Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Molly Cam: Harvest 2012

Woof!  Woof! Woof!  We love harvest!   After a long, sunny, beautiful summer the grapes came into their full sugars a little more than a week ago - then the waiting began.  See, at Styring, we wait.  We wait for flavors.  We wait for rain.  And this year, we got both!

A little rain is a good thing.  It washes away the dust and makes the fruit seem fresher.   A little rain followed by sun would have been perfect and that's what the weather initially predicted.  BUT of course, that's not what happened.  We got a LOT of rain - more than 3 inches!  All of our neighbors brought in their grapes before it started and we chewed our nails for three days as it soaked down to our souls.  Fortunately, our grapes have deep roots because we dry farm and we had three months without rain -- so we didn't take up much water from the downpour.  We had one full day of beautiful sun then pulled in the grapes with spectacular results.  The flavors are robust, the sugars are spot on what we wanted and everything is clean and pretty.  We expect this to be an amazing vintage.   Farming is risky.  Craft winemaking is steeped in tradition and part of that is holding out for more -- most of the time it's worth it.  Looks like 2012 will be a year for the books. 

Right now we're in the throes of fermentation so that relief has been replaced with a lingering exhaustion until everything's in barrel in a couple of weeks.  We hope many of you will visit us during the coming year.  Happy Harvest to all!  Woof!

Molly Cam Pics:

black pearls still hanging

sitting pretty in the shade of the big leaf maple
"sigh" resting before destemming

pretty pretty pinot noir 2012

into the destemmer

falling in love

stems on their way to compost

beautiful color!
the rush of punchdowns, fermentation begins


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tastes like Harvest to Me!

You can taste the sun in this Riesling.
As a wine dog, one of the things I love most is walking the vineyard.   See, I'm an omnivore so the world is my snack cabinet.  This time of year, closing in on harvest, there are so many things to eat it's tough to put my attention to any one thing.   I'll spot a juice plumb on the ground, then succumb to the distraction of a mouse scurrying down the vine row.  No sooner do I snatch him up by the tail and the smell of ripening grapes catches my nose.  Honestly, I'm all over the place.

Today I tasted the Pinot Noir and it is delicious.  Sugars are just about right so I expect the wine man to bring them in any day.  Now, don't get all riled up about me eating grapes.  First, there are plenty of grape seeds in the coyote scat and they seem pretty healthy to me.  Second, I don't eat many - just a nick here and there to make sure they taste good.  And, finally, there are plenty for you this year, so  no worries.  Unlike 2010 where we lost the whole crop and 2011 where is was thin, this year looks like a bumper yield and high quality too.  I've tasted it, so I know for sure.  Now don't you feel better.

walking trail along
the upper vineyard, cloaked
in apple trees.

I've heard that in Italy they call the fall season around harvest "Vendemmia."  I don't speak Italian but I call harvest "yummy time."  Gotta go... I see some rotten apples on the ground and you know what that means... deer run!  Woof!

My world is full of feet... hahaha.
Deer will come by for these apples later.

p.s.  follow @mollythewinedog on twitter and see her in the US Wine Dogs 2013 book, in bookstores now.  AND she's Miss May in the Wine Dogs USA Calendar 2013.  Woof!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Something New in the Air

This time of year I can smell harvest right around the corner. We've been through verasion - where the grapes turn from green to orangy purply colors and finally to the blue black of ripeness. Ahh... you can smell the fading summer captured in every black pearl of pinot noir hanging on our vines. Just lovely.

In Italy they call this Vendemmia. Check out the new Vendemmia inspired boots by Merrell. That's kickin it in the vineyard.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pruning 2010

This is what happens when you prune 10,000 grape vines. The biggest bird nests, ever! woof!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Man Candy

Few things in life cause such instinctive satisfaction as bacon. The aroma alone is enough to cause drooling of epic proportion. And, yet, there is more...

And entire industry is growing around bacon: flavored bacon; gourmet bacon; farm fresh bacon.

There are also bacon novelties like soap; bacon adhesive bandages; even bikinis made of actual bacon, which is treat upon treat if you ask me. Lurking in the shadows, however, is one baconized treat that has eluded me, until now: Bacon Candy.

I have heard legends of such a thing, emanating from the deep, secretive southern United States, like the candy you can make by boiling a can of sweeten condensed milk, which sounds a lot like napalm to me so I don't advise it. Armed with the internet and a few different approaches, we made an attempt at Bacon Candy or what we've decided to call MAN CANDY.

Here's the recipe:
one lb of bacon cut into bite size pieces
two cups of brown sugar in a large ziploc bag
one nonstick cookie sheet on top of which is a nonstick rack
brown paper grocery sacks

place the bacon pieces into the bag of brown sugar 2-3 at a time and shake until coated. place on baking rack which is on the cookie sheet and bake on 400 for 25 minutes until crispy. i cannot emphasize enough how important it is that everything be nonstick. or plan to throw it out. seriously. remove and cool on brown paper grocery sacks - any other paper will stick like a bitch, so don't try it. again, totally serious about this. consume within an hour or two.

We had planned to serve Man Candy for Valentine's Day Open House at Styring. Sadly, we cannot make 500 pieces required for open house and serve within an hour or two. Out test of overnight storage was a fail. The candy gets slimy and does not store well. Theoretically, if you leave it uncovered, it may keep overnight, but in a house with the wine dog and a home kitchen, it's just not realistic. Besides, being a dog strong of nose and greedy of stomach, Molly would not get any sleep with all that bacon resting in the kitchen.

Try this at home and let us know how it works for you. I'm tempted to add some cayenne pepper next time to take it to a whole new level. Woof!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Styring Perfect Pair Celebration Feb 12th, 2011

Please visit Styring Vineyards for the Perfect Pair Celebration Feb 12th from 11 - 5, the Saturday before Valentine's Day. Enjoy 5 wines, each paired with a special food selection AND preview our Syrah Port. Help us decide when to bottle and release it!

Singer, songwriter Jessica Parsons Taylor will perform 1 - 4. Bring friends. You and anyone you bring is complimentary if you mention this blog.

Cheers! The Styring Family (and Molly the Wine Dog, WOOF!)



While patrolling this evening, nose high, itching for a fight, I heard a rustling from the thicket and turned my attention there. Padding over, ears keen, certainly something was coming. Cat. Black shiney nose, golden eyes, oblivious to my presence and soon to learn of my superiority.

Edging from the bramble, the cat comes to full view and I charge, coming up fast upon the interloper, making my fierceness known.

Turning its back and I could not put on the brakes fast enough. Scrambing hard against my own momentum and reeling from the shock of the double white lines down its back.

"Skunk! Woof! ah, CRAPBAG!" tumbles from my mouth as I dig into the soggy winter soil, but it's too late.

"PpppFFFffffTtttt! Pft!" it shoots its rank, dreaded skunk spunk all over my face and into my open mouth.

Elvis Costello once said that writing about music is like dancing about architecture. To describe for you the full intensity of skunk vile is a feat beyond my mere dog words, but I can tell you that I lost full control of my dinner; sneezed and snotted beyond any dignity and rolled in the mud for hours to soothe my eyes. Then came the bad part.

The wine man tried everything: tomato juice, soap, vinegar... all manner of unspeakable cures and finally resulted to leaving me outside to nature. After a week in the barn, shivering myself to sleep on old newspapers and averting my eyes from all inquiries as to the cause of the dire vexation, my odor was calmed enough to return to duties as a wine dog.

The next time a skunk was spotted, it was menacing the cat food and while the wine man called and called me, I did not respond. In fact, I hid in the shadows and watched the drama unfold. It was an academy worthy performance repleat with expletives and interpretive dance. He may be the alpha dog of this pack, but I am the wine dog and thus not attuned to tomato juiced baths.

skunk illustration from http://mbartonblog.blogspot.com/2007/12/skunk.html . used without permission we hope she likes this plug.