Barreled - A Winery Blog

As a teenager, I was drawn to science fiction books. As soon as Asimov, Herbert or C. Clarke published a new one, I was on it like a Hobo on a Ham sandwich. It was science fiction that introduced me to the concept of Entropy (a thermodynamic property of systems, basically the observation that isolated systems tend to lose energy and eventually collapse). You may ask what does ...

In the beginning there was wine that came forth from the fruit of a vine.  And the people of the Farmers tribe tended to the vines and nourished the fruit till it burst with flavor and sugars and proceeded to deliver it to the folk at the winery. And the winery tribe folk said: “Thanks” and wished the Farmers tribe a joyful vacation while they toiled in the caves and the tanks ...

Anyone who’s worked at a winery for any length of time knows that we get about two or three weekly requests for donations.  I am sure all businesses get them but it sure is more fun to auction a bottle of wine in a fundraiser than let’s say… a carton of free range eggs.  Since I do need to make at least a tiny bit of profit while I keep this expensive hobby afloat, I find mysel ...

Just got back from a ten day sales trip on the road.  I look at the piles of paperwork on my kitchen table: cash receipts waiting to be totalled and categorized in one pile; credit card receipts on the other and miscellaneous stuff in the third pile.  On the floor there’s a pile of shirts that need to go to the cleaners, a carry on with a torn name tag that needs repair (I alwa ...

Those who are familiar with our wines know that we like to have fun with words on our back labels.  Over the years, as the brand grew from a true “garagiste” hobby brand to a nationally distributed regional brand (we only make wines from grapes we grow or source locally) – the lingo on our back label has toned down from being very edgy to just mildly self-deprecating.  However ...

Just a quick note as I’m taking a deep breath in between vineyard and winery hops…  I’ve heard today that some say there’s a sense of panic in wine country because of the rains that are predicted for next week.  For those of us who are long in the tooth: Panic is useless, it’s like a Rocking Horse; it keeps you busy but it get’s you nowhere.We harvested the Carignane from Sadie ...

Imagine for a minute a crazy world.  Imagine you live  just outside Atlanta, Georgia.  You own a Peach farm and produce preserved peaches.  You work hard to improve the quality of your product and your efforts pay off, you start to get inquireries from folk in Delaware about purchasing some of your Peach preserves.  Now imagine this: you can’t simply ship your product to Delawa ...

When asked why I decided to become a winemaker, I answer that to me winemaking is the most perfect union of art, science and agriculture — three things that separate us from the platypus and politicians.  As a winemaker who has lived and worked in California during a time that can only be described as the “Big Bang” of modern winemaking, I find myself emotionally charged and c ...

Last month I had fun talking on KSRO 1350 on “The Drive” with Steven Jaxon and Larry Levine.  I can always count on some “Woodie” jokes to loosen the participants and get to a comfortable place for chatting.  At some point the question about the connection between surfing and winemaking always comes up and since time is often limited, I keep it short and sweet (and true) and ta ...

In case you did not know, Syrah-based wines from the Rhone region were sought after before the Bordeaux region came to fame. It is believed that the Romans brought the first vines to the area in the year 125 BC. Wines from the region supplied many Popes’ cellars for centuries, and no doubt have inspired an inquisition or two, but I digress...   As a winemaking student, I learne ...