Thursday, August 14, 2008

Winemaker Dinner at Montclair Bistro , 7/28/08

We had a fantastic time with Monclair Bistro! There was a great turnout on this Monday evening. We had about 38 people that attended the dinner. Henry did a great job, once again, with all the fantastic food pairings. Thanks, Montclair Bistro.

Winemaker Dinner #32

Featuring Brilliant Reserve Wines from

Lost Canyon Winery

With Winemaker: Jack States

Monday, July 28th 2008, 6:30pm


Viognier poached shrimp, shrimp mousse,

vanilla beurre blanc

2007 Catie’s Corner Viognier

Seasonal greens, sun dried cherries, toasted almonds,

aged balsamic-Pinot Noir vinaigrette

2006 Widdoes Pinot Noir

Roasted filet mignon, porcini crusted, pommes Anna,

baby vegetables, Syrah Demi

2005 Trenton Station Syrah

Syrah poached locally grown plums,

frozen gelato sandwich

2005 Alegria Syrah

Monday, June 16, 2008

Summer Open House, 6/14/08

Our Summer open house was this past Saturday. We had a great turnout and people had a fantastic time! The food was delicious, catered by World Ground Cafe, featuring lavash sandwiches, lamb sausages, mushroom stuffed caps, and delicious stuffed dates. We poured all of our current releases of Pinot Noir and Viognier, along with a smaller selection of our Syrahs. People were crazy about the 06 Widdoes Pinot Noir and the 06 Trenton Station Reserve. For wine club members, there was a VIP area in the back that featured some of our library wines. The highlights in this special tasting were 02 Las Brisas Pinot Noir, 04 Morelli Lane Pinot Noir and 01 CA Syrah. Thanks to all the volunteers for helping and thanks to everyone that came out. Cheers!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Trip to Burgundy, France

Some of you may have noticed that I wasn't around for a part of May. My husband and I took a two week vacation to England and France. The highlight of my trip was going to Beaune, France in the heart of the Burgundy wine region.

Our main barrel maker, Rousseau, is located there. Frederic, who is the 3rd generation Rousseau carrying on the business, met us in Beaune mid-afternoon to take us around for the day. First, he drove us through some of the Grand Cru and Premier Cru vineyards, then to lunch in the village of Gevrey Chambertin. The food was delicious and the wine was fantastic!! Some of the wines on the menu were $7000 a bottle!
Next, we went to the Rousseau barrel making headquarters. We first saw many barrel staves being seasoned. Frederic explained the tagging system they used that labeled which forest the wood was from, and when it started its seasoning. Before this wood is brought into the facility, it is tested for TCA to make sure it is not contaminated. When the results are back, the staves go into the facility. They are then selected and cut to shape. The staves then fit all together (without any glue) to form the barrel. The first set of hoops are set on the top of the barrel, then heated and doused with water to bend the wood to get the other end of the hoops on. Frederic told us that many of their barrel makers have won awards for their skills in barrel making.

These barrels are then toasted to the indicated order. The heads are put on the barrels, they are tested for leakage and lastly, the bung is put in. If there is a bad stave, they take the barrel apart to replace that stave. After they pass the test, the barrel gets branded with its Rousseau label and another if the winery has specified their own label. Lost Canyon is their only client with color barrel labels!

After this tour, we went to the see where they make large format barrels. At this facility there are less machines and most of the work is done by hand. They can make a barrel using whatever required specifications you give.
So much work, care and time goes into each barrel. This is why Lost Canyon loves Rousseau!!!
Next, Frederic took us to the beginning life of the barrel. This facility had giant trees from different French forests split into large planks. They are brought into the facility where they cut out the heartwood. The heartwood is too porous to make a barrel stave, but it is burned in the toasting process so nothing goes to waste. This location was beautiful! Forest to the right and vineyards in the hills to the left.

The day ended with Frederic taking us on a private tasting at Joseph Drouhin. We were joined by another Rousseau representative that was taking around a group of young German winemakers. We tasted 8 wines, 4 white and 4 red. It was a fabulous time! Much thanks to Frederic Rousseau for taking us to lunch and giving us such a wonderful tour.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Barrel Seminar with Jerome Aubin

This past Saturday was our barrel seminar given by Jerome Aubin. Mainly wine club members were in attendance. Jerome talked about how barrels are made, the difference between French and American oak barrels, and what effect they impart onto wines. Attendees enjoyed themselves and said they learned something new. This was a very educational event, but in the end people were able to try some wines to experience for themselves what the difference barrels make on the wine. Jerome brought a Chardonnay and Jack brought out our Trenton Station 2006 Syrah and compared it with our Trenton Station Reserve 2006 Syrah. The reserve was in oak 6 months longer and it has made quite a difference.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Winemaker Dinner at Franklin Square Wine Bar , 4/13/08

Sunday evening was our winemaker dinner with Franklin Square Wine Bar (FSWB) in Oakland. There was a great turnout at this event, full of friends, wine club members and FSWB regulars. The food was delicious and the wine was flowing. Rick Mitchell, the owner of FSWB, introduced Jack and I, as we were the Lost Canyon representatives. Jack then took over and walked the audience through the wine and food pairing of each of the 3 courses. This winemaker dinner was unique in that the second course had a comparitive tasting with 2 Pinot Noirs and again with the third course, comparing 2 Syrahs. The hit for the evening was the Cassoulet paired with the 2 Syrahs. I heard a few patrons bugging Jake (the Chef) for a recipe! Below is a copy of the menu.


golden chard ravioli stuffed with fromage blanc, hazelnuts and roasted apples on a carrot emulsion.

2007 Viognier, Catie’s Corner Vineyard


poached duck breast salad with frisée, spinach, duck cracklings and a soft-boiled

partridge egg

2006 Pinot Noir, Widdoes Vineyard


2006 Pinot Noir, Morelli Lane Vineyard


cassoulet of cannellini beans, pork shoulder & toulouse lamb sausage

2005 Syrah, Trenton Station Vineyard


2005 Syrah, Alegria Vineyard


coffee & truffles

Friday, April 11, 2008

Winemaker Dinner with Pappo, 4/8/08

The winemaker dinner at Pappo was a great time. It was a 5 course meal paired to match 4 of our wines. Randy, one of the owners, talk about the history of Lost Canyon Winery and introduced the first wine, our RRV Viognier. The first course was served, then after the plates were cleared, I talked about the 2 Pinots that were to follow with the next 2 courses. Randy stepped in before the last 2 courses to talk about the Syrah and the revisiting of the Viognier. All of the courses were fantastic!! I think my favorite was the Lamb with the Stage Gulch Syrah. Delicious!!! Great job to Chef John Thiel and his staff for putting together such a wonderful dinner. The menu is posted below.

1st course

Seafood Sausage with Meyer Lemon Butter and Toscanelli Beans

2007 Catie’s Corner Viognier, Russian River Valley

2nd Course

Braised Duck Leg Tart with Green Garlic and Thyme

2006 Saralee Pinot noir, Russian River Valley

3rd Course

English Pea and Morel Mushroom Canneloni with Fresh Ricotta Cheese

2006 Widdoes Pinot noir, Russian River Valley

4th Course

Grilled Lamb Sirloin with Artichoke-Potato Gratin and Black Olives

2005 Stage Gulch Syrah, Sonoma Coast

5th Course

Almond-Orange Cookies, Crecenza Cheese and Preserved Walnuts

Revisit 2007 Catie’s Corner Viognier, Russian River Valley

Thursday, April 10, 2008

EBVA Passport event, April 5, 2008

The passport was a huge success for all participating wineries! I had the pleasure of attending the event on this particular Saturday since I was to woman the tasting room at Lost Canyon on Sunday, the day after the event. My husband, Jay, and a wine club member and occasional journalist for LCW, Ray joined us.
We started by eating a good hearty lunch at Ratto's in old town oakland before we got on the road. Our starting point was Eno wines in Berkeley. Apparently, we missed the madness. About 100 people started there and were anxiously awaiting outside the door at noon. We got to Eno at about 2:30pm where there were only about 15 people. I thoroughly enjoyed their Pinot Noir from Santa Lucia area and love their labels. Next, we headed to Periscope cellars where Urbano and Andrew Lane were pouring as well. This time it was quite busy inside! We tasted a few wines and then we headed to Dashe/JC Cellars where Taylerle and Aubin Cellars were pouring in the same spot. This was much busier than Periscope! We chatted with Angela, Errin and Ron and were off to check out Irish Monkey. This spot had a comfortable amount of people. Two mile was pouring wine at this location as well. I really enjoyed Two mile's Petite Syrah...delicious! The Irish Monkey space used to be Lost Canyon Winery's space, so it was fun for me to check it out. The space is a bit smaller than what we have now, but they are doing great things in there.

Meanwhile back at the Lost Canyon....we had about 500 people come through the winery. Jake from Franklin Square Wine Bar served up soup along with cheese and bread. We poured our 06 Las Brisas Pinot Noir, 06 Saralee Pinot Noir, 05 Trenton Station Syrah and our 05 Alegria Syrah. Jack was running around to deliver more glasses to the other locations and working out all the small problems that came up. It was a crazy day!
Thanks for coming out and if you didn't make it, come next year!

Monday, March 24, 2008

March 12, Tasting at Saralee's

On March 12, the Lost Canyon crew drove up to Russian River Valley to Saralee's Annual Wineries tasting. We arrived at 9:15am and there was a heavy fog. We warmed up by the fireplace as we waited for the other wineries to arrive. About 52 wineries buy grapes from Saralee Kunde. This is a great event she does every year, where all the wineries showcases their wines made from her grapes. Everyone takes their seats and the event begins. There are 6 wine glasses in front of each person. There is a lot of coordination going into this event. Once we taste through the 6, then we dump the glasses and another set of 6 is put in front of us again, until we are done. We tasted about 70 wines made from the different wineries using her grapes. Lost Canyon brought: 2007 Viognier(already bottled), then barrel samples of: 2007 clone 37 Saralee's Pinot noir, 2007 clones 115 and 777 Saralee's Pinot noir and 2007 Trenton Station. The winemaker or representative of the winery stands up to give some brief stats on the wine and then moving on to the next wine. We were finished around 12:30pm and headed out to the patio overlooking the vineyards, where we enjoyed a catered lunch. The sun came out right around this time too. It was a great day! Thanks, Saralee!!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Viognier Release Party and Lecture

The world tour of viognier lecture and release of 2007 Catie's Corner Viognier was a success. Thanks to all of those folks who came out! Jack, co-owner and winemaker, gave a lecture that focused on the orgins of viognier, how white wines are processed differently than reds, and stylistic choices the winemaker has and how it impacts the final product. We had 100% viognier wines from France (Rhone region), South Australia, and then 2 CA regions from Lodi and Paso Robles. Of course, we also featured our 2006 and 2007 Catie's Corner Viognier.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

February 23, Tales from the Vineyard event

The Tales from the Vineyard event was a hit. We had about 30 attendees come out on this cold and rainy Saturday afternoon. Saralee Kunde spoke for about 90 minutes about growing, trellising, clones, irrigation and high maintenance winemakers. She was an excellent speaker full of knowledge and entertaining stories. While she was giving her presentation, Martha and her volunteer went around and filled everyone's glass with wines we make from Saralee's grapes. They were as follows: 2007 Viognier, 2005 Saralee (sold out, but we broke out some old stuff), 2006 Saralee, 2005 Trenton Station, and 2006 Trenton Station. Thanks to everyone that came out for the event, thanks to our volunteers: Brian, Rick, and Ray and big thanks to Saralee Kunde for taking time out of her busy schedule to stop by and do this lecture! Stay tuned for our next event on March 15 where Jack States (owner and winemaker) will take us on a world tour of Viognier.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Filtering and Bottling the week of Feb. 13-16, 2008

Thursday and Friday we had to prepare the 4 wines to be bottled on Saturday. We filtered the 2007 Viognier, 2006 Las Brisas Pinot noir, and the 2006 Alegria Syrah on Thursday, with the help of one of our faithful volunteers. Friday, we filtered the 2006 Trenton Station Reserve. Things went smoothly, I think we are learning from our past mistakes.
Saturday we had an early start to get ready for bottling. Volunteers arrived at 7:30am, had a bit of coffee and a snack then they had to get trained on their various positions in the truck. We bottled 1063 cases in 3 1/2 hours. Not bad! Thanks again to all of the volunteers, we really appreciate your help. Cheers to you!!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Racking, part 2

This week, we finished racking by doing the Syrah 2007. Everything went smoothly and the wines are tasting great! We were so lucky to have such beautiful sunny weather. This makes barrel washing pretty enjoyable!
Next week we will be filtering the 4 wines we plan to bottle on February 16. Check back in for details on the bottling and photos of volunteers helping us out.