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.
Pair with Adelaida Pinot Noir 2013
• 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.
Once a year we pick grapes. We call it the harvest. In France it’s the “vendange”, in Italy it’s the “vendemmia”. Every year it’s different, every year it’s the same. The vagaries of weather, rain, drought, hot , cold, wind, hours of sunlight, all change every year. Yet, there’s a sense of repetition, going through the motions. It’s Fall and we’re picking grapes again. Our intrepid crew, armed with pruning shears trudges through the vineyard rows in the darkened early morning hours, lights ablaze and snip, snip, snip, pick off the small compact clusters from our chalk-rock challenged vines. By daybreak yellow picking bins brimming with ripe grapes arrive at the winery and the process continues: hand sorting, destemming, optical sorting of individual berries (1st time this year), and onto tank, yeast innoculation and ultimately finished wines to barrel.
2015 was different in many ways. 4th year of drought, early bud break (vines awaken from dormancy, the beginning of growth), cold snap in May during bloom (which interrupted the delicate flowering phase, greatly reducing yields), earliest harvest on record, small berries (more solids than juice, a great omen for wines of density and full flavor), a 1st time purchase of Napa Cabernet Sauvignon from a famous vineyard (to make up for the shortfall of our own reduced crop). This year’s experience reflects the unique micro-climates of our estate mountain vineyards. Bottom line, to be a winemaker you’ve got to love 2 months of sleep deprived babysitting fermenting grapes, stained hands, washing 1000 chemistry beakers, and in general getting down and dirty. Most of us are better off pulling corks and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
Although Adelaida’s vineyards were certified as sustainable in the past, now both the vineyards and winery have been certified. In order to achieve certification, Adelaida has met all of the program’s 82 prerequisites (50 Vineyard Best Practice criteria and 32 Winery Best Practice criteria). These prerequisites include various factors from crush operations at the winery to soil nutrient monitoring in the vineyard. In addition, Adelaida has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability when it comes to both winegrowing and winemaking. This is evident in our approach to water conservation, clean energy, habitat preservation, and sustainable farming. By accomplishing these goals and creating a plan of action to continue improving, Adelaida Cellars has earned the distinction of being a Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing Winery & Vineyard.
Full Press: Harvest 2015
August 14th marked the first official day of harvest, and as is tradition here at Adelaida Cellars, we toasted to the season with 1984 Adelaida bubbly! An early budbreak coupled with a light cropload spurred an early start and an early end to the 2015 harvest. Our first pick was HMR Chardonnay in mid-August and our final pick was Viking Cabernet Sauvignon on the last day of September. With our commitment to dry-farming, we asked the vines to scavenge for water that had become increasingly scarce during the persistent drought. In July we had a highly unusual deluge that brought a second-wind to the vineyards just as they were entering the critical growth period where color, sugar and phenolics all assemble inside the berries. This hydration event sustained the optimal development of our clusters and led to a classic season. There were a few typical heat waves in September and the vines responded well, likely because they've become used to such conditions.
Annette Dennigmann & Morgan Kavanaugh
Wine Club Manager, Annette Dennigmann, has been with Adelaida since November of 2008. From then on, working at Adelaida has become more than just a job. It was through her time at Adelaida that she met her husband and eventually they were even wed by a coworker! Annette has watched Adelaida's growth over the last seven years and is extremely grateful to have been a part of it. When asked what she loves most about her job she will always say, "The Club Members!”, reflecting on the great people she has met here at Adelaida and looking forward to meeting many more. When she is not busy shipping Adelaida wine all across the country, she enjoys time with her friends, family, and most of all, getting love from her grand babies.
Annette always strives to do her best when accommodating our Club Members and she has an amazing assistant who shares the same passion for customer service. Morgan Kavanaugh joined the Adelaida team in the Fall of 2013. As our Sales Coordinator she works closely with Annette and all things wine club. Whether managing orders or chatting with Club Members, Morgan is always ready with a smile. Having received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara, Morgan has also taken an interest in our sustainability program and played an important roll in filing for our recent certification through the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. When not at work, Morgan loves exploring the outdoors and enjoying the wonderful wines of the Central Coast.
We have strengthened our team of experts with the addition of Brianne Engles, our new Assistant Winemaker, and Glenn Mitton, Winery and Vineyard Ambassador who became a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Engles brings local and global winemaking experience, from the Napa Valley to the Barossa Valleynow to the Paso Robles winery,and works alongside winemaker Jeremy Weintraub. Her skills in the cellar and work in the laboratory add to the sophistication and commitment to wine quality exemplified by the estate vineyard winemaking team. Her past experience in serving as an assistant winemaker and practice with blending is a strong addition for Adelaida.
“Engles will work with me in all aspects of production from the vineyard to the bottle,” said Weintraub. “We will work closely together to ensure we grow the best wines from the estate. I am excited to have her as an integral part of the winemaking team.”
A California Polytechnic State University graduate, Engles brings more than 10 years of hands-on experience to and most recently served as the enologist at Quintessa Winery in the Napa Valley.
Adding to the list of winery announcements is Mitton’s certification. With more than 20 years experience in the wine industry, Mittonrecently earnedhis credentials to become a certified sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. Mitton, who hails from the United Kingdom, worked in wholesale wine sales and owned a fine wine shop before he moved to Paso Robles in 2008 to experience the production aspect of the wine business. Mitton worked two harvests but found his passion in working directly with customers. He worked at JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery before joining Adelaida in 2014, where he leads private wine tastings and the winery’s Tour, Taste and Tailgate (TT&T) Tours.
Mittons quest for a challenge began by earning his credentials through the Wine &Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and in 1999 he acquired level 3. Mitton believes that reading, tasting and enjoying wine is what it’s all about, but he also believes in challenginghimself to test his memory when the moment matters.
“I am very proud of the team at Adelaida Cellars,” said general manager Jessica Kollhoff. “Engles’ experience and enthusiasm strengthens our winemaking team and Mitton’s credentials in wine education allow us to connect with our customers on a deeper level.”
For those of you who have visited us in the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed the necessity for a larger tasting room! We have officially grown out of our current space and we’re getting closer to moving into our new facility sometime in early 2016.
The new “digs”, just a stone’s throw away from the old, will feature a larger tasting room with a beautiful Adelaida stone fireplace, and a deck overlooking our 80-year-old walnut orchard. There will be a sensory room where you will be invited to attend private seated reserve and library tastings with an Adelaida wine educator, including food components and proper stemware. On the other side of the tasting room we will have a club lounge; a private area for club members to comfortably enjoy a casual tasting away from the busy bar. Beneath the tasting room we have built a large barrel room that can be utilized for winemaker’s dinners and private events. This room is complete with a commercial kitchen perfect for magical meals and interesting food pairings.
Witnessing this transformation continues to be both exciting and challenging. Our parking lot location has become a heavy equipment turnabout. Water and power have come and gone a few times during the process, leaving us without internet access. Friendly construction workers greet us each morning, and the job superintendent has become a wine club member. Hardhats are all the rage out here – even owner Elizabeth Van Steenwyk wears one whenever she walks through to check on momentum!
Every day we see new changes. Currently the wood siding is being applied to a new office building and an Adelaida stone wall is being installed around the new parking lot. It’s thrilling to see these improvements moving right along and knowing that by this time next year we will be well settled into our new home.
We will continue to keep you informed of our progress as time goes by and hope that each and every one of you will be able to join us for our Grand Opening festivities early next year. Stay tuned!
Just like our 50-year-old HMR Vineyard, Adelaida’s roots run deep. As one of the pioneers of the Paso Robles AVA and the Adelaida District, many have witnessed our evolution over the last 34 years. In the 1970s, the Van Steenwyk family purchased the ranch where Adelaida Cellars is now located. Shortly thereafter, they began spending weekends at the old farmhouse on the property. It wasn’t until 1991 that Adelaida’s first tasting room opened in our current location with a remodel to follow in 2004. With time and hard work Adelaida Cellars has grown. Our seventh Estate Vineyard was planted in 2013 and our production facility was renovated last winter. This January we broke ground on our new Hospitality Center. The tasting room will sit where the oldfarmhouse was once located. Now, Adelaida guests will be able to enjoy the same views that the Van Steenwyk family fell in love with over 30 years ago. We look forward to sharing many memorable visits with you in the future.
In a rare, quiet moment during the 2014 harvest season, Annette Dennigmann, our Wine Club Manager, sat down with Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub. Jeremy holds a Master of Viticulture and Enology from UC Davis and has worked on the North and South Islands of New Zealand, in Italy, and in St. Helena California. Now settled on the Central Coast, he has been with Adelaida Cellars since 2012.
Q: What was the first fruit that arrived for the 2014 vintage?
A: We picked a small portion of chardonnay for its bright and energetic potential. Last year we split our 3.8 acre chardonnay block into three separate parcels that differ in slope, aspect, and elevation, enabling us to pick across a range of flavors.
Q: 2014 marks the 50th anniversary for the HMR Pinot Noir vines. How does the age of the vines contribute to the wine?
A: The fruit from older vines produce wines of greater depth and complexity than do their more youthful counterparts. The differences are not quantifiable. You simple know it when you taste it.
Q: We have a new baby on board, the concrete tank. How does this differ from stainless or barrel? What will this bring to the wine?
A: We're planning to use this tank for fermenting and aging grenache noir. Concrete tanks highlight the purity of the fruit inside and also, compared with, say stainless steel, allow for rich flavor development. Unlike oak, concrete imparts no toast character or tannin.
Q: What impact of challenges has the California drought had on this harvest?
A: Incredibly, we haven't seen any negative effects of the drought. Our farming plan now and into the future is to severely ration the amount of water we deliver to our vines, with the dual goal of making more interesting wine and conserving this precious resource. While drought is a major concern for us, our vines so far have weathered it well.
Q: When did you begin your career as a winemaker? What do you like best about your job?
A: I started on Long Island, driving a tractor for a family owned vineyard and then working harvest in the winery. What I loved then is what I love now: tasting fruit in the vineyard, smelling fermenting tanks, getting incredibly sticky, and sharing those long days with like-minded people.
Q: What changes have you made in the vineyards since you started?
A: Beginning 2013 we stopped spraying herbicides and we moved to organic fungicides, such as mineral oil, from synthetic sprays. Being good stewards of the land has always been a priority for Adelaida Cellars. It's essential for the long term success and health of your farming operations.
Q: We have three interns that we added to our already amazing production team for this year's harvest. Could you tell us a little something about them?
A: We have an intern from the University of Bordeaux, France, an intern from the University of Udine, Italy and a recent graduate from the University of California, Davis. The interns are hardworking and serious. Plus they are making us some delicious meals!
The 2013 harvest was the earliest on record for Adelaida due to low winter rainfall and steady warmth throughout the growing season. Total yields were about average and quality was excellent. At this early stage, with most of the wines still completing their secondary fermentation in barrel, the reds are deeply colored and the whites are showing great richness and vibrancy.
This year was our first farming organically. The dry conditions allowed us to limit the number of passes we made in the vineyard to control fungi, and, even with those drought conditions, we severely limited irrigation to occasions where the plants would have suffered without it.
On August 19 we picked the first fruit of 2013: A small amount of Chardonnay, Pinot noir from 6 rows in the northeastern part of our HMR vineyard, and syrah from our Viking vineyard. Simply put, the fruit was ready to come off the vine. By way of contrast, and as a demonstration of the effect of temperature on harvest date, in the cool 2011 vintage, we picked the first Chardonnay on September 19, the first HMR Pinot noir on September 23, and the Viking syrah on September 21.
Our final pick of 2013 was muscat for our dessert program from Bobcat vineyard on November 11. We made two passes in the muscat, the first being clean fruit with high sugar and relatively more acid (31 brix) and the second with a little botrytis (at 33 brix). The botrytis infection was limited because of dry growing conditions, and we hope to see more in 2014.
We brought in significantly less zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon in 2013, much to our disappointment. The cabernet berries, in particular, were very tiny, and the Viking vineyard, which was planted in 1991, showed its age by not producing as much fruit. But what that vineyard lacked in fruit quantity it made up for in quality.
The zinfandel vines from Michael’s block, named after our stellar ranch manager Michael Whitener, bore the combined effects of drought conditions and dry farming. The fruit struggled to reach its typical sugar levels, and we made several surgical passes throughout the growing season to balance the amount of fruit with the vine’s ability to ripen it. We’re happy that we did, as the wines so far show great finesse and spice.
In between the first and final picks, we saw much to admire in 2013. The red berries had thick skins, which they synthesized as a result of several environmental and cultural factors, including sunlight, temperature, shoot positioning and low rainfall. The resulting wines have great color and extraordinary tannin. The whites grapes benefited from cool nights, which helped retain their acidity, and careful farming, which kept leaf cover over the fruit to minimize sun damage. Our switch to night harvesting in 2013 kept the fruit nice and cool when it arrived at the winery.
Le Beaujolais Nouveau 2013 est arrivé at Adelaida Cellars!
Adelaida Cellars, maker to the only Gamay Beaujolais Nouveau in Paso Robles, is keeping with the French tradition to release the first wine of the 2013 vintage on the 21st, the third Thursday of November. Beaujolais Nouveau is the first wine of harvest, drinkable a mere 7-8 weeks after grapes are picked and is a harbinger of the vintage quality. Each year, Adelaida releases the Beaujolais on the third Thursday with a celebratory dinner to follow on Saturday evening.
Nestled in the original HMR Vineyard, Adelaida’s Gamay, is now in its 49th year. True to the nouveau style, this Beaujolais uses a method called carbonic maceration, where grapes are fermented as whole intact berries in a sealed environment and without oxygen. The yeast penetrates the grape skin and acts on the natural sugars in the interior of each grape, producing particularly juicy, exuberant fruity flavors. This year’s vintage exceeds expectations with its focused, crisp-edged strawberry-blueberry notes. Serve slightly chilled and pairs beautifully with Thanksgiving classics of roast turkey and cranberry.
With the Beaujolais release comes the vintage celebration on Saturday, November 23rd at Adelaida Cellars. This year, Guest Chef Donald Wressell will be at the helm. Chef Wressell is the Executive Chef for E. Guittard Chocolates and former Executive Pastry Chef for the Four Seasons, Beverly Hills. He has invited Chef Sherry Yard of Spago fame. He will be presenting his multi-course menu paired with the best of Adelaida wines along with the Beaujolais release. Tickets are $100/ $80 for wine club. 6:00 PM -10:00 PM and available at 805.239.8980. For the menu visit www.adelaida.com/events.
The Summer Newsletter was created throughout the late spring and early summer months of 2013. With notes from the Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub, insights from Resident Wine Educator Tony Hermann, and from National Sales Manager, Paul Sowerby, a lively review of our cellar wines, it is a work that incorporates the many voices of Adelaida. Also included is a recipe pairing for Grilled Swordfish, a list of our most recent wines, notes on our new 2011 Pinot Vineyard Series, and a list of upcoming events.
The cover photo is of one of our newest additions, Liam the llama. He came to Adelaida in March with his big black coat, thick and matted, from the cold winter months. His face, warm and friendly, boasts dark eyes and lengthy lashes, giving him the appearance of a big flirt as he greets our guests. At the winery, Liam's job is to protect the sheep and he acts the part by being on constant watch. In times of trouble or simply to play, he is always quite the show with his long loose strides and lengthy neck gaining momentum as he removes the sheep from danger.
Click below to see our 2013 Summer Newsletter. Cheers, Sunni
At 2:00am on August 19th our vineyard team started harvesting Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from our HMR vineyard as well as a small block of Syrah from our Viking vineyard. With Winemaker Jeremy Weintraub at the helm, he has been working diligently all year with our Vineyard Consultant, Daniel Fischl and Ranch Managers, Mike Whitener and Ota Espinoza just for this moment. The grapes are now ready and we look forward to the results of all of their hard work. Following is a brief look at some of our new practices, new equipment, and new barrels for the 2013 vintage.
To date we have brought in Chardonnay (HMR Vineyard), Viognier (Anna’s Vineyard), Pinot Noir (HMR Vineyard), Syrah from both Viking and Anna’s Vineyards, Gamay (HMR Vineyard) and Malbec from Viking Vineyard.
New this year, we are harvesting in the middle of the night for several reasons that pertain to our sustainability and quality! Cool and happy ranch employees. Second, cooler grapes stay in tact and ensure quality. Cooler grapes won’t start premature fermentation and last, cooler grapes take less energy to cool down for cold soak prior to fermentation.
New winemaking practice this year- Our Winemaker, Jeremy Weintraub, is executing “pigeage” pronounced peej/AHGE on our Syrah/Viognier blend in order to delicately introduce Viognier into the Syrah. Most grapes stay in tact during the whole berry fermentation, while some juice from both of the varietals are introduced. This is a tradition borrowed from the Northern Rhône area of France like Cote-Rotie.
This harvest, we are introducing new Italian winemaking equipment,including the Pellanc de-stemmer and sorting table!
Brand new oak barrels!
You have heard the saying, "Every day is a new day", well, during harvest, every minute is a new day! Stay tuned and we will keep you updated!