Saturday, October 23, 2010

Topper pulls it off and everyone is a winner!


Christopher, Jim, Peter, Corey & Bill fanning their hundreds, yes, hundreds. Topper's odds were 27 to 1! They also won the daily double.
Topper leading the pack on Golden Gate Fields. The finish line is next to the red & white pole.

Topper's  endurance training on the ranch hills paid off.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Last of the Zinfandel

Miguel supervises the harvest of the Zinfandel.
Oscar helps bring in the grapes.
The colors of the season are most pronounced on the Zinfandel vines.

Holly enjoys a foggy fall morning before heading out to the vineyard.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Zinfandel Harvest

Tomorrow we will harvest the last of the Zinfandel grapes. They are my favorite because they are soooo sweet. After that we will pick the Cabernet Sauvignon and hopefully we will be done by the end of the week!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Eye on the Bay: Oct 12 & 13 Napa Valley Backroads

Hello, just wanted to let you know the “Eye on the Bay” episode featuring our road trip from St. Helena to Lake Berryessa will be airing on Tuesday 10/12 and Wed 10/13 at 7pm on Channel 5 (CBS) San Francisco.

Here’s a list of the places featured each night:

Part 1 (airs Tue 10/12)
Napa Valley Olive Oil Mfg
Pope Valley Garage
Aetna Springs
Hubcap Ranch
RustRidge

Part 2 (airs Wed 10/13)
Rustridge cont’d
Turtle rock
Peter Kilkus & Lake Berryessa
Monticello museum
Cucina Italiana
Zodiac history
Lake Berryessa Boat & Jetski

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Winemaking: From Bottling to Harvest

Wow! It sure is hot, how can they stand it?
It sure has been busy around here. It started with Jim and Susan's 20th anniversary party on September 18. Then we got ready for bottling.  On Saturday September 25th we got the wine filtered. Then we bottled it on September 27, which felt  like the hottest day of the year. Great people came to help: Scott, our neighbor brought his friend Eric, who is just back from a tour in Iraq; Mona, Yoga instructor and massage therapist extraordinaire; Tim our good friend, Fritz, our new friend, Isabelle, Chris and Claudia, Oscar, Julio, Jim and Susan were all there. After all of that, you would think we'd have a chance to rest, but no, Jim decided that we needed to start the harvest the following day. So we picked our Sauvignon Blanc before we had even cleaned up our crush equipment and checked it out. Well there is nothing like trial by fire, we got the crusher destemmer and must pump going just fine. It was the press that wouldn't work because the bladder was stuck in full press mode. After trying every button numeous times, Jim finally called the technician, who helped him discover that the evacuation pump was seized. Once Jim was able to free up the motor, we were able to start pressing the juice and get it into the tank.


I thought Jim needed a bit of encouragement.
It seemed like endless cases of wine kept going into the bottling truck...1709 to be exact.
The next day we set up the crush equipment and started harvest.


Miguel with the Sauvignon Blanc grapes

After two long days we had our classic  "RustRidge Evening" with the hills aglow in the reflection of the sun.