Checking In...

March is an exciting time for a winemaker. It’s typically the first real indication of how the previous year’s vintage is performing. Overall, we are very pleased with the 2015s. It was a difficult vintage with wacky chemistry, compressed schedules, dehydrated grapes, but all in all you'll see this concentrated bunch of wines pack a punch.

Speaking of the cellar, two new wines will make their debut this year: the 2014 Vintner’s Select (a blend of all our Zinfandel vineyards) and a new ‘special’ reserve Zinfandel which is aging an additional six months (23 months in all) in the barrel. We believe this will be one of the best wines we’ve ever produced – stay tuned.

Bud break in the early varietals (Sangiovese) is just starting. With all the rain, the Zins decided to stay asleep but will stretch their leaves in a week or so - finally a normal year!

Come take a peek and witness the rebirth of the land after 4 years of drought. The cover crops, the trees, the grasses are all off the hook.

Cheers,

The Story Winery Family

Rememberance and Embrace

Dear Friends,

It’s the time of year we watch the vines slip into a deep sleep. This winter will be interesting to see if El Niño finally brings the big rains we’ve all been hoping for. With our hilltop location, our dry farming techniques, minimal tilling, and cover crops we planted in October, we say “bring it on” as very little erosion has happened in our vineyards since 1894.

Our new 2015 vintage wine is starting to hibernate as well. But before we ‘put them to sleep’ we dose each barrel with a small amount of sulfur dioxide (SO2, also known as KMBS [potassium metabisulfite]) to prevent unfriendly bacteria or other microbials from producing nasty bi-products during the wine’s deep sleep. Although there is some exciting new research into sulfur replacements like Resveratrol, sulfur is a tried and true antioxidant method of preserving color as well as an antimicrobial and it’s a naturally occurring compound.

Speaking of the 2015 vintage, our Futures will soon be available. Our knowledgeable staff will assist you with tasting what we believe to be a unique vintage. A case purchased at a reasonable price now will pay off in the future - often resulting in a 50% or more savings to you.

We look forward to what 2016 has to offer. After spending the last three years working hard to improve all aspects of our winemaking program, we finally have a full line up in the tasting room that shows how far we’ve come and how we have added to the Story legacy. We hope you can join us soon to toast the past and the future with some of Amador’s best offerings. Cheers!

Happy Holidays!

The Story Winery Family

Another Early Harvest

Chalk it up to the drought or global warming, we about to head into Crush 2015. But as you'll hear in the coming weeks and months, this is a strange growing year. Partly due to the drought but mostly due to the long 'bloom' time the vines experienced during flowering and fruit set. Typically this process takes 7-10 days in a vineyard. This year it took 3 weeks! That extended bloom has reached havoc with cluster uniformity, shattered clusters, and above all weird chemistry. So we head into the year not exactly know what to expect....

The same could be said about last year. But that had an entirely different set of variables, the largest of which was a major forest fire right below our doorstep. The good news it the wine from last year tastes fantastic. We recently bottled the 10-month aged reds and was happy to see the color and concentration of the wines was off the charts.

We'll definitely have more to report in the coming weeks so stay tuned....

STORY AROUND TOWN

 

Wine Club BBQ (members only)
Saturday Aug. 22 –11:30 – 3:30
There’s still time to join the Story Wine Club. You and a guest will be invited to this awesome complimentary event that includes a barbecue buffet, provided by Sierra Smokehouse, of ribs, brisket, tri-tip and more. And, of course, we’re serving some of our award winning wines. Call or email Susie (susie@zin.com) to RSVP 209-245-6208.

El Dorado Hills CSD, Saturday Night In the Park
Saturday August 22, 5-9PM
The Chamber and the Community of El Dorado Hills host this event annually that draws more than 4,000 locals. We’ll be pouring Story Wines from 5 to 9pm, but there are lots of activities for the whole family and delicious food from local restaurants. Check out the website (link).

Mystery Box Special
Friday thru Sunday,  August 28-30
Test your intuition with our mystery box special. Boxes are pre-made with valuable selections from our wine tasting list. A box of two wines is just $30 or a box of four wines is just $60. No one ever goes home unhappy! 

The Big Crush 2015
October 3-4  11-4
Pre-event tickets are officially available. Go to the website (link) now, and purchase tickets for a $5 discount.

May Flowers

May Flowers

Dear Friends,

Early indications are that the all is normal in the vineyards (knock on wood).  Frankly, we’re a little surprised and very pleased. Being in the fourth year of an epic drought, we did not expect such ‘normal’ conditions, albeit a month early just like last year. Mother Nature blessed us with a dousing of rain in March and April to launch the vines on a nice growth curve. Hopefully, she give us a little more in May before the long hot summer.

Budding was early which means flowerbloom has begun early as well. The small, green clusters on the vine are starting to blossom. Eventually the blossoms self-pollinate and transition into grape clusters, which we will most likely harvest in August and September.

Suckering and thinning is the big task now - eliminating all growth except the two primary canes at the end of each arm of the vine. This process assures ideal growing conditions and nutrients for the primary fruit set as well as good air circulation and sun exposure to prevent mildew.

Back to rain – we recently passed last year’s rainfall amount so a little more would be reassuring. In case you’re wondering about water usage, a recent Sacramento Bee op ed piece posted that walnuts require a whopping 4.9 gallons of water per nut, almonds 1.1 gallons, and pistachios 0.75 gallons. Winegrapes require about 0.3 gallons per grape allowing us to dry farm our grapes and not irrigate. Makes you happy to be a wine lover, doesn’t it?

We hope to see you soon!

Cheers,

The Story Winery Family

STORY AROUND TOWN

El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce Art & Wine Affaire
Sat. May 9, Noon to 5 pm

We’re pouring Saturday at this Mother’s Day weekend event. Come by our booth for samples, say Hi and enjoy the art and gifts available for purchase at the El Dorado Hills Town Center.(link http://www.eldoradohillsartaffaire.com/)

Shine, Wine & Dine in Jackson, Main Street
Sat. May 16, Noon to 3 pm

Some of the classics come out for an afternoon of showcasing 125 vintage cars. We’re tasting our wine, but there’s also an art show and food from local eateries. (link http://www.visitjacksonca.com/motherlodecruise.html)

A Taste of Fair Oaks North Ridge Country Club
Friday, June 5, 4 to 9 pm

Wine tasting, beer tasting, area restaurants, live music, golf putting contest and prize raffle to benefit the Mercey Springs Foundation (link http://www.fairoakschamber.com/taste-of-fair-oaks.html)