June 2011

Pinot Days SF 2011

by Serena on June 21, 2011

We spent Saturday 6/18/11 in San Francisco at Fort Mason pouring our 2009 Floodgate and Perli Pinot noir at the San Francisco Pinot Days grand tasting. We have not yet released the 2009 vintage so it was fun for us to hear people’s thoughts on the wines, which we love and can’t be more thrilled that 2009  was the year we made the leap into Northern California making our home and wines from the vineyards around us.

Brandye Alexander took this fun photo of our Pinot noir as we were setting up

We poured the 2009 Floodgate Vineyard Pinot noir from the Russian River Valley, and the 2009 Perli Vineyard Pinot noir from Mendicino Ridge.  Considering we pick these grapes at nearly the same time. their flavor profiles are wildly different owing to the classic foggy RRV days juxtaposed to the rugged mountain terrain and proximity of the Pacific ocean in the Perli Vineyard.

We had great conversations about temperature inversion, slope, flooding, and other nerdy ag related stuff with the smart folks wandering around tasting Pinot.  That passion for grape growing from the attendees is something we love about this crowd.  Because the focus is on Pinot, we get to have really detailed and geeky conversations about the winemaking and growing conditions.  If we were pouring other varietals as well, we would not have had the time to go into such depth with folks.

Grape nerds unite!

It was also so exciting to be able to officially invite everybody to come visit our tasting room that will be open in July downtown Healdsburg.

Brandye and Alan are ready to pour some Pinot

So to all of our friends, old and new,  and wine making friends who share our devotion to this amazing grape, cheers for making this a great event.

Serena & Alan getting ready to pour (photo by Brandye Alexander)

See you in the tasting room!




While the silence on our blog was deafening, we were heads down building our new tasting room!  We found a space in Healdsburg about 2 blocks from the central square.  Because our focus is on small, handcrafted lots, we got together with another winemaker (Christian Stark of Stark Wine) who is also a boutique wine producer and decided to launch a tasting room and microwinery.

What does that mean?  It means we have an awesome tasting room space where you can come taste all of our wines as well as hang out on the patio and enjoy the warm afternoons and evenings this summer with a glass of wine.  The tasting room will always be staffed by either one of the winemakers or owners of Cartograph or Stark wine.  Between Cartograph and Stark we will be able to offer a tasting that includes Gewürztraminer, Viognier, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah.

In addition, our space is a bonded winery which means we will be producing wine in that same space.  So, you’ll be able to dip into barrels with us and get a real hands on winemaking experience.

We are really excited to see this project coming to fruition.  We’ve spent numerous days and night building the space with the help of several friends.  We should be finished building the tasting bar in the next ten days.  The final furniture delivery happens tomorrow.  Right now we’re focused on building a really cool chandelier (made from de-stemmer gears!), finishing the lighting, making tables, and finalizing the numerous licenses and permits in order to open this summer!

We’ll keep you posted on our official opening and get some photos up soon.