Crush 2012 Begins – Harvesting Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc with morning light


Sugars on our 2012 Sauvignon Blanc came in at 22.6 brix as of yesterday morning and the declaration of harvest’s opening swiftly followed from Kevin and Lucas.  We began picking fruit from the northeast corner of Block 26 Sauvignon Blanc at 6 this morning.  A crew of 15 people and 2 tractors holding 3 half-ton bins apiece worked their way between the rows, gently harvesting ripened clusters of fruit to open harvest 2012 at Halter Ranch.



Sunset Inspired Rosé Soirée at Halter Ranch

The Components


Inspired by the recent Sunset magazine “Vacation in a Glass” article by wine editor Sara Schneider, we took it upon ourselves last Wednesday to present 8 Rosés from the article paired with the suggested recipe for Provençal pissaladiére, cheese, fresh fruit, and delicate meat. The event was affectionately, and appropriately, dubbed the Rosé Soirée.  What began as an educational exercise in the spirit of enlightening our palates and gaining perspective on the diversity of Rosé from California, became a model experience for casual evening events to come.

We decided to cook the Onion Tart in the two styles Sunset suggests (Tuna and Anchovie) along with a de-Tunaed vegetarian version.  The key in getting the tarts correct is cooking the onions until they are deep brown and limp without burning them to a crisp.  This task was undertaken by Lindsey B. (who undercooks onions out of burning paranoia) and Sarah Forstner (who kept Lindsey’s paranoia in check long enough to get the onions cooked).  (more…)

Halter Ranch Rocks the 2012 Winemaker’s Cookoff

The Sassage


Kevin and Tony’s delectable creation wowed the crowd Saturday at the 2012 Winemaker’s Cookoff.  The Halter Ranch staff has pooled smartphone resources to provide the following photo journal. Thank you to all who took (and were willing to contribute) photos!   (more…)

I of the Storm – An Argument for Interest in Wine

At a pouring for special guests in our new Winery


Up to this point I have presented all Halter Ranch blog posts from a pleasant distance as the universal ‘we’.  Today rampant opinion has led this particular blogger to forge ahead into unknown territory, presenting his own thoughts on a particular aspect of the wine industry from the excitingly dangerous perspective of ‘I’.

So, I, Lindsey Burrell, today’s composer of the Halter Ranch blog,  have conflict with a certain observed pattern in the presentation, tasting, and understanding of wine.  I will refer to this pattern under the general heading of ‘rampant opinion’ and more particularly as an attitude of yes or no, white or black, up or down, extreme or extreme, in the context of drinking, enjoying, and analyzing wine.   (more…)

A few sips of Rosé with HJW and EJ

Five Rosés for comparison


This past week we were given the opportunity to taste through a flight of Rosé alongside our Winemaker Kevin Sass, Hansjörg Wyss, and Ed Jaramillo.  It was a great experience both to taste the wines, and to discuss our reactions to them.

The flight was selected based upon price point (over $15 and under $30) and rating (every wine in the tasting–other than ours which has only recently been submitted–received at least a 90 point rating from a well known wine periodical). (more…)

Delving into the Halter Ranch Wine Cellar

In the Cellar



A French axiom comes to mind when speaking of wine cellars, lifted from somewhere in the (incredible!) depths of Kermit Lynch’s Adventures on the Wine Route.  It goes something like:

“The cellar is moist enough when the labels begin to rot off of the wine bottles.”

Moisture is desirable in a cellar because it helps keep the cork from drying out and crumbling.  For the same reason it is generally recommended that wines under cork be stored on their sides or upside down.  A cellar as moist as the quote suggests necessitates further an intimate knowledge of the storage space and wines in question given that it is particularly difficult to determine vintage and producer on a label-less bottle.  Complications in precise cellaring techniques aside, questions about aging wine are commonplace in the Halter Ranch Tasting Room.


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