Back to our Rootstock: March

Our grape vines have settled in, confident tEstate Chardonnay Vineshat Spring is fully upon us, as they began the process of flowering.  I am sure their roots are thankful for any errant rain storms blowing through the mountains, as their leaves have truly fleshed out, soaking up the sunny days that have been far too ever-present in this multiple year drought.

After budbreak (which was quite early this year itself), the second main stage in a grape vine’s life cycle is flowering, which typically occurs after about a month of vegetative growth.  In this oddly early year, flowering began in our Estate Pinot Noir & Chardonnay vineyards in March.

Flowering VinesDuring flowering, vines develop tight bunches of tiny flowers, with each flower having the potential to form a single grape, together making up a cluster. During the flowering stage, there are a number of things that can damage the tender young shoots of our grape vines, from parasites to weather concerns of frost, wind, or excessive rain.

As the season progresses, the grape flowers will grow, and open allowing for pollination and fertilization to follow, after which the flower transforms into a grape.  Despite the early budbreak and all the concerns that come along with it, this year is still shaping up beautifully!

March News From Regale Winery

 

spring_regale

APRIL EVENTS AT REGALE:

Spring Open House 

Saturday, April 04, 2015 – Open to the Public, Tastings are $10 for non-Club Members

• Do you have some friends who wish they could visit Regale as our members do? Our Open House day is the perfect event for them. No appointment necessary, open to non-members, and to top it off The Pizza Gypsy will be serving their amazing pizzas. Tell your friends, bring your family; it’s a perfect way to start the spring season.

(Above Photo Courtesy JJ Chen Photography)

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regale_pourTax Relief Weekend

April 18 & 19, 2015

Complimentary for Club Members

• We offer a relief from the pain of handing your hard-earned money over to the IRS, or an excuse to spend a hearty refund!  We pay the tax on any wine purchases, with additional wine specials and treats.

(Photo at Left Courtesy Dave Lepori)

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Hood ChathamMusic by the Glass Sundays

As the warm weather has arrived, we have begun hosting some talented musicians on most Sundays and will continue for the spring/summer season.

To be notified as to who is entertaining for a specific weekend, please follow us on Facebook.

 (Photo at Right: Hood Chatham and his Jazz Guitar)

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PRIVATE EVENTS: 

Fountain Saber 2Corporate Event Debut

Along with our other varied and unique corporate event add-ons, we will now be offering Champagne Sabering!  Learn a new party trick from Regale’s seasoned wine professionals – how to extravagantly open a bottle of sparkling wine using a Champagne Saber.

Sabrage is a technique for opening a Champagne bottle with a saber, in our case a blunt designer version specially crafted for popping corks in style. The saber is slid along the body of the bottle to break the entire neck away from the bottle, leaving only the base of the bottle open and ready to enjoy.  Your guests can watch and learn, or join in on the fun as they don safety goggles, gloves, and a brave face!

Learn more about the imaginative Private Event options we offer on our website at www.regalewine.com  

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IMPORTANT REMINDERS:lone_glass

• Updated Hours and Non-Member Tasting 

Our hours have changed! We are now open to members Saturdays 11-4 and Sundays 11-5. Non-members can enjoy tastings by appointment only, make appointments online at vinovisit.com or by calling us at (408) 353-2500.

• Picking Up Wine for Others

If you are a club member and would like someone else to pick up your wine shipment, we need advance notice (by 3pm Friday) through the office. To notify us, you can call (408) 353-2500 or email wineclub@regalewine.com.

• Children and Pets at Regale

Regale is an adult-only property and no children are allowed during tasting room hours. Dogs are allowed at Regale, but please be courteous to others and keep your dog leashed.

(Photo at Right: Image Courtesy of Kelsea Holder Photography )

A Feast Fit for a Wedding

During private events at the winery, we often get questions from our clients about the gorgeous Italian inspired mural in the upstairs executive dining room. The painting clearly depicts a feast, appropriately in line with the Regale definition ‘to entertain lavishly with food and wine’ and, of course, featured front and center is a distinguished gentlemen tasting wine. While it definitely sets the mood of the space, many people are not aware of the full story- that this painting is actually a truncated version of the famed Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese.

The original painting which inspired our fresco is nearly 500 years old, and the original feast that was depicted, as well as the painting itself, are of note. The Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese is a depiction of the dinner in Cana, Galilee in which Christ preforms his first (and our favorite) of seven miracles, turning water into wine.  As the story goes, towards the end of the banquet the wine was running low so Christ asked the servants to fill the stone jars with water and offer them to the master of the house, who found that the water had been turned to wine.  Veronese depicts over 130 attendees in his painting of the feast including Jesus and his disciples, not to mention a number of musicians and animals that round out the lively nature of the painting.

The Benedictine monks of the San Giorgio Maggiore monastery in Venice commissioned the Wedding Feast at Cana from Paolo Veronese in 1562 to decorate their new refectory, with the requirement that Veronese work with the most precious (and costly) pigments and that the work of art be immense (to the tune of 750 sq ft) in order to fill the end wall of the refectory.  The painting hung in the refectory for over two centuries, until 1797 when Napoleon plundered the painting and shipped it back to Paris, not letting the massive size stop him- true to his reputation.  Veronese’s painting currently hangs in the Louvre where its massive size is dwarfed by a lovely lady named Lisa who hangs directly across the room.  While all eyes are on her, she is taking in the beauty of Veronese’s masterpiece.

While our version isn’t a 16th century masterpiece, it is impressive in its depth and brings an appropriate air of historical ambiance to the room.  A gentleman by the name of Willy Baet painted this beauty freehand over the span of more than 20 months, while only referencing an 8 ½ x 11” image he had created.  This truncated version brings together either end of Veronese’s painting, becoming a beautifully lively representation of 16th century regaling. It also seems rather apropos that the painting depicts a lavish wedding as, in addition to using the upstairs of the villa as our executive dining room for holiday parties, corporate functions and social events, it is also our bride’s room for weddings hosted at the winery.  If you are looking for a little art with your wine, a unique meeting space with friends or colleagues or a great private event space for your next social event come take a peek at Regale’s nod to Veronese.

Mural in Executive Dining Room at Regale Winery and Vineyards

Mural in Executive Dining Room at Regale Winery and Vineyards


Veronese

Wedding Feast at Cana by Paolo Veronese

 

 

Back to our Rootstock: February

Pruning for our Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines began in late January, and finished by mid-February. While late pruning is better for disease resistance and can delay bud break, with the warm weather we have had thus far, vines are coming out of dormancy early so it was important to finish pruning expediently. This year properly timed pruning ended up being especially important as vineyards across California are experiencing very early bud break.

As many of you may know from your own backyard fruit trees, pruning is necessary to ensure the best quality of the fruit for the coming harvest. Each year grapevines produce new “canes” which will develop shoots to bear the fruit.  Pruning CloseupAs only one-year-old canes can bear fruit, each year we must remove older canes which no longer serve a purpose to the vine.  By making the selections about where and how we prune the vine, we will be affecting everything about how the year’s crop will develop- no pressure there! Pruning is one of the great arts of grape growing that can never be mechanized due to the precision and careful selection of each cut.

Luckily at Regale, we were fully pruned in both of our Estate vineyards before bud break! First signs of bud break come when the tiny buds on the vine start to swell, then begin to sprout shoots and eventually develop grape leaves. We always love to see some green in the vineyard, although this early in the year can be a bit nerve-wracking!  Some of our Estate Chardonnay vines in warmer spots have indeed begun to send out their leaves, as Spring is clearly upon us given the unseasonably warm and dry February we have been experiencing. If you haven’t been up to the winery lately, now is a great time to come check out the Estate Chardonnay vineyard, as vines are visible at each stage, from swollen buds all the way to actual foliage.

Budding Vine Leaf Unfurling Leafy Vine

Regale’s Transition to By Appointment Only Winery

As of March 1st, Regale Winery will be transitioning to By Appointment instead of holding regular hours on the weekends where we are open to the public. (Members will NOT need to make advanced reservations.) Our goal is to provide the best experience for all visitors to the winery and we believe this will allow us to have a more serene private winery experience for our club members, while also being able to fully focus on our public visitors as they learn the Regale story and experience our property and wines.

Also beginning March 1st, we will begin opening earlier for our members, with updated hours from 11-4pm on Saturdays and 11-5pm Sundays. Appointments will be available on the hour for our public visitors.

What this means for Club Members: Your experience at the winery should change very little as you will not need to make an appointment for yourself or to bring guests up to the winery on the weekends. You will have the benefit of additional attention from the staff, and a quieter experience throughout the winery. We still encourage table reservations for busy weekends or parties larger than 4-6 so we can plan for your arrival.

What this means for Public Visitors: We still would love to have you visit Regale and discover what makes our wines and winery truly unique.  In order to provide a more structured experience to include a tour, tasting, and personalized guide we simply ask that you make an appointment before heading up to the winery.  This can be done by calling our office, or on our website at RegaleWine.com through the reservation link.  There is no advance payment required, and reservations can even be made day-of if there is still availability.

We look forward to seeing you at the winery soon!

Sky Blue

Clones, Clones, Everywhere

This past weekend we released a number of new wines, including a Pinot Noir clonal blend labeled “Blend 667 & 115” which is sourced from the Santa Cruz Mountains.  What these numbers represent was a hot topic of discussion, leaning towards wine geek territory as we pondered blending preferences, planting decisions, yields, and climate worries.  At the basis of this numbers question, however, is another question- what IS a clone of Pinot Noir?

While many plants are grown via seed, wine vines are propagated via a cutting- that is taking a healthy “mother” vine and cutting a piece off.  This cutting is then planted and grows into a new vine with identical genetic material, therefore a clone of the mother vine. While the French have identified over 1000 different clones of Pinot Noir, most of which are spontaneous mutations, certain clones have been selected and propagated via cuttings for their flavor profile, heartiness, resistance to diseases, or ripening time.

With Pinot Noir, you most often hear two names associated with clones in California: Pommard and Dijon, both originating in the Burgundy region of France.  A subset of Dijon, clones 667 and 115 were some of the first registered Burgundy clones in the United States along with Pinot Noir 113, 114, and 777.  These arrived only in the late 1980s through Oregon State University from Dr. Raymond Bernard who was researching clonal selection at the University of Dijon in France.  The technicians at Oregon State nicknamed the cuttings “Dijon Clones” after the return address on the shipment, and clearly the nickname stuck!

Almost all Pinot Noirs are a blend of multiple clones, frequently 3 or more.  What makes our Blend 667 & 115 so interesting is that it is a blend of just two clones, which allows for more of the characteristics of these two beauties to shine through. Dijon 115 is the most widely planted and prized clone with a balanced full bouquet, supple tannins, and well-rounded fruit and aromatic characteristics of red cherry, dusty rose petals, leather, and anise. Dijon 667 came into the United States with the second wave of clones from Bernard, and quickly became used for the structure and persistence it added to clonal blends with angular, hearty tannins, and aromas of dark red fruit, black tea, and warming Christmas spice. Our Blend 667 & 115 has a solid backbone with layers of dark Bing cherry, a hint of earthy tobacco and a smooth long finish. While light in style, there is no lack of fruit nor tannins in this wine which has even affectionately earned the moniker “sneaky” around the winery because of how quickly it seems to disappear from the glass.

Sneaky makes for a good opportunity to debate clonal selection, and is quickly becoming the new staff favorite.  If you haven’t been to the winery to try it yet, you should… before it all disappears in our glasses!

sneaky 115 667

Back to our Rootstock: January

Although this January has been quite a lovely one here at Regale, with uncharacteristically sunny and clear skies, our Estate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines are fully aware that winter is upon us.  After harvest in the Fall, when temperatures drop and the first frost comes, vines enter into a state of dormancy (or as I like to call it Winterruhe from the German term for “winter rest”).  January is arguably one of the quietest times in the winegrowing year, with few decisions to make as both the vines, and our winemaking team can rest and look forward to the coming growing year.  During this time of dormancy, neither frost nor rain, sleet or snow can bother these normally temperamental plants.   As we look forward to February, we will enter the time when decisions must be made about pruning the now fully dormant vines. But for now we will simply enjoy the beautiful days, crisp air and time off from vineyard management.

January Vines

January Vines Close