We’ve moved our blog!

by Serena on August 25, 2013

We moved our blog over to our new website.  You can find all the entries from 2009 to current on the new blog. 

Thank you for continuing to follow our story.

– Alan & Serena


The tasting menu at Dry Creek Kitchen

by Serena on February 28, 2013

We were delighted to hear that the our Floodgate Pinot Noir was being featured in the fourth course of the Chef’s tasting menu at Dry Creek Kitchen.  The pairing created by Chef de Cuisine, Dustin Valett, and Sommelier, Drew Munro,  is delicious.

Crispy pork belly with a saffron roasted pepper piperade, parsley relish, black garlic with the 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir

Alas, it was eaten before a photo was taken so when we are there next, we’ll get a photo for you.  Or, if you’re in town, stop by Dry Creek Kitchen and let us know what you think of the pairing.


– Serena


San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2013

by Serena on January 31, 2013

We are delighted to announce that the three Pinot Noirs submitted to the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition all won awards. The 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir received a double gold and both of our 2010 vineyard designate wines (2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot Noir and the 2010 Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir) won silvers.  Congratulations Alan!   – Serena


This is a two part interview that Maria Ross of Red Slice did with Alan.  Part one starts at the very beginning of the Cellar Rat Cellars days.


It’s really neat to be able to look back and see how the actions and decisions Alan made in 2005 have landed us where we are today with Cartograph. I can’t emphasize it enough about how important it is to follow your dreams.  – Serena


Winemakers Blend Technology and Tradition

by Serena on December 3, 2012

We had a great discussion with USA Today reporter Laura Petrecca, about how winemakers are using technology to deliver information to their consumers.  It’s neat to see which technologies wineries are embracing and how they are using them to reach people.  For us, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are great platforms to quickly share information about what’s happening with Cartograph, as well as, to see and hear how people are enjoying with the wines.  I am always humbled when I see a mention of someone bringing our wine to a dinner with friends or enjoying it with a meal they cooked at home.  I love that people post photos of the bottles of wine they enjoy, it helps me connect to them beyond what happens in the tasting room.  Using social media tools, people get their questions about the wines or the harvest season answered directly by us which is a great way to share information and ensure it is accurate.  Laura’s article is out in today’s edition of USA Today.  Read the article  – Serena


What are you having for Thanksgiving?

by Serena on November 20, 2012

My favorite part of Thanksgiving is coming together with friends and family and sharing a meal.  Everybody slows down a bit for a  couple of days and we appreciate the time spent together and the delicious smells and tastes of the meal.   Beyond the beautiful colors and flavors of the meal, I love how the wines Alan makes dance with a Thanksgiving dinner.  Here are our Thanksgiving menus based on the Floodgate Vineyard and Perli Vineyard Pinot Noirs:

Floodgate Vineyard Thanksgiving

Start with the 2010 Floodgate Pinot Noir then open the 2009 Floodgate Pinot Noir

  • Mushroom and leek soup
  • Spinach & persimmon salad
  • Green beans with ginger and cashews
  • Spiced tea cranberry sauce
  • Traditional herbed turkey with gravy (vegetarian option: Wild mushroom and butternut squash bread pudding)
  • Sourdough, wild mushroom, and bacon stuffing
  • Soft herb rolls
  • Pear-cherry pie with an almond crust
  • Spiced pumpkin layer cake with cream cheese frosting


Perli Vineyard Thanksgiving

Start with the 2010 Perli Pinot Noir then open a 2009 Perli Pinot Noir

  • Spiced pumpkin soup
  • Harvest salad with butternut squash, pomegranate, and pecans
  • Juniper and herb roasted turkey (vegetarian option: Sweet potato gnocchi with mushrooms and spinach)
  • Fig and sausage stuffing
  • Cranberry, fig chutney
  • Roasted beets with a hint of cinnamon
  • Squash dinner rolls
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Pecan pie

We also always have Gewürztraminer on the table. It’s a great way to start things off but also is dynamic enough to sip on throughout these meals. This year it’ll be the 2011 Floodgate Vineyard Gewürztraminer.  The beautiful honeysuckle, citrus nose and dry finish will compliment the spices used across all the Thanksgiving dishes and tastes delicious with turkey.

As for the leftovers the day after, make turkey sliders and open a bottle of the 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Pinot on the River 2012

October 22, 2012

We had a great time pouring for the third year in a row at Pinot on the River which was right on the main plaza in Healdsburg.  The weather was gorgeous, the crowd was interesting and inquisitive, and the wines showed beautifully. Alan and I decided to pour the newly released 2010 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot […]

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Celebrating Vintage Variations – Nerd Alert!

October 19, 2012

We spend a lot of time looking at weather forecasts and some years it gives peace of mind and some years it puts a knot in your stomach. Most years you get a little of both. Whether it is February or September, the year’s weather conditions are going to directly influence the wines we produce. […]

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Heart shaped must

September 17, 2012

Given the lack of sleep during harvest, I was wondering if anyone else sees the heart shape in the grape must? This is the stage after the grapes have gone through the sorting & destemming table.  The grapes are now considered “must”.  Must comes from the Latin words “vinum mustum” which means young wine.  The […]

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The sorting table

September 10, 2012

It is a brilliant piece of equipment. Whether we are sorting one ton or seven tons, I am always happy to be on this line.  When the fruit drops into the hopper I get excited knowing that shortly I’m going to be looking at each and every cluster that goes into our wine.  The point […]

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