Waits-Mast Wine Tasting Events: Fall 2012 by valleyfog
October 18, 2012, 11:48 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , ,

Things are slowing down just a little bit at the winery as harvest is past us and pressing is just around the corner. Soon enough, all the wine will be in barrels awaiting secondary fermentation and a nice winter’s rest. But no rest for the winemakers as we’ll be hitting the tasting trail shortly.

After being in the winery so much, focusing on the current vintage, it’s nice to get out there and pour our current releases for Pinot Noir fans. Here are a few upcoming events happening this Fall:

Pinot on the River, October 21, 2012

Pinot on the River, October 21, 2012: At Pinot on the River we’ll be joined by 100 small-production artisanal Pinot Noir producers on the Healdsburg Plaza in downtown Healdsburg in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley. It’s a beautiful spot and time of year to stroll around the plaza and taste some amazing Pinot Noir. Friends of Waits-Mast Family Cellars can get 10% off ticket price by using this code: Waits2012. For more information on Pinot on the River, go here.

Pinot Days Southern California, November 11, 2012: Usually this time of year we are pouring at Pinot Days Chicago, but the events have been moved around. Pinot Days Southern California is now in November (Pinot Days Chicago will be in April of next year). The event is being held at the Shrine Auditorium from 2-5pm. For more information on Pinot Days Southern California, go here.

SF Vintner’s Market, November 17-18, 2012

SF Vintner’s Market, November 17-18, 2012: Vintner’s Market is a great event where you can taste and purchase wines that are hard to find or try anywhere else. Unlike most tasting events, at Vintner’s Market, if you try a wine you really like, you can purchase right there on the spot. The event will be held at the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco. For more information on Vintner’s Market, go here.

Stay tuned to our website at in the News section for additional tasting events. We hope to see you out there!

Waits-Mast Included in Wine & Spirits 100 Best Wines of 2012 by valleyfog
Wine & Spirits Best 100 Wines 2012

Wine & Spirits Best 100 Wines of 2012

When we saw our 2009 Waits-Mast, Deer Meadows Pinot Noir from Anderson Valley and our 2009 Waits-Mast, La Encantada Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills featured in Wine & Spirits‘ April 2012 issue of 129 Best American Pinot Noirs, we were very excited and honored. With a 94 point rating for the Deer Meadows and a 91 point rating for the La Encantada, it was great to be featured amongst other leading Pinot Noir  from California and Oregon.

But when we found out that the 2009 Waits-Mast from Deer Meadows Vineyard was going to be included in Wine & Spirits‘ 100 Best Wines of 2012 in their 26th Annual Buying Guide (on newsstands this week), we were downright dumbfounded. Not because the wine isn’t a very special wine – it is a complex, layered and nuanced wine that has brought some to tears – but just because we’re this little micro-boutique winery making only 200 or 300 cases per year.

To be featured among 99 other amazing wines of all varietals from around the world, and among the eight Pinot Noir wines featured from California and Oregon, is thrilling, to say the least.

Well, enough about us, here’s what Wine & Spirits said about the wine: “94 points…a rich red fruit flavor of tiny woodland berries, tart and fragrant. There’s a salty porcini note, a coastal forest feel, delicate and harmonious.”

The Deer Meadows, like many of our 2009s, has been very popular among our fans and retail and restaurant customers. We are starting to run low on inventory of this wine – we only made 48 cases and have about 10 cases left.

Deer Meadows Vineyard, Anderson Valley

That scarcity will continue after the 2009 vintage, as we will not have any more Deer Meadows Pinot Noir available until we bottle our 2012 vintage, so acquire some of this special wine today by going to our webstore. If you’re not in a state we ship to, San Francisco Wine Trading Company carries it online and can ship to most states. You can also find the 2009 Deer Meadows at Robert’s Market in Woodside, Canyon Market in San Francisco, and at the following Northern California restaurants: Kokkari, Liberty Cafe, Cin-Cin Wine Bar & Restaurant, Boonville Hotel and MacCallum House.

Adventures in Urban Winemaking: A Tale of Two Bins by Jennifer
October 1, 2012, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Winemaking | Tags: , , ,
Two bins nestled inside a rented cargo van

Two bins nestled inside a rented cargo van

We love making wine in the city, but sometimes there are challenges inherent to being several hours away from the vineyards. People might think we’re kind of crazy, choosing to make wine in San Francisco, from some of the furthest Pinot Noir vineyards from the city. Clearly, our love for Anderson Valley and Mendocino County fruit drives us to extremes. But we love it nonetheless.

This time of year, though, logistics are incredibly tricky. With long, windy roads and last-minute picks being juggled with busy work and life schedules, it takes a village to get our fruit into the winery and processed. Luckily we work with incredible vineyard owners who typically deliver their fruit to us, even though it can be a 3-hour drive from Mendocino County to San Francisco.

Our appreciation for this generosity has skyrocketed after this weekend. We had a few pick bins that we needed to take back to Anderson Valley and we figured it would be pretty straight-forward to rent a truck for this purpose. After extensive research, Brian found the ideal truck from U-Haul and reserved it online. We arrived at a San Francisco U-Haul location at 9am on Saturday, waited in line for 20 minutes, and then learned that the reserved truck would have to be returned by 1pm, even though Brian had reserved a 24-hour rental.

Exasperated, we returned home and hit the phones in order to procure another truck. Brian was elated when he found an even cheaper rental with no mileage restrictions. After booking it, we drove 45 minutes south to Palo Alto to pick up the truck. Ironically, as we traveled along Arastradero Road in Palo Alto en route to the car rental place, we spotted vineyards that I’d never seen before. I felt like they were taunting us.

As we pulled into the lot at Alamo in Palo Alto, Brian got a call on his cell phone telling him that they didn’t have trucks at that location. At this point I started getting flashbacks to a bad Ikea parking lot incident that brought out the dark side of mild-manner Brian. Sensing his frustration, the folks at Alamo suggested that Brian rent a large cargo van instead. After taking some measurements, Brian opted for the van.

By 2pm he was nearly on his way, but determined that he could only fit 2 bins in the van, even though we had 4 bins total to return. Guess those other 2 bins will have to wait….Brian finally made it up to Anderson Valley before sundown. Because of his late arrival, he accepted a kind offer from a vineyard owner to spend the night. Our daughter’s depiction of that happy arrival is pictured below.

Vineyard drawing

Brian makes it to the vineyard with his cargo van (Drawing by B. Waits-Mast)

Spending the night proved to be a good thing, as it meant that Brian could do vineyard checks on Sunday. Anderson Valley (and the entire Bay Area) experienced a heat spike both Sunday and today, so it was an excellent chance to see how imminent harvest would be.It looks like our next round of fruit will arrive tomorrow, with more to follow this week.