pinot noir


After much anticipation, we are proud to announce the inaugural release of Stomping Girl Wines.  Our two 2008 Pinot Noirs are so seductive that it is difficult not to keep it all for ourselves! Alas, we are releasing it…

Order Now and Save

Order yours before February 1st and save 10%.  Just put your order in the shopping cart and use the coupon code: PreRelease.

Celebrate with us at our February 6th 2-4 PM Release Party at the winery at 2323 4th St, Berkeley, pick up your wine there and also save on shipping.  Just place your order by February 1st and designate Pick up/Local as your shipping option.

Otherwise,  wine orders will be shipped out on February 1st, weather permitting.

Unique Opportunity

Stomping Girl produces very small lots of handcrafted, artisanal Pinot Noir and 2008 is our first commercial vintage.  Consider this an opportunity to buy some to enjoy now and some to tuck away in your cellar for future special occasions before it’s gone.  After all, there is only one first release of Stomping Girl Pinot Noir.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!  We had a great 2 week break starting off with a road trip to Seattle.  On the way, we spent 2 days in Oregon seeing a couple of friends and wine tasting in the Willamette Valley.  We wish we had had more time to spend in the Willamette Valley but we had just enough time to taste some impressive Oregon Pinots at the incredible Domaine Drouhin; the serene, indeed, Domaine Serene; and the beautiful Stoller Vineyards.

Domaine Drouhin vines in winter

Domaine Serene

Stoller Vineyards

After a fun, relaxing and indulgent Christmas week with family in Seattle we rushed back to spend the 2nd week with our big, “stomping girl” who was home from college for a short break. I know it’s cliche but all I’m going to say about that is they grow up way too fast!!

Now it’s back to work and we are in high gear preparing for the release of our 2008 Pinot Noirs–putting the final touches on our online ordering site, printing up tasting and technical notes and planning the February Release Party.  Stay tuned and we hope to see some of you there!

Last Thursday we bottled the last of our 2008 wines.  “Last” sounds like we made many wines, we only made wine from two vineyards, but it does feel good to have our 2008 vintage safely in bottles. Now we wait for the delicate Pinot to recover.  As many of you know, wine goes thru a shock when it is bottled and needs some rest to recover before it is ready to drink.

Even though the bottling process is mostly automated, contrary to our home wine bottling in the last 7 years, we still make sure we touch every single bottle and leave our prints on  it. Such are the joys of winemaking.

Take a look at the steps in pictures:

First the bottles are emptied of oxygen, filled with wine and the wine level is adjusted.

Bottling  Machine

Bottling Machine

Corks are inserted and the red sleeves are put on and spun into place.

Corks inserted and bottle sleeves put on.

Next, the labeler applies our lovely label to the bottles.

Labeling Machine

Labels applied to Stomping Girl Pinot Noir

Then the bottles come off the line and are boxed by hand.

Kathryn boxing Split Rock

Kathryn boxing Stomping Girl Pinot

This past Sunday we participated in the annual Corona Creek Olive Harvest.  Corona Creek, in addition to it’s excellent Pinot Noir vineyard, has an olive grove.  Chris makes the most incredible olive oil out of these olives.

A crowd of about 50 volunteers descended on the olive grove early in the morning and got busy pulling, shaking and generally having a good old time helping Chris, the owner, bring down as many olives as we could before the lunch feast at noon.

Picking olives

Kathryn setting up the olive capturing tarp

Ben 'working'

french baby picking olives

One of the main reasons we elected to source grapes from Corona Creek is due to the fact that it is a small family farm with sustainable practices growing a variety of vegetables in addition to the grapes and olives. In other words, it is far from a mono culture farm.  In fact, it is quite multi-cultural.

In any case, olive picking was a lot of fun.  We met a lot of people from all walks of life.  The kids and dogs had a great time through the trees and the vineyards and we learned a bit about what makes good olive oil while enjoying our fellow pickers’ company. Afterward we enjoyed a lovely meal along with some of Corona Creek’s own Pinot Noir.  To top it all off, a lively singing trio was on hand to entertain the crowd during lunch.

Singing trio

How many girls does it take to stomp 4+ tons grapes?  Watch us as we stomp away at our handcrafted and foot stomped Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir!

We had our first harvest this week for 2009–our Beresini Vineyard Pinot Noir.  The fruit, beautiful, tasty and at perfect Brix (sugar) and pH levels, was telling us it was time to pick.  Those of you in the Bay Area know that Mother Nature was not in agreement, however.  She handed us some rare and unexpected thunder showers just before our planned harvest date. Luckily Beresini is in the Carneros appellation just north of most of the weekend showers that hit our area and with a minor date adjustment, we were able to pick, sort and de-stem the fruit without a problem and under sunny skies.  Uzi was in the vineyard to help harvest and take the video and then met us at the winery with the grapes.

sortingBeresini

Sorting Beresini Pinot Noir

our fig tree

our fig tree

Sausages.  Figs.  Grill.  Pinot Noir.  Need I say  more?

Now that figs are in season, both in our backyard and at our neighborhood market, I’ve had a steady supply in my kitchen.  So I also picked up a package of Niman Ranch (Andouille, I believe) sausages and thought that with a few additional ingredients I’d come up with an impressive dinner.  Dinner time rolled around and I found myself out of time.  So I just threw the sausages on the grill, whole.  When they were almost done, I put on the figs, halved, cut side down.  I sliced a baguette and opened a bottle of Pinot Noir and we found ourselves enjoying a very tasty and easy summer treats.  And it was that simple.  By the way, if you want to serve this as an appetizer that doesn’t require a knife and fork, do this:  slice the grilled sausages crosswise, top each slice with a halved or quartered fig and stick a toothpick in.  And don’t forget the Pinot. 🙂

For my previous Pinot Noir-friendly food post, click here.  Now, I have to get back to harvest.

Our maiden commercial vintage has been bottled.  I know the age of some our laborers looks a little young but I seriously could not pull them away.  I barely had a chance to get my own hands in there!  Look for this wine to be released in early November!

Uzi taking Brix measurements in the vineyard     

Uzi taking Brix measurements in the vineyard

The vineyards in the Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros from which we source fruit look beautiful and the weather has been perfect these last weeks with cool nights and warm days.  Earlier this week we visited each vineyard and brought along our handheld refractometer to measure the Brix levels of the grapes.  The refractometer looks similar to a small telescope.  There is a small glass plate that flips out onto which you place a sample of juice by squishing above it a grape freshly plucked from the vine.  Then you hold it to the sun and the light traveling through the sample in the refractometer is reflected (refracted?) in such a way that a line shadow is formed separating a dark area from a light area.  It is here at the shadow line that the reading is taken.

Our measurements at Lauterbach Vineyard in the Russian River Valley were about 20.5 Brix.  Beresini Vineyard Brix level, in Carneros, is slightly behind at 20.2 Brix.  Corona Creek Vineyard, Sonoma Coast, is farther behind,  as expected, at around 17 Brix.  We shoot to harvest at 24.5 Brix and Lauterbach Vineyard in the RRV will probably be our first grapes to be harvested and brought into the winery in approxiately 2-3 weeks.

RRV grapes at end of August

RRV grapes at end of August

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