A new season begins

017I was out at Armstrong Vineyard on Ribbon Ridge early this morning to see how budbreak has progressed. Things look great, as you can see to the left.

Bud break is just as it sounds. The woody cane of the plant was one of last years growing shoots. After winter pruning, only one or two canes are left to be bent down and tied to the bottom trellis wire. The little buds on the cane swell in the spring (see the bud on the lower right) and finally burst forth with new growth.

What’s so important about that? These buds contain everything that will grow this year, leaves and fruit but also new buds at the base of each leaf stem that, on any canes we keep next winter during pruning, will burst forth next spring and provide the crop in 2015.

There’s so much in these little buds. Let’s just hope we don’t have any frost in the next few weeks. These new growing shoots are fragile and historically we can’t declare the possibility of frost until around Mother’s Day in May. There are secondary buds that plants have in reserve in case these first buds frost and die, but those secondaries are more about vine survival, so you won’t get much crop this year if anything. And you can imagine there would impact next year as well, because again, next year’s growth is in the buds on this year’s shoots.

Confusing, I know, but that’s why when it’s all said and done, we can have a glass of wine and ponder it all some more. Enjoy.

Magnum P.i. library wine sale – back vintages available

Each year we fill cases of 1.5L bottles with a variety of Vincent Wine Company wines. We sell them to our mailing list and sometimes to wine shops and restaurants. We donate some to charities – mags make great auction and raffle items. We also like to keep a bunch of magnums to ourselves, because wine ages better in the large format bottles.

Yet we end up with more than we need and we figure we should come up with a clever way to sell magnums from our wine library to our mailing list members.

So…Magnum P.i. is born, out of a love of large bottles of wine and bad ’80s tv drama. We have limited quantities of our best wines going back to our first vintage, 2009, available at discounted pricing, all in 1.5L bottles. From today through March 14, (3.14, Pi Day), you can get wines otherwise long sold out, in rare large format bottles.

Shipping is not included in the prices, but we can deliver or arrange easy pick up for people in the Portland metro area. We do ship across the US but understand that case orders are much more economical for shipping purposes.

Some of these back vintage wines are available in quantities of just twos and threes, and they’ll go to mailing list members first come, first served. Join the Vincent Wine Company mailing list to receive our special Magnum P.i. offer today.

Great trip to California

I just got back from a week-long trip to California to introduce the 2012s to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

My distributor there is Return to Terroir and I spent the week with several of their reps pouring the wines for some of the top accounts in both cities. It was very exciting and nice to see the wines received so well, and to already see some key placements in local shops and restaurants.

More on that as deliveries are made, etc., but do look for Vincent wines in SF and LA is you’re there. I look forward to going back soon to introduce some additional 2012 releases coming this spring.

Special offer for BerserkerDay V

Yes, BerserkerDay.

That’s the annual January 27 celebration of the founding of Wine Berserkers, an online wine community that does a particularly great job connecting wine business and wine community in a natural, almost noncommercial way.

Each year wineries and a few other wine-related businesses make crazy offers to the Wine Berserkers community for one day via a special forum on the WB site. You just need to register for the site – no charge – to see the offers.

Our deal is one bottle each of the 2012 Armstrong and Crowley Station Pinot Noirs, and one bottle of the sold out 2012 Chardonnay. Only 12 three-packs are available and already a few are spoken for by Donors to the WB site who get access to the special offers a day early. Tomorrow, it’s on for everyone. Check it out.

Wines selling fast

If you’re interested in any of our wines, act quickly. Our 2012 Ribbon Ridge Pinot Noir is now sold out at the winery, and we have just a handful of cases left of the following wines:

2012 Vincent Chardonnay WIllamette Valley – $23
2012 Vincent Pinot Noir Armstrong Vineyard – $39
2012 Vincent Pinot Noir Crowley Station Vineyard – $39

We will be releasing more 2012s in the spring, including the return of our Eola-Amity Hills bottlings (first since 2009) and single vineyard bottlings from Zenith and Bjornson vineyards.

Coming in 2014 – Distribution in LA and SF

We’re delighted to announce that Return to Terroir will be representing our wines in the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets beginning in the new year. RTT imports a select list of quality French and Italian wine producers, and represents some terrific California producers as well, all focused on terroir-driven wines.

We’re excited to be their first Oregon winery and to see the wines down on store shelves and restaurant lists as soon as February. I’ll be traveling south in the last week of January to help introduce the wines to the area. Can’t wait. This was one of my goals for 2014, not something I expected before 2013 was done. And to be with a group like Return to Terroir, it’s really cool.

Zenith vertical tasting with Division’s Deux this Saturday at the SE Wine Collective

Zenith verticalA late breaking event is shaping up this Saturday afternoon at the SE Wine Collective in Portland – a special vertical tasting of wines from Vincent Wine Company and Division Winemaking Company.

The idea started with Tom Monroe of Division and the Collective telling me he planned to pour three years of this Division “Deux” Pinot Noir, 2010 – 2012, just for fun. This wine is excellent, usually mostly if not all old vine juice from the legendary Eola Springs Vineyard.

Tom wondered if I was interested in pouring something too, and I mentioned how I had five years of Zenith lined up in my cellar waiting for something like this, 2012 going back to my rare 2008 bottling produced in my garage and never commercially released.

We thought – let’s pour all these wines in the SE Wine Collective tasting bar, 4-6pm on Saturday, November 30. Cost is just $15 to them all eight bottles. It’s totally casual – just come on down and taste. No advance tix or reservations necessary.

For a few of these wines, we’ll have bottles from the library available for purchase. A  few others are too limited to sell, but we still want to taste them. Come join us. We might even pull a few barrel samples of the young ’13s if you’re interested.

The SE Wine Collective is located at 2425 SE 35th Place at Division in SE Portland. See you there.