

We kicked off our latest retail availability by pouring our wines at SFWTC’s Neighborhood Winemaker’s Tasting this past Friday. SFWTC holds this type of tasting once a quarter, inviting SF-local winemakers to pour their wares. Julia and Gary have loyal, discriminating, yet very neighborly customers and we were eager to gain their approval with our wines. Also pouring excellent wines were Bob Rawson and Fred Dick of Urbano Cellars and Ed Kurtzman with his August West and Sandler wines.

We poured the La Encantada and Hein pinot noirs at the early evening event. Each of the wines quickly found its own following among the attendees who often returned to our side of the tasting bar for repeat pours. Comments on the La Encantada included a “Rhone-like nose” with “sawdust” “minerality” and “intense fruit.” The Hein generated a number of pleasantly pensive pauses and lots of surprised looks that a 2008 was showing so many layers at such a young age.

Everyone was in good spirits as the Friday, 5:30pm start time found visitors easing into their weekends with warm smiles and empty glasses ready to be filled. There were lots of regulars and newcomers alike. A formidable crew of our fans showed up, including family from Massachusetts (where we can’t ship direct!).  It’s always great to see these different worlds overlap where old friends re-connect and new friends are made. Paths cross and stars align. From our vantage point behind the bar, it was a blast. While we all had our fair share of wine chatter, a convivial feeling swirled around the place and everybody was genuinely having a great time. Before we knew it, it was 8pm and we were starving.

Brian pours pinot noir for a happy crew of locals and fans

So, definitely check out SF Wine Trading Company if you are achin’ for a bottle of our wine, if you are in search of other hard-to-find wines or just looking for a good recommendation on a $10 bottle of something to go with Thursday’s dinner. And then dip down into West Portal and enjoy the cool shops and restaurants. It’s a neighborhood that sometimes feel like it is caught in another time…but, we’ll save that for another post.



2008 Hein Pinot Noir Gets Gold in SF Chronicle Wine Competition by valleyfog

2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition Public Tasting on Feb. 20

The results from the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the first and largest competition of American wines, came out today and the 2008 Waits-Mast Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley won a gold medal in the $40 – $49.99 pinot noir category. Brimming with over 4,900 entries overall, the competition was judged by some of the leading experts in the wine media and industry, include Wilfred Wong, cellarmaster for Beverages & More!; Jon Bonne, wine writer for the San Francisco Chronicle; Dan Berger, syndicated journalist; and Paul Lukacs, wine writer and educator out of Baltimore, MD. Lukacs wrote the book American Vintage: The Rise of American Wine, one of the first books that got Brian deeper into the history of wine.

We harvested the Hein grapes in early October of 2008 and co-fermented 115 clones and Pommard clones. Pommard can impart a more robust, fleshy characteristic, while the Dijon clone 115 tends to be lighter and brighter.

The result is what we strive for with our Anderson Valley wines – bright red fruit balanced with earthy and woodsy undertones. The 2008 Hein also shows some nice warm spices, which we felt made it go well with our holidays meals this past Christmas. Good acidity and subtle tannins provide structure to make this an enjoyable, food-friendly wine for years to come.

2008 Waits Mast Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir

In addition to being available at our online store, our 2008 Hein Vineyard pinot noir is available locally in San Francisco at Canyon Market in Glen Park. We will also be pouring it at a Neighborhood Winemaker’s tasting at the San Francisco Wine Trading Company on Taraval Street in the Sunset on Friday, January 15 from 5:30 – 8:00pm. We currently have about 13 cases left of the 2008 Hein Vineyard Pinot Noir.

And of course we’ll be pouring the gold-medal-winning wine, along with some of our other wines, at the Public Tasting of the 2010 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which will be held on February 20 from 2:00 – 5:00pm at the Festival Pavilion in Fort Mason. You can find out more information about the tasting and buy tickets here.



Red and White Wine Bar Opens in San Francisco’s Glen Park by Jennifer

Red & White in Glen Park

For years we’ve been hoping that one day there would be a wine bar in our neighborhood and last night that wish was finally realized with the opening of Red & White in Glen Park (678 Chenery Street, near Diamond in San Francisco).

Last night’s opening was part of their “soft launch” of the wine bar and retail space. They entertained guests for several hours in this warm and inviting  neighborhood haunt and featured both a by-the-glass tasting menu, along with a selection of charcuterie, cheeses, and gougeres (french cheese puffs).

Beginning on Tuesday, January 5th, Red & White will also be open for lunch and owner Juliana Flores promised us that there would be gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches on the menu.

Since Red & White is also a retail space, you can pick up bottles of wine to either enjoy in the bar or to take home. They have a great selection of wines to choose from, including some unusual bottles from California and from all over the world (we even spotted a sparkling wine from Australia). They are also selling our remaining 12 bottles of the 2007 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir from Wentzel Vineyard in Anderson Valley (which made the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top 100 Wines of 2009 list).

Waits-Mast on the Shelves

It was a treat to see the wine bar open and buzzing with people and we couldn’t be happier for owners Juliana and Peter. Since this was a date night for us, we tried as many wines as we could in 3 hours. Jennifer had a delicious glass of La’ Antica Quercia Prosecco di Conegliano Brut, 2007 (Italy) that was crisply refreshing.

The menu’s poetic description of the wine (written by owner and former ad guy Peter Bell) certainly caught Jennifer’s eye:  “Imagine a sparkling wine conceived and created by Milan designers-understated with a fresh aesthetic and organic inspiration.”

Brian started with a glass of French viognier and we paired both wines with a plate of the amazing savory cheese puffs with gruyere, black pepper and thyme (they plan to expand the list to include sweet cheese puffs with blue cheese and dried cherries!).

Gougeres at Red & White

Throughout the evening we also sampled an intriguing California-made pinot noir made with French grapes (Rutz Pinot Noir French Cuvee 2005 Sonoma/France), a cinnamonly slice of heaven Cabernet Sauvignon (Blacksmith Cabernet Sauvignon 2005, Alexander Valley), an aromatic and viscous Petite Sirah with a smooth mouthfeel (Chronic Cellars Petite Sirah 2006, Paso Robles), and a tasty nightcap of a Syrah Port (Steele Syrah Port 2004, Lake County).

By the Glass Menu at Red & White

Along the way we paired the wines with a charcuterie plate, the creamy Mt. Tam cow’s milk cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, and a Spanish manchego.

General Manager Derek Cienfuegos walked us through the wine list and told us that they planned to change the by-the-glass list every few days. The idea is to rotate all of the wines on their shelves through the tasting list, so customers will have the chance to try something different each time they come in. Additionally, anyone is welcome to purchase a bottle of wine from their shelves to enjoy in the wine bar (for an additional $10).

We’re all about embracing the neighborhood joints and feel so lucky to be able to add Red & White to the growing list of reasons why we continue to love (and hype) Glen Park.