ValleyFogBlog


July in the Vineyards: Part Two – Mariah Vineyards
July 31, 2017, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Vineyards | Tags: , , ,

On Sunday, July 23, we trekked up to Mendocino Ridge to take a look at the progress of the fruit at Mariah Vineyards, another vineyard that we source from for Waits-Mast Family Cellars. It was a rough, nearly hour-long journey there from Anderson Valley, as the mountain road was full of cracks and pot holes. One stretch narrowed to one lane, as a portion of the road had been washed out during the rainy year. While a harrowing ride for us city-dwellers, the beautiful and delicious grapes at Mariah’s 2400 foot elevation vineyard are well worth the trip.

Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits/Waits-Mast Family Cellars

Mariah Vineyards on July 23, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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July in the Vineyards – Part 1: Wentzel

Seasonal changes are in full effect in Mendocino County as we hit the peak of summer. Temperatures are rising, the hills have gone from green to amber, and grapes are maturing on the vines. Looking ahead to harvest, this weekend was an excellent time to check in on a few of the vineyards that Waits-Mast sources fruit from.

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Pinot Noir grapes at Wentzel Vineyard on July 22, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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New in the Cellar: 2016 Sauvignon Blanc

We’ve always said that Waits-Mast Family Cellars ONLY produces pinot noir, but that’s not entirely true. We love white wines and have been toying with the idea of expanding our repertoire for awhile, even dabbling in micro batches. Those non-pinot noir forays in 2009 and 2014 led to two interesting wines that were crafted for us by other talented winemakers.

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Waits-Mast bottling, February 2017. Photo: J. Waits

Long-time followers may recall a limited run of a 2009 Waits-Mast sparkling wine from Split Rock vineyard in the Sonoma Coast. Comprised of 100% chardonnay, we only made 6 cases of the wine and released it back in 2011.

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2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival and an Early Peek into the Vineyards

One of our favorite wine events is the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival. Brian and I started going to the festival probably around the year 2001 and began pouring Waits-Mast Family Cellars wine at the event’s Grand Tasting in 2009, so it’s always a great opportunity to see many friends and fans and meet other Pinot Noir lovers.

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The big tent at Goldeneye Winery during set up for the 2017 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival Grand Tasting. Photo: J. Waits

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Waxing nostalgic as we release our 2016 Rosé and 2014 Pinot Noir, Mariah Vineyard

In honor of our Waits-Mast Family Cellars late spring release (the 2016 Waits-Mast Rosé of Pinot Noir and the 2014 Waits-Mast Pinot Noir, Mariah Vineyard), it’s a good time to reflect back on the early days of these wines.

The rosé is a mere babe, crafted from a blend of luscious pinot noir juices harvested last August and September from some of our favorite Mendocino County vineyards. Nash Mill Vineyard, Mariah Vineyard and Oppenlander Vineyard make up the blend, which is being released just in time for this week’s heat spell. We only made 20 cases of this wine, so enjoy it while you can.

2016 Waits-Mast Rose of Pinot Noir just off the bottling line, February, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

2016 Waits-Mast Rose of Pinot Noir just off the bottling line, February, 2017. Photo: J. Waits

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Picks, Bins and Burgers: Behind the Scenes at Harvest

On Thursday we had another Waits-Mast fruit pick, this time some Pinot Noir grapes from Mariah Vineyard in Mendocino Ridge. It was a jam-packed day at the winery (we make our wine at Roar Wines in San Francisco) and a particularly hectic day for our winemaker. She awoke in the wee hours for a grape pick for another winery (complicated by a tree falling in the vineyard too!) and spent the day sorting that fruit and doing other harvest work. She wrapped up in time to brave rush hour traffic, meeting us at our San Francisco facility by about 6pm.

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Mariah grapes hanging out in the cold room before sorting on Sept. 15, 2016. Photo: J. Waits

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Harvest 2016 Craziness: What Didn’t Happen this Weekend?

We are just back from a long weekend in Mendocino/Anderson Valley for several Winesong-related tasting events. It’s also the thick of harvest, which necessitated a few vineyard visits as well as picks at another two. Meanwhile, Brian celebrated a milestone birthday, so we tried to squeeze in some cake amid all of the wine work.

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Birthday sign for Brian at the Andiron Inn. Photo: J. Waits

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