2017 Portopia Recipes

2016-portopia-3You asked….and here they are!  The recipes from our Portopia event.

New-World Port 2005 – Beet Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

New-World Port 2010 – Serious Mac and Cheese

New-World Port 2016 Futures – Garlic Arugula Spinach Walnut Pesto Pizza

Non-Vintage Port Lot 21 – Garlic Sauteed Mushrooms

Rucksack Cellars 2013 Seco – Chorizo Sausage Skewer

Enjoy!

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The Art of Pruning – Part 2

The art of pruning back a vine or a tree is all about finding the right balance for improving fruit quality and quantity.

The first thing to understand is that only buds from last year will produce fruit this year. So imagine a grapevine that has one cane from last year, and this cane has 12 buds. Each of those buds will produce a new cane this year (with two or three clusters of grapes). But the next year (without pruning) the vine may have 144 buds (12 canes with say 12 buds each) and following year (without pruning) might have 1728 buds (144 canes with 12 buds each).

The image is a vine out of control, trying to sustain all that growth with essentially the same root system. What ends up happening is that the canes get spindly and the grapes clusters (if there at all) are smaller and smaller. Thus the wild grapevine near a creek we’ve all seen.

For many, the beauty of vineyards is how the vines all line up perfectly with such spectacular precision and elegance. Screw those people! All this “perfection” takes time and effort on our part, both in the choice/implementation of the trellising system and the continual training of the vine.

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The Art of Pruning—Part 1

pruning-part-1bIf you think back to the origins of agriculture, no doubt the domestication of animals was one of the most important changes our distant relatives could have made. Equally innovative is the concept of preparing soil and the planting of gathered seeds to produce a needed crop.

But if you think about it, the concept of “pruning” is almost counter-intuitive. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word “prune” as “to cut off or cut back parts of for better shape or more fruitful growth.” That’s all good, but there’s a huge leap in thought that produces the concept of pruning.

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Cellar Experience

 

Are you interested in a more intimate and education wine experience?  Then we invite you to join our cellar staff (Ryan and Tim) for a intimate wine and cheese tasting in our barrel room.  Ryan and Tim will walk you through 6 wines along with 6 cheese pairings, while talking about the art of winemaking, terrior, and food – all favorite topics of theirs!

cellar-wine-experienceFour sessions are available as follows:

Saturday, March 11 @ 2:00
Sunday, March 12 @ 2:00
Saturday, March 25 @ 2:00
Sunday, March 26 @ 2:00

Each session is limited to 8 people, but we also must have a minimum of 4.

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Some thoughts on Port (Part 2)

2016-portopia-3By Tim Wright

As I alluded to in part one of this blog, my philosophy of wine tasting and wine discovery (wine appreciation, to coin a term) was heavily influenced by my being in the right place at the right time (working the crush in 1993), surrounded by the right people to expand my wine horizons (the Madroña family, including the Bushes, winemaker Hugh Chappelle, and my roommate at the time – another Bush by the name of Paul). Continue reading

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New Ideas for a New Year

snow-012317

Today’s weather January 23, 2017

OK, so yes. I know that January 1st is “just another day” in the year, not really any different than March 22nd or October 24th (except maybe the weather). But still, we all tend to take this beginning of the New Year as being a chance to reflect and start something new.

Although the wine industry is steeped in tradition and we essentially make wine the same way as they did hundreds of years ago, there’s always a chance to make a change here and there. Here at Madroña, some New Year aspects are mundane and behind the scenes. Others are coming down the pike with an opportunity to partake with your senses. Regardless, for us, there’s an excitement in the air that can only come from hints of change. Continue reading

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Some Thoughts on Port…Part 1

sierra-5As you may know, every February Madroña celebrates Port. For twenty eight days (29 some years) we open and sample older vintage Ports from the library, pair Ports in the conventional way with chocolate or cheese, and explore unusual pairings of Port with foods of all kinds. This blog was originally intended to inform you about Port Month, and Portopia (which I’ll get to later), but as I was compiling my notes, I realized that some people may have one simple question that I completely take for granted: Why?

Why all the fuss? Why spend an entire month celebrating a dessert wine – a SWEET wine? What is so special about Port? Continue reading

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