Spring 2022

Summoning up the brain juice required to embark on blending trials takes at least three days of procrastination, if not four. This is something we’ve found to be unavoidable.

Trials take hours of intense concentration and focus, but are incredibly important. Many profess that “wine is made in the vineyard.” We would add that it’s only one of many factors that make a great wine. Spring is when we do our blending, and it’s our last chance to influence the final product. Some call it the art of the blend — wherein the nuance and subtleties of various barrel components can have a major influence on the final product, and turn a good wine into a memorable wine.

Wine blending is the process of combining different wine varietals to create a composite that’s (hopefully) better than the wine is on its own. The wines blended might be from different varieties, regions, and barrel regimens. There are many steps we take along the way, starting with preparation. First, we pull the samples from barrels at the winery (you’ve probably seen images of a winemaker climbing towers of barrels with a glass wine thief in their hand, risking life and limb to pull samples). The samples are poured into tiny screwtop bottles, which we label with their lot and barrel number. We then shuttle them to a big work space (usually our dining table) for blending. Because the samples are kept in screw top bottles (no corks), oxygen and other elements work their way in, so their shelf life is short and time is limited. Meticulous notes and spreadsheets (yes, desk work) are created to keep track of the hundreds of potential permutations of a single wine.

Like we mentioned earlier, intimidation and procrastination are our biggest enemies in blending. In the very worst of cases, the project is too insurmountable, life gets in the way, the samples aren’t used soon enough, and the process of pulling barrel samples must be done all over again. (embarrassing, but true) But once the blending journey begins, it’s a fun one. If you enjoy swirling, smelling, tasting, and analyzing, you know how it feels. It’s at once extremely pleasurable, fascinating, and exhausting. Chris makes the first blends and Sarah tastes through them all, until our brains and palates are completely drained and we’ve got to make a final decision. By this time it’s usually late at night, but once the sample bottles are open there’s no going back. Some wineries don’t go through this process/joy/agony, at least not to the extent we do. But we think it sets our wines apart. Some of our favorite blends transport us to a higher place, summon up memories, places, and people. It’s a creative process, and the blends are unique to us. We love that.

As you taste through the wines in your shipment, we hope you swirl, smell, sip, and savor, and reflect on all the components that went into making it. It could never be said that we don’t care intensely about what we put in the bottle, and we hope you can feel and taste that.