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


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!



Heart shaped must

by Serena on 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 must is the grapes, juice, seeds, and occasional stems or whole clusters.  For Pinot noir we let the must cold soak which means we chill the fermentation tank/bin to encourage color extraction from the grape skin into the juice.  Cold soak is an important step because once the fermentation kicks off, there is very little color that is extracted from the skins.  Next post, I’ll tell you about yeast & fermentation. – Serena


Thanks For Visiting Us at Taste of Sonoma

by Serena on September 1, 2012

We loved sharing the food and wine culture of Sonoma County at the 33rd annual Taste of Sonoma at MacMurray Ranch with our friends new and old. Named one of the 10 Best Wine and Food Events in the United States by Celebrated Living magazine, the Taste of Sonoma was a coveted ticket and we had a great time with those of you who enjoyed the beautiful day with us. More information  – Alan & Serena


One of the fun things about making wine is that people will share bottles with friends and then tell us about when the wine was opened. Recently, we received this great photo:

A friend had given a bottle of our 2009 Perli Vineyard Pinot Noir to another friend as a gift.  That bottle ended up on a backcountry adventure to the  High Sierras.  This is a fun photo of where it was enjoyed – near Lake Dorothy just below McGee Pass.  It’s really fun for me to think about people sharing our wine and the adventures of each bottle.  I was smiling all day thinking about this picture so I wanted to share it with you. I hope on your next adventure, Cartograph will be packed in your bag too. – Serena


New Release: Rosé of Pinot Noir

May 26, 2012

The 2011 harvest had it’s challenges but in the midst of the season, Alan was all ready thinking about summer days and decided to make his first Rosé.  We are delighted to introduce the 2011 Rosé of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley, 55 cases produced.  You’ll notice we put a new label on […]

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The Press Democrat says: No cookie-cutter tasting room

May 9, 2012

Virginie Boone came to visit us at the our tasting room, Garagiste Healdsburg and wrote a piece about her visit for the Press Decomocrat. Find out why she says we are not a cookie-cutter tasting room.   Read the article Garagiste Healdsburg is open Wednesday – Monday from noon to 7pm and by appointment on Tuesdays […]

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Sonoma in the City

July 18, 2011

We had the pleasure of pouring for two days in San Francisco last week.  Sonoma in the City is a great event where you get to taste a bunch of wines all from Sonoma County.  Why is that so cool? – because you get to see how various producers in one AVA or across the […]

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Pinot Days SF 2011

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 […]

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