Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon and White Cabernet

Announcing the new Variant Series

Actually…it’s not “new.” Our popular White Cabernet and Duet have a fresh new look!

Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon and White Cabernet

Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon and White Cabernet

Variant: ‘verēant/noun:  1.  A form or version of something that differs in some respect from other forms of the same thing or from a standard.

Cabernet Sauvignon, the world’s best traveled red wine varietal, whose regional names span from Bidure to Vidure, attest to the adaptability and variability in wine making styles of this nobel grape. The Variant Series showcases the amazing array of possibilities when a craft winery can control all aspects of creating a wine from vine to bottle. The Variant Series Cabernet is similar in style to our Duet blend of lightly oaked, soft tannin and fruit forward Cabernet Sauvignon with a little Zinfandel to support the fruit and give a zip of spice. This is the red wine for those who thought they did not like reds. All the complexity and layers of a rich Cabernet but softer on the palate and can be chilled.

The poster-child for variant behavior is our White Cabernet Sauvignon which is now appropriately in the Variant Series. The White Cabernet Sauvignon is an extreme example of the possibilities of vineyard and cellar influence on a wine, turning a traditionally rich, tannic, dark red wine into a white wine with aromas of fruit and melon, yet still retaining the rich mouthfeel of a classic Cabernet Sauvignon. The “White Cab” still resides in its classic cobalt blue bottle but now with a clean silk-screened label and shares this new look with its fellow rebel, the Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon.

Variant Series White Cabernet bottling line

Winemaker, Gus Vizgirda and team member, Mikayla, bottling the Variant Series White Cabernet.

Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Formerly known as Duet, the new Variant Series Cabernet Sauvignon is being bottled.

How to survive Valentine’s Day

With only a couple days left til February 14th, I hope you’re not fretting about what to do. If you do happen to find yourself in that situation just remember one thing, KISS.
That’s right, KISS – keep it stupid simple!
Don’t know what I mean? Ok, let’s try this…

Beautiful day? CHECK! (if you happen to live in sunny SoCal you’re in luck, otherwise this one can be modified)

Large blanket? CHECK!

Mood music? – CHECK! Whatever floats your boat, or hers for that matter. (Long gone are the days of carrying around a boombox. Now we flip out our phones or tablets and VOILA!)

Basket? – CHECK! Filled with goodies of course. (baguette, crackers, cheese, grapes, strawberries, chocolate truffles)

2 stemmed glasses? CHECK!

Bottle of wine? CHECK! (or two)

Not sure what wine to get? No problem! These suggestions will help…
For white wine fans try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek 2013 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay – afterall it is Valentine’s Day, “Yes Dear!!…”

For those who enjoy the sweeter side of life try,
a beautiful, chilled blue bottle of Wilson Creek 2014 White Cabernet Sauvignon

For those who are red hot at heart try,
a bottle of Wilson Creek Family Reserve 2012 Syrah

Fans of bubbles should try,
a chilled bottle of Wilson Creek’s new Sparkling Rose – she’ll be tickled pink!

and finally, if you enjoy the rich, luxe life try this extravagance in a bottle,
NV Late Harvest Chardonnay – a sipping delight!

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There you have it. Valentine’s Day done right. Just remember, KISS!
1 happy lady? CHECK!
1 lucky man? CHECK! (Well, maybe, the rest is up to you)

Farm to Table for Your Tummy

locally grownThe Creekside Grille is committed to providing nothing but the best for their customers. The Grille is a dedicated ‘farm to table’ restaurant. Farm to table refers to the elimination of processed, unhealthy foods and bringing a focus back to healthy, fresh, creative, simple yet tasty dishes. Partnering with local companies allows the Grille to place emphasis on using locally-sourced, sustainably produced, seasonal ingredients to bring you the best in healthy, tasty, environmentally-friendly dining. Browse the menu and you may notice the names of companies next to produce or other ingredient. These are the companies that we work with to provide a true farm to table experience for you.
Crows Pass Farms supplies the Grille with the highest quality organic produce, hitting your plate within 24 hours from being pulled from the ground. It also helps that this farm is as local as you can get. It’s located right here in Temecula Wine Country.
Wings Shadow Hacienda is part of a local Community Supported Agriculture program. They also supply the Grille with high-quality organic produce.
Sage Mountain Farms – Unlike most cattle, Sage Mountain beef steers are “green fed.” They get to feast on an organic salad bar buffet of fresh watermelon, eggplant, onion, potatoes, tomatoes, butternut squash plants, alfalfa, wheat grasses and other forages.
The result is beef that is healthy and nutritious with a flavor that can’t be matched by any other cattle grower.
Harris Ranch provides the Grille with a true, organic, no-hormone product. Harris Ranch has a uniquely integrated beef production system where cattle are sourced, fed and humanely processed exclusively by Harris Ranch. Few, if any beef companies (other than Harris Ranch), can claim they control all aspects of production.
Shelton Farms supplies the Grille with high quality, free-range, and hormone-free chicken. They will only distribute their produce to restaurants or companies within a 200-mile radius.
Cook Pigs Ranch is not a large commercial farming/ranching business. Located in neighboring Julian, they maintain a small, boutique ranching operation, which allows their pigs to be free range and grow slowly in a beautiful and humane environment. Their pigs feed freely on grass, roots, natural herbs, acorns and nuts. No hormones or non-natural supplements are used to speed up the growth process.
Chef Steve Stawinski is a true farm to table chef. By using extremely fresh, local, natural ingredients, he creates dishes that are not only savory and good for you, but good for the planet, too.
Join us for brunch or lunch and see for yourself!

Weather and Wine

March 2014 Vines

“Whether the weather be fine, Whether the weather be not,

Whether the weather be cold, Whether the weather be hot,

We’ll weather the weather, Whatever the whether, 

Whether we like it or not.” -author unknown

 

We will weather even this lack of weather. As much of the rest of the nation digs out under feet of snow with arctic temperatures, those of us in Southern California are happy with unseasonably warm temperatures, and sunny days. That is unless you are a viticulturist who, like Gene Kelly, love singing in the rain.

We are classified as a Mediterranean climate, as are many of the worlds’ premier wine regions, with hot summer days, cool evenings and the majority of rainfall in the winter months. Average rainfall for Temecula is 14.4 inches with 84% falling November to March. To date, we have only received 2.43 inches when the historical average is 10 inches and almost all of it came in a single event from February 27th to March 1st. However, we have drip irrigation so “Why the long face, Plowboy?” I am asked. The winter rains play a vital role in the ecology of the semi-arid soils especially irrigated soils. Over the dry months salts tend to build in the upper areas around the root zones. The winter rains dilute and flush out excess salts and move nutrients into the root zone. Fortunately, we have added thousands of tons of mulch and organic matter to our soils over the last year. This, in conjunction with microbial treatments and natural additives, like humic acids, are compensating and making what could have been a poor year into a challenging year with prospects of a modest decreased yield but continuing improvements in the grapes and wine. For those of you who joined us for the Wilson Creek Wine Academy class on pruning, you got a hands-on demonstration of how we are managing our canopy to keep quality in the forefront.

The cellar, however, is having a great year. Our new winemaker, Gus Vizgirda, jumped in with both fee and bugle a-blazing. I am not kidding! Gus calls the crew to lunch, back to work and ends the day with bugle calls, so please stop calling Dept. of Wildlife with displaced moose sightings.

So while I am still praying for a late rain and Gus is practicing his bugle calls, the wines this year are better than ever and the future looks so bright that we are walking on sunshine (am I mixing my pop music metaphors?)

We look forward to seeing you at the winery.

– Greg “Bioman” Pennyroyal

 

Bacchus Loves Biology

Environmental Sustainability and Improved Winemaking

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Greg Pennyroyal, who Bill Wilson, of Wilson Creek Winery, dubbed “Bio-Man”, is the Enology and Viticulture Coordinator at Wilson Creek Winery & Vineyards.

At Wilson Creek Winery and Vineyards we recognize that environmental sustainability and improved winemaking go hand-in-hand.  In a major new initiative, winemaker Etienne Cowper, and owners, Bill and Mick Wilson, have created a new position of Enology (winemaking) and Viticulture (wine grape growing) Coordinator.  Traditionally Vineyard Manager and Assistant Winemakers have been separate positions.  Etienne Cowper realized the best way to elevate winemaking in the Temecula Valley was to bring the art and science of winemaking more directly into the vineyard. To that end Greg Pennyroyal, a former medicinal plant agronomist (crop scientist) with over 25 years experience in biological agriculture, was chosen for the unique position of Viticulture and Enology Coordinator, to increase the biochemical complexity and consistency of the grapes through increased biological techniques of vineyard management.  In just six months vineyard cultural practices have changed substantially.

Cowper and Pennyroyal have reduced synthetic fertilizer inputs by 50% and will be using 100% sustainable biological nutrient inputs in the vineyard in one year. Cover crops of oats, barley, peas and vetch have replaced the valley’s standard practice of between row tillage and wild flowers have been planted to attract beneficial insects. This not only reduces erosion but the peas and vetch will provide natural sources of nitrogen for the grapes. In-row herbicide use is being reduced by 75% with the addition of seaweed extracts, and fish emulsion to increase the herbicide effectiveness and most importantly, to decrease the time for natural decomposition of herbicides by up to five times. With improved microbiological soil balancing and natural nutrient supplementation it is the goal of the vineyard management to eliminate all herbicide use within two years.  We are also switching to a program of all natural fungicides. Powdery mildew and bunch rot are a major problem in all grape growing regions. We are now employing natural fungicides including dormant oils, sulfur, calcium carbonate, and biological inoculation. Often, natural fungicides are not strong enough to stop fungal infection so we are initiating a program of compost tea foliar feeding (feeding plants through the leaves as opposed to the roots) which will not only minimizes the need for synthetic chemical fungicides but also improves the density and complexity of the fruit leading to improved wine quality.

 

September is California Wine Month

Glass of Almond

A cool glass of Almond Champagne on a warm summer day…ahhh!

In the wine world we like to think that every month is wine month, but more specifically, September is recognized as California Wine Month. What does this mean you ask? It’s your free pass to drink more wine this month, from California that is!

Here at Wilson Creek Winery, we are honoring this wonderful month by serving  a glass of  delightful sparkling wine with every entree purchase at the Creekside Grille. (Don’t see this advertised anywhere, that’s ok, just mention this to your server and they’ll know what to do) Cheers!

Check out this fun article from the North County Times about California wines, wineries and Temecula…

WINE COUNTRY NOTES: It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Oh My Gosh!

What do Temecula Valley’s Wine Country and Wilson Creek Winery have in common? They are home to the famous,”Oh My Gosh” Almond Champagne!

If you’ve never had it, you HAVE to try it! If you’ve had it, then you know what I’m talking about. We call it the “Oh My Gosh” champagne because that is the typical impression a person gets when trying it for the first time. Temecula Valley ChampagneThis stuff is so good that people from all over the country have it shipped out for special occasions and everyday happenings alike.

Definitely a popular choice for wedding toasts, I know a couple who drove from central California to Temecula just to fill their convertible Mini Cooper to the brim with cases of Almond Champagne for their daughter’s wedding. Now if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is!

Almond champagne is wonderful on its own, but goes great with other things as well. Next time you’re in the area and decide to visit us try the Almond-tini in a chocolate cup. A favorite around here, the Almond-tini is Almond Champagne mixed with a bit of our Decadencia (chocolate port dessert wine), served in an edible Dutch chocolate shot glass – Salut! Then there’s the Almond Slushie, our version of a frozen margarita, so to speak, minus the tequilla, add Almond Champagne and voila! The Almond Slushies are heaven-sent in the warm, Temecula summer months.

We love this champagne so much that we wanted to make it easy for you to get no matter where you are. So now you can find our Almond Champagne, along with our Peach Bellini (Almond Champagne and natural peach flavorings) and Orange Mimosa (Almond Champagne and natural orange flavorings), in 23 states! If you’re a California resident you may see us on the shelves of a Costco, Vons, BevMo, Albertson’s, and Walmart (to name a few) near you.