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As harvest nears, I got the chance to sit down with winemaker Jeremy Weintraub to find out more about what is currently happening in the vineyard and learn about the uniques ways that he measures water levels in the soil.
Q. What is Veraison and why is it important?
A. Veraison signals the onset of ripening and is when the pigment in the grape changes from green to red or black. The grapes will soften, accumulate sugar, and lose some of their acid.
Q. Has Veraison began in the Adelaida Estate?
A. Historically, we’re still about two weeks away from Veraison; however, we’re beginning to see quite a bit of coloring come up in a few varieties (most notably Pinot Noir).
Q. What are you doing in the vineyard right now?
A. The vineyard crew has been busy tidying up the grapevines and ensuring that the fruit clusters get just the right amount of sunlight to ripen to their full potential, but not too much light or heat that they get sunburned or lose color potential. It is a balancing act.
Q. What Tools are you using to ensure that the vineyard has enough water?
A. Water is vital to all life. For a grapevine, water demands change throughout the season. We monitor plant water use and needs through a combination of our own eyes as well as sensors placed throughout the ranches that record evapotranspiration and soil moisture.
Our third tool is the dog paw—more specifically, the digging action of Oliver our vineyard dog. If we see moist soil six inches below the surface, we know that the vine has plenty of water to draw from. We combine this observation with the soil measurements of our probes. Our vineyard probes measure water up to 48 inches below the surface in four inch increments.
Q. Why is it important to check water levels in the soil?
A. We need to check levels to ensure that each variety is getting what it needs. We want our red grape varieties to experience a moderately high amount of stress leading up to Veraison, which ensures the proper functioning of physiological processes without killing the plant. With white grape varietals, we don’t really want to stress them at all.
Q. How often do you water the vineyard?
A. We irrigate only when necessary for plant life and quality. Also 33% of our vineyards are not irrigated and rely solely on what Mother Nature provides us during the rainy season so those vineyards are never watered.
"Stunning from its chalky strawberry brilliance to its prom dress pink hue, the blend of 51% Grenache, 24% Carignan, 14% Cinsault, 5% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise and 2% Syrah knocked me out when I tasted it at the winery's brand new gorgeous tasting room atop Adelaida Mountain. The lemongrass-peach middle is an unexpected "ooooh" due to a strapping, searing minerality that keeps the mouth awake, but aware of greatness."
April 26, 2016 (Paso Robles, CA) – Adelaida Cellars opened its new tasting room earlier this month and announced its plans for a Grand Opening Celebration May 6-8. The new facility, designed in a contemporary agrarian style features a sensory room, an extended wine bar, Club 2320 members’ lounge and patio seating all designed to host wine enthusiasts in a comfortable indoor and outdoor environment. The winery invites guests to celebrate the Grand Opening weekend, a milestone for the Paso Robles pioneer and experience Adelaida Cellars continued commitment to crafting world-class wines.
The new 8,200-square-foot hospitality center replaces the 600-square-foot tasting room. The more spacious hospitality center was built from the brand’s continuous growth over the past five years as consumers continue to discover the Paso Robles wine region and Adelaida Cellars. A new commercial kitchen adds additional options to taste Adelaida wines with food, wine pairings and library tasting offerings.
The new expanded space positions Adelaida Cellars as a potential venue for conferences and meetings in its subterranean Barrel Room, holding up to 200 guests with full audiovisual equipment available. The winery will also host a limited number of weddings each year. Furthermore, Adelaida plans to expand upon its popular educational seminars, winemaker dinners and event offerings.
“With views of the estate, several tasting areas and event spaces, the new hospitality center really allows guests to immerse themselves in Adelaida Cellars,” said general manager Jessica Kolhoff. “We couldn’t be happier to pour our wines in this beautiful building.”
The Grand Opening weekend celebration kicks off on Friday, May 6 with a five-course winemaker dinner featuring chef Dakota Weiss, winemaker Jeremy Weintraub and music by Churo de ouro. Upon arrival, guests will tour the new tasting room for wine and appetizers before descending to the Barrel Room. Each course will be perfectly paired with the current Adelaida wines which feature the newly designed label. Tickets are on sale and available by calling 800-676-1232 ext. 30 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Saturday and Sunday, May 7 - 8, join the Adelaida team for appetizers prepared by Chef Dakota, live music and tours of the new facility.
New Wine Labels for Adelaida
For those of you who have been fans of Adelaida for the past several years, or perhaps have older Adelaida wines in your cellar, you may have noticed that our label has had different “faces” throughout time. Preceding the faces, or the very existence of Adelaida wine, there was the thriving town of Adelaida, the HMR Vineyard, and the Van Steenwyk family who spent summers on Hilltop Ranch (the walnut ranch where the winery now exists).
The HMR label celebrates the history of our HMR Estate Vineyard. The traditional Burgundian packaging pays tribute to the wines produced from this historic vineyard. Pinot Noir was the first varietal planted on this vineyard in 1964 (oldest producing Pinot Noir on the Central Coast of California) and Chardonnay followed in the early 1970s. Moving forward, this label will be seen on our Burgundian family of wines from the HMR Vineyard.
The Signature Series label, which represents our best barrel selections and small lot wines, speaks to our family ownership and honors our owner/author Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. The simple, left justified text on the label reads like a page in a book. Elizabeth’s beautiful signature is just beneath the text with her “A is for Adelaida” stamp of approval.
“The new label tells the story of Adelaida. Like a short story that takes you beyond the surface, it honors this special place and its rich history, yet shows anticipation for new beginnings,” said Van Steenwyk.
We invite you to watch The Story of Adelaida, a newly released video, which personifies the history, the land and our estate wines. The video honors generations past while celebrating the dedication of the people who help grow and make the wines.
We are extremely excited to launch our new labels and look forward to telling you more about them as you visit our new Hospitality Center!
Ranch Manager Emeritus
Mike remembers the day in 2001 when he and Adelaida owner Don Van Steenwyk were driving on the HMR ranch and Don asked, “What would you plant on this hill?” Mike answered “a dry farmed vineyard”. It was then that Adelaida Cellars chose to plant dry farmed Zinfandel on what is now Michael’s Vineyard.
It is with deep gratitude and respect we raise our glasses to you, Mike Whitener (zinfandel, of course!). Cheers!
The first very wet winter in four years is upon us! This year’s El Niño, caused by elevated surface water temperatures in the South Pacific, is expected to bring about heavy rains and cooler nights. El Niño rains promise a limited replenishment to our water-starved soils…..if we can keep the water from running away! Fortunately, the rains that we’ve had so far have been wonderfully easy, with a handful of daily accumulations totaling not more than 0.9 inches. Since July 1, 2015 we’ve recorded 8.3”, over 2" more than this time last year! What does this mean for the vineyards? Those frequent, light rains allow the soil to slowly absorb the water, which, over time, help to flush out the salts that have accumulated from the prolonged drought. Our concern over heavy downpours at Adelaida is that the steep slopes will simply allow the water to run off, carrying with it our valuable topsoil. To combat this possibility, just before the first rains began to fall we planted lots of peas, beans, white and yellow mustard, daikon radish, and triticale to build up the biomass of our soils. Right now, the vineyards look beautiful with lots of greens and colors, and we know that we’ve done as much as we can to work in stride with Mother Nature.
Holiday spirit is in the air and one of our very own Wine Club Members has been spreading cheer for over 30 years throughout California. Meet Santa Bob. Here is his story, in his own words.
My Santa career began with my first grandchild’s birth in 1984. Christmas came and I bought a really cheap Santa suit. One could almost see through it. As I held her in my arms she looked up at me and gave me a smile that brought tears to my eyes. How could a four-month-old child know Santa? My son-in-law suggested that I pursue this. After the following Christmas as Santa, I bought some material and asked my daughter if she would make me a Santa suit. That’s how it all began.
You will find me at the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. This is my 15th season with them, listening to the wishes of children for what they hope to find under their Christmas trees.
Each year on the first Saturday in December I work at the Mission Viejo Lake in Mission Viejo, CA. I’m taken to the security dock where I board the security speed boat and head for the beach part of the lake to meet several hundred kids and families. I’m there taking photos with them until the last child has had a turn talking with Santa. I’ve been doing house parties and company parties since 1987.
Now retired, my wife and I are cross-country motorcycle riders. I ride my Harley to the Vietnam Memorial War for the Memorial Day Weekend. Usually there are more than 2500 riders. We begin in Rancho Cucamonga and end in Arlington, VA. We’ve ridden through most of the country spreading holiday cheer.
• 1/3 cup butter
• 3 onions, medium chopped
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• 12 cups bread, cubed
• 2 apples, tart, peeled, cored and chopped
• 1 1/2 cups Adelaida walnut pieces
• 1/2 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
• 1/2 cup sage
• 1/2 cup rosemary
• 1/2 cup thyme
• 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
• salt and pepper, to taste
• In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and celery; cook 5 minutes or until soft.
• In a large bowl, mix bread, onion mixture, apples and walnuts. Add parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Mix in enough chicken stock to moisten bread. Season with salt and pepper.
• Loosely fill turkey cavity and follow cooking instructions for the weight of the bird; or make single servings by baking at 375° in small well buttered oven-proof ramekins for 25 minutes or until heated through and brown on top.
A wine score is the quickest, simplest way for a wine critic to communicate their opinion about the quality of a wine. Here are our latest:
Vinous. Antonio Galloni - September 2015
"Jeremy Weintraub is the newly installed winemaker at Adelaida, a winery that has been a consistent performer over the last decade..." Josh Raynolds.
Wine Advocate. Robert Parker Jr.- August 2015
"Located on the northwestern edge of Paso Robles, not far from Tablas Creek, Adelaida Cellars is a large, family owned estate that covers 168 acres. Made by Jeremy Weintraub, the wines are always classic Paso Robles in style and beautifully made." Jeb Dunnuck.